Slides in this set
The Oedipus complex:
This comes from the boy's natural love for his mothers and his libido forces the love to
become sexual (as they boy has passed the oral and anal stage and is now on the phallic
stage, where pleasure comes from the genital region).
The boy then feels aggression towards his father as his father is in the way of his feelings.
All these feelings are happening on an unconscious level. Freud also felt that the boys will
be afraid that their fathers will be castrate him and this castration fear is stronger than the
feelings for the mother, so the desire is repressed and the boy imitates his father in order to
try and secretly make his mother `love' him.
Freud believed that ALL boys wanted to kill their fathers and marry their mothers. By
identifying with his father, the castration fear is removed and the superego is formed.
Once the boy has resolved the Oedipus complex, the latency period begins and he no
longer has desires for his mother.…read more
The Electra complex:
The Electra complex is a psychoanalytic term used to describe a girl's romantic feelings toward
her father and anger towards her mother. It is comparable to the Oedipus complex.
According to Freud, during female psychosexual development a young girl is initially attached to
her mother. When she discovers that she does not have a penis, she becomes attached to her
father and begins to resent her mother who she blames for her "castration."
As a result, Freud believed that the girl then begin to identify with and emulate her mother out of
fear of losing her love.
While the term Electra complex is frequently associated with Freud, it was actually Carl Jung
who coined the term in 1913. Freud actually rejected the term and described it as an attempt "to
emphasize the analogy between the attitudes of the two sexes."
Freud himself used the term feminine Oedipus attitude to describe what we now refer to as the
Electra complex. However, Freud believed that a girl always remains a little fixated in the phallic
stage, and like with the boys, all these feelings are on an unconscious level.
The girl does however, move onto the latency period once she has identified with her mother,
and like the boys, the girls develop the superego in the phallic stage. The Electra complex is
resolved once the girl has given birth to a baby.…read more