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I have to disagree with his idea that having a bowel movement is somehow sexual. He's got some nutty ideas altogether regarding the son's desire for his mother and the daughter's desire for her father. Frankly, it's disturbing. Of course, as post #4 stated, his ideas would not be valid in today's society since there are so many non-traditional families (single parent, two mothers or fathers, foster care system, etc.)
I've always had a hard time fully agreeing with Freud. He makes good points in some instances, but honestly I'm not so sure why he is regarded as the father of Psychology. I most strongly disagree with the phallic stage of development. It all sounds so incestrous and disturbing. Plus, there are so many children raised in single households now or households with two parents of the same gender. How would Freud explain these children's development?
To me, there are many issues.
- There seems to be no reason to say that these stages are so distinct. For example, I have known lots of people who are well past puberty but who still like to put things in their mouths.
- What about kids "playing doctor?" Why are kids who are supposedly latent interested in seeing what the opposite has?
- The whole thing seems to be based on the idea that sex drives us more than anything else. I have a hard time with that idea since there seem to be many other things that have at least as much to do with our development--things like power and greed, for example.
In order to answer this question, you must know the stages and what they imply.
According to Freud, the first stage lasts from birth to 18 months. During this time, children are fixated on oral pleasure--sucking, primarily. Freud suggests that depending on parental pressures at this time, it is likely that a child may become orally obsessive--more likely to smoke, bite his/her nails, or overeat.
The next stage is the anal stage, lasting from 18 months to three years of age, during which children's focus is on controlling excretion. Freud suggests that if a child becomes fixated at this stage, it will cause "anal-retentiveness" later in life (obsession with cleanliness or perfection).
The phallic stage lasts from ages 3 to 6, at which point the child's focus switches to the genitals. The theory initially focused only on boys at this time, hence the labeling of the stage as phallic. Freud alleged that it was during this time period that boys became competitive with their fathers for the love of the mother (Oedipus complex). (Later, the Electra complex was added for girls.)
Latency occurs from age 6 to puberty, at which time children play with other children of the same sex and generally have no interest in sexuality.
The final stage is genital, which lasts from puberty on. At this time, focus switches to opposite-sex peers and genital pleasure.
Based on these stages and the expectations Freud outlined, you should be able to identify what you agree with or not, and why.
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