The difficulty in Freud's work arises from anticipating a symmetry between what happens in boys and what happens in girls. Freud derived the term from the name of the swollen-footed, mythical hero of Sophocles' tragedies who was nailed up by his feet as a baby hence the swelling but who survived to kill his father and marry his mother. They can be stubborn and tight-fisted with their cash and possessions. The boy will return to it by displacement at the time of oedipal object-choice, while the girl must renounce it to proceed to a change of object. The tapestry of an individual's love chronicles, his need for love, capacity for it, and specific vulnerabilities, is always woven of a complex mixture of social and psychological imperatives, penchants, and possibilities.
Then there is the oedipal situation -- a three-person psychology between mother-father-child. The integration of bisexuality is a fundamental element in heterosexual life. The Role of Conflict Each of the psychosexual stages is associated with a particular conflict that must be resolved before the individual can successfully advance to the next stage. Analysis of a phobia of a five year old boy. Some women, as many observers have remarked, prefer nonsexual caresses and verbal reassurances of love and commitment to sexual ones. Only when an internal psychological separation is finally achieved can the Oedipal constraints be symbolically overcome and love prevail.
I contrast them with phallic masculinity and phallic castration anxiety, which I ground in her concept of paranoid-schizoid anxiety. Great Britain: the Ronald Press Company. To explain this Freud suggested the analogy of military troops on the march. For many, these years offer the first opportunity to pursue power, to seek a different kind of identity consolidation and transcendence in the work of the mind or the imagination. These two currents are present and complementary from the oedipal period.
In classical, Freud's psychoanalytic theory, the child's identification with the same-sex parent is the successful resolution of the Oedipus complex and of the Electra complex; his and her key psychological experience to developing a mature sexual role and identity. Imaginary Phallus The third element in the , which mediates the between the and the , is the , an object which circulates between them in a series of exchanges. The hero, like the lover, is often looking for something lost—magic sword or Holy Grail his full phallic strength, perhaps —or he is bent on defeating an evil dragon or confronting other grave dangers to self or country, king or maiden. The sexual instinct that until then had been essentially autoerotic discovers the sexual object. The girl blames her mother for her 'castrated state,' and this creates great tension. In essence the boy, like the girl, must renounce his libidinal tie to his mother, though for different reasons. For the male, in contrast to the female, romantic love generally conflicts less with parental love than with the necessity for establishing his gender identity.
Although the two sexes experience first love at about the same time, in adolescence or young adulthood, the subsequent pattern is often different. In some women the fear is activated not by any slight on the part of a husband or a lover but by an adulterous impulse of her own. The first wave occurs in the oedipal period and the second at puberty, when the definitive form that sexual life will take is determined. Essentially, a boy feels that he is competing with his father for possession of his mother, while a girl feels that she is competing with her mother for her father's affections. It is overdetermined and may result from a variety of dynamic configurations and genetic origins. In other words, the boy's fear of his father and the threat of castration are not the only factors in the boy's renunciation of his mother. Both Bowlby 1973 and Erikson 1963 see early relationships as prototypes of later relationships.
Freud argued that the boy who fails to resolve the Oedipal phase may remain stuck in the feminine role and develop into a homosexual adult. Introductory Guide to Critical Theory. To the contrary, it seems to be both consciously and unconsciously intended, socially, psycho- logically and ideologically constructed. According to Freud, from the time of the phallic stage the girl develops an intense hatred for the mother reflecting an ambivalent feeling of love-hate , which will foster a change in her object-choice. Freud suggested that while the primal wants to eliminate the father, the more realistic knows that the father is much stronger. Historically, this has often meant following in his father's footsteps—that is, taking the same kind of job, apprenticing to the same trade.
The male's fear of and anger at the female stems from several developmental levels: fear of the pre-Oedipal mother of infancy, who both abandons and engulfs; of the phallic-narcissistic mother, who both confirms and denigrates masculinity; of the Oedipal mother, who cannot be fulfilled, who falsely seduces, rejects, and prefers the father. During the latency phase, the energy the child previously put into the Oedipal problem can be used for developing the self. And empathy, in turn, reinforces intimacy, discretion, and love. For Freud, the proper outlet of the sexual instinct in adults was through heterosexual intercourse. In the young boy, the Oedipus complex or more correctly, conflict, arises because the boy develops sexual pleasurable desires for his mother.
The fact that the girl relinquishes her first love object—her mother—in favor of her father has several important ramifications. Out of a need for revenge, the man reverses his infantile experience: he demands sexual and amorous fidelity while disavowing it himself. But the greater the difficulty encountered at any particular point, the greater the need for troops to remain behind to fight and thus the fewer that will be able to go on to the next confrontation. This is resolved through the process of identification, which involves the child adopting the characteristics of the same sex parent. For girls to develop their superego and female sex role, they need to identify with the mother.