Sexuality in children: drive theory according to Freud
Oedipus, Schnödipus, the main thing is that you love Mum! – What is “normal” and what is perversion, what influences our sexual behavior? The Viennese sexologist, doctor and quasi founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud published 1904 to 1905 the work Three essays on the theory of sex. In that he joined the thesis that children from birth on sexual manifestations show – regardless of your sexual immaturity. These teachings of Freud on child sexuality are controversial but still a much-discussed topic. Drive theory briefly explainedThis article in the socko family guide describes the Drive theory according to Freud and discusses the concept of infantile sexuality with its various phases. Also, who is this Oedipus who slew his father, married his mother, and what kind of complex had this that still tyrannize humanity today: the Oedipus complex simply explained.
Early childhood sexuality: drive theory according to Freud
To address the subject first scientifically: What is the instinct theory in general, what says the instinct theory and where does the term come from? Later in the article, you can read more about the individual stages of children‘s psychosexual development, the critique of the instinctual theory of Freud, and the ubiquitous notion of the Oedipus conflict, the Oedipus complex, or the father complex. drive theory as a term encompasses a whole range of different theories from psychology and psychoanalysis. The instinct theory of Freud (in English: Freudian drive theory, instinct theory, sometimes also instinctual theory) is based on the assumption that human behavior is determined by forces that are due to somatic sources of drive and have an urgent behavior result. From this assumption, Freud developed the theory that human traits are a mixture of instinctive desires and prohibitions that restrain those desires. Embarrassing experiences continue to influence the character. These experiences occur, for example, in the child, when the behavior caused by instinctive desires meets parental prohibitions and the constraints of social norms.
What are shoots? Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis
Freud distinguishes between various impulses in his drive theory. The primary drives, Those born from birth are necessary for the preservation of life. They include the need for food, water and sleep, as well as sexuality. Within the first two years of life, according to the theory, the secondary shoots, like the need for security and recognition. Freud sees the drives as forces of psychic life that come from biological sources within the person. According to Freud, action according to the impulses, regardless of the outside world, is an endeavor of man, which he calls pleasure principle designated. This is contrary to this reality principle, which allows the drainage only in the context of the requirements of the environment. Read more: Critique of Freud’s instinct theory or Oedipus complex briefly explained or What is actually a father complex?
Infantile Sexuality: Phases of Psychosexual Development
In psychoanalytic theory, the concept of infantile sexuality spoken, which plays an essential role in classical psychoanalysis. This refers to the sexuality of man from birth to puberty and its impact on mental development. Freud describes the individual stages of development in his theory about the sexuality of children after the model of erogenous zones. The phases of psychosexual development are characterized, according to Freud, by the prevalence of certain erogenous zones. The sexologist calls these in his works pleasure centers.
- oral phase: This takes place in infancy and early childhood and represents the most primitive stage of psychosexual development. The oral phase lasts until about the second year of life. The mouth serves as the primary source of satisfaction in this phase, for example by sucking or sucking. People retain this ability to gain pleasure. This is shown later, for example, by the erotic charm of a kiss.
- anal phase: This phase of psychosexual development takes place around the age of two to three. Children get satisfaction in the anal phase by excreting and withholding their excrement. This phase serves the learning of conflict ability and the social coexistence. It contributes to cleanliness education or cleanliness education, ie the attempt to promote toddlers to use the toilet or the pot. Depending on how the child is handled by the educators during this time, conflicts can occur. Unresolved problems may lead to the formation of a anal character. This is pronounced by pedantry, stinginess and exaggerated sense of order.
- phallic phase / oedipal phase: This phase lasts from the third to the fifth year of life in small children and devotes his attention to the research of his own body. By stimulating and touching the clitoris or the penis, these experiences are made primarily in the phallic or oedipal phase. The instinctual wishes will be expressed by Freud at this time by the desire of the opposite sex parent. Sigmund Freud starts from a conflict that results from this desire. He named it after the figure of Oedipus from the tragedy of King Oedipus of Sophocles. If this phase is unfavorable, this conflict can persist if the child can not break away from the beloved parent. In this unbridled Oedipus conflict one speaks of the so-called Oedipus complex. In doing so, the child unconsciously directs his sexual desires to the parent of the opposite sex and at the same time feels hatred and jealousy towards the other, same-sex, parent. The consequences of a not overcome Oedipus conflict are, according to Freud: incapacity or non-affirmation of one’s own gender role
- latency period: This phase takes place approximately from the fifth to the eleventh year of life. This period is dedicated to exploring the environment and acquiring skills, thereby satisfying the child. During this time, the child learns to renounce pleasure gratification and to postpone it, or to implement it in another form. Sexuality is repressed in this phase and gives way to things like playing with peers. The sexual energy is produced but invested in social relationships and building a defense against sexuality.
- genital phase: From around the age of twelve, the genital phase begins. The sexuality – in the sense of the sexual drive (libido) – gets in this time by the influence of the sex hormones a new meaning. Sexuality is now no longer just for pleasure, but also for procreation and sexual objects outside of the family.
Not up to date anymore? Criticism of Freud’s instinct theory
From a modern perspective, Freud’s drive theory was often criticized. Freud’s teachings on child sexuality are controversial. Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis on sexuality in infants and sexuality in children is considered quite critical today. Soon enough, a group of critics around Harald Schultz-Hencke against the assumption that a child in the first months of life only by primary, lustful needs is headed and developed a theory, which is to recognize after birth a complex way of life, the Tenderness, primary bonding and love expresses. Other aspects of drive theory have been criticized and revised. Psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut, for example, regards instinctuality as a product of the disintegration of a self-system that can not develop normally.
What’s this? The Oedipus complex explained briefly
Lacan, Fromm, Mitscherlich – many psychoanalysts dealt with this topic. Sigmund Freud made in his teaching a central pillar of the legend, the Greek legend. The Oedipus complex used Freud 1910 as a term for the first time to give his psychoanalytic concept a name. The name fits very well, especially to describe a father complex. He refers to the Greek mythology, here: the figure of Oedipus from the drama King Oedipus from Sophocles. First briefly to the terminology of the Oedipus complex or the Oedipus conflict: In the legend, the figure of Oedipus assassins his father and then marries his mother. He blinds himself to punishment when he realizes what he has done. Sigmund Freud took this name because of its appropriate origin for his teaching. Oedipus conflict simply explained or simply explained Oedipus complex looks like the example of the eponym of the theory like this:
The son wants to eliminate the father as a rival because he desires the mother. The son knows exactly that he is not allowed to do that. That’s why he uses projection. He accuses his father of revenge, which ends in castration.
Already the bible warns of the incest. According to Freud, this conflict is the family‘s challenge to end or overcome the conflict. The conflict is supposed to end in the child’s refusal to inculcate the incest and no longer see his father as a rival. In an Oedipus complex therapy, the patient transfers to his psychoanalyst the “role of the father”, only that he does not castrate him. The goal is that the fear gives way and the patient is healed so that he can invest his libido, the sexual drive, in an object of desire. The “enemy” is to become a model to which the child tries to emulate. Meanwhile, however, psychoanalysis has changed. The infant’s attachment to the mother or father counts as a normal developmental step and is no longer associated with castration fears and murderous desires. So do not worry when defining the mother role, an old Jewish joke says:
Oedipus, Schnödipus, the main thing is that you love Mum!
The Oedipus complex is used as a term in many areas of everyday life without direct connection. Also commonly called Oedipus conflict or Oedipus syndrome. In fact, the interpretation of Freud’s sexuality in children is rather confusing. According to today’s opinion, there is no division into phases in the development, but rather individual situations that have an oral, oedipal or other character and are interwoven. Couples, “adult children”, like to observe when they have been a couple for a long time and the whole story suddenly stops working. Here, unconscious competitive situations and prohibitions are activated. To expand the Oedipus syndrome: In the father complex, we speak mainly of women – this should have a great influence on the choice of the partner.
Father complex: What is that?
Carl Gustav Jung is the founder of analytical psychology. The term father complex is derived from his studies. The father complex can be considered a female counterpart to the Oedipus complex. Again, it is about the idealization of the opposite-sex parent and the hostility towards the same-sex parent. This image subconsciously projects women to men who surround them. Father Complex simply explained: The lack of attention in childhood is reflected in the later partner choice. Here, older partners or partners who are similar to the father are preferred. However, this term should also be viewed critically and not all scientists who deal with this topic share this opinion. Father complex as a term means nothing abnormal, it defines ideas and feelings that are shaped in childhood and shows possible effects on the later thinking and acting, which shape the life of a woman. In Jung, the father complex in the sense of the Oedipus complex also called Elektrakomplex. The term Elektrakomplex was used by Carl Gustav Jung in 1913 in his work Attempt to present the analytic theory first publicly introduced. The derivation of the term father complex can be represented well by the example of the name (Elektrakomplex):
In revenge for murdering Agamemon, the father of two siblings and former husband of Clytemnestras, legendary Elektra, from Greek mythology, helped her brother Orestes assassinate her mother Clytemnestra and stepfather Aegisthus.
Freud’s approach to this theory is based on the assumption of a “penis nephew”. The daughter accuses the mother of having born her with this defect. The daughter turns away from the mother and the father. However, this approach in Freud’s psychoanalysis is viewed critically by much of feminist research. This approach is accused that, above all, the historical-social condition of the family constellation is not sufficiently reflected, which is based on his considerations. In his article About female sexuality from 1931 Freud rejects Jung’s ideas concerning an electroplex. In his opinion, father bonding is never overcome by women. He points out that only boys, ie male children, build up this rivalry hatred towards the same-sex parent, and only in boys does this relationship go under the castration complex, since the female form of the Oedipus conflict differs significantly from the male. The female Oedipus complex is first created by the castration complex, whereby the male Oedipus complex is destroyed by the castration complex.
Another approach is the attachment theory of John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth and James Robertson. The aim of the work on attachment theory was to examine the effects of family influences on child development.
On the way to the supermama such theoretical contributions are certainly interesting. This article is still expandable and we would also like to publish anonymous case studies from families. Do you have any interesting suggestions, ideas or did you notice something about this topic among people in your area? So please write us by e-mail or post, you will find in the imprint the address.
And who was this Sigmund Freud??
The Austrian depth psychologist, neurologist, cultural theorist and religion critic Sigmund Freud was born in 1856 in Freiberg in Moravia and is considered the founder of psychoanalysis. In addition, he is considered one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century. He died in London in 1939 due to euthanasia after a severe cancer. The Wikipedia article on Sigmund Freud details all the details of him.
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