Definition Of The Oedipus Complex
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|Definition Of The Oedipus Complex
Definition of the Oedipus Complex
February 1, 1997
The positive libidinal feelings of a child to the parent of the opposite
sex and hostile or jealous feelings toward the parent of the same sex that may
be a source of adult personality disorder when unresolved. It is a pattern of
profound emotional ambivalence, a troublesome mixture of love and hate.
The Oedipus Complex occurs during the phallic stage, from roughly ages
3-6 years. Freud believed that during this stage boys seek genital stimulation
and develop both unconscious desires for their mother and jealousy and hatred
for their father, whom they consider a rival. It was said that boys felt guilt
and lurking fear that their father would punish them, such as by castration.
Freud also believed that conscience and gender identity form as the child
resolved the Oedipus Complex at age 5 or 6, but this actually happens earlier.
A child tends to be...
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