Psychosexual Phases

  • Psychosexual stages were given by Sigmund Freud.
  • Life span of Sigmund Freud was 1856-39 and he passed most of his life in Austria
  • This psychosexual energy, or libido (sex drive), was described as the driving force behind behavior.
  • According to him from birth on, we have an innate tendency to seek pleasure, especially through physical stimulation and particularly through stimulation of parts/zones of the body that are sensitive to touch:
  1. The mouth
  2. The anus
  3. The genitals
  • Which are referred to as erogenous zones.
  • Oral stage (Birth to about age 1):
  • In this stage the infant obtains sensual pleasure first by sucking and later by biting. The center of libido is mouth.
  • The mouth is vital for eating, and the infant derives pleasure from oral stimulation through gratifying activities such as tasting and sucking.
  • Also the infant is entirely dependent upon caretakers, the infant also develops a sense of trust and comfort through this oral stimulation.
  1. Feeding and contact with the mother.
  2. Mouthing new objects.
  3. relief of teething pain by biting.
  4. A conflict at this stage occurs with a child being weaned off the mother’s breast
  • Signs of Fixation or affects on adult personality in this stage are:
  1. Overeating or Pessimism
  2. Smoking
  3. Envy
  4. Gullibility
  5. Suspicion
  6. Dependency
  7. Passivity
  • Anal stage (ages 1-3)
  1. Freud believed that the primary focus of the libido was on controlling bladder and bowel movements.
  2. Developing this control leads to a sense of accomplishment and independence.
  3. First part of this stage involves pleasure from expulsion of feces; latter part involves pleasure from retention.
  4. Fixation at first stage
  5. Messiness
  6. Disordered
  • Fixation at second stage
  1. Excessive compulsiveness
  2. Over conformity
  3. Exaggerated self control.
  • Positive experiences during this stage served as the basis for people to become
  1. Competent
  2. Productive
  3. creative
  • If parent punish, ridicule or shame a child for accidents or other inappropriate parental responses can result in negative outcomes.
  • If parents take an approach that is too lenient, Freud suggested that an anal-expulsive personality could develop in which the individual is
  1. Messy
  2. Wasteful
  3. destructive
  • If parents are too strict or begin toilet training too early, Freud believed that an anal-retentive personality develops in which the individual is
  1. Stringent
  2. Orderly
  3. Rigid
  4. obsessive
  • Phallic stage (ages 3-5):
  1. In this stage, the focus of Libido, where pleasure is found, is in:
  2. Awareness of sexual organs
  3. Love-hate relationship with the same-sex parent
  • Some critical episodes for development occur during this stage, but these episodes occur differently for boys (Oedipus complex) and girls (Electra complex).
  • Signs of Fixation or affects on adult personality in this stage are:
  1. Reckless or afraid of love
  2. Narcissistic
  3. Self-Assured or Selfish
  4. Poor Opposite sex relationships
  • Oedipus complex 
  1. Boys Have sexual/sensual desires for his mother.
  2. The child also fears that he will be punished by the father for these feelings, a fear Freud termed castration anxiety.
  3. Identification with father
  • Reduces anxiety.
  • Behave like his father
  • Take up his ideas of right and wrong.
  • Tries to dress like his father.
  • Electra complex
  • Attracted towards their father
Latency Stage: (age 6 to puberty):
  • At this stage, sexual drive lay dormant.
  • The stage begins around the time that children enter into school and become more concerned with peer relationships, hobbies and other interests.Sexual energy is still present, but it is directed into other areas such as intellectual pursuits and social interactions.
  • Child usually has few opposite sex friends.
  • This stage is important in the development of social and communication skills and self-confidence.
  • A sign of fixation in this stage is a lack of close friends
Genital Stage (adolescence and beyond)
  • Marked by puberty
  • Mature heterosexual interests appears.
  • A person becomes interested in dating and marriage
  • The more libidal energy that a child has at this stage, the greater his or her capacity will be to develop normal relationships with the opposite sex.
  • If the other stages have been completed successfully, the individual should now be well-balanced, warm and caring. The goal of this stage is to establish a balance between the various life areas.
  • Signs of fixation in this stage include:
  1. Guilt about sexuality
  2. Feelings of inadequacy
  3. Poor sexual relationships
  4. Anxious feelings regarding the opposite sex

Exam Question
  • Theory of "Psychosexual development" was given by Sigmund Freud
  • Life span of Sigmund Freud was 1856-39 and he passed most of his life in Austria
  • Oedepius complex has been described by Sigmund Freud
  • Oedipus complex (given by sigmund freud) is seen in Boys of 3 - 5 years of age

Don't Forget to Solve all the previous Year Question asked on Psychosexual Phases