Psychosexual Stages Of Development | Sigmund Freud

The psychoanalytical theory of personality developed by Sigmund Freud is centered on two premises. The Genetic Approach emphasizes that diverse sorts of early experiences impact adult personality. The second point to make is that a certain quantity of sexual energy (libido) is present at birth and progresses through various psychosexual stages.

Sigmund Freud classified the stages of personality development into five categories.

Oral Stage (From birth to 18 months) :

The initial stage of psychosexual development, occupying the first year of life, according to Sigmund Freud’s traditional psychoanalytic theory, in which the libido is focussed on the mouth as the primary erotic zone. The stage is separated into two parts: the early oral-sucking phase, in which enjoyment is obtained by sucking the nipple while feeding, and the later oral-biting phase, in which gratification is obtained by biting as well. Fixation throughout each of these phases is thought to result in a certain sort of oral personality. Also known as the oral phase.

The oral stage of psychosexual development lasts during the first year of a child’s existence. Infants are completely dependent on others for existence; reliance is their only source of instinctive satisfaction. The mouth is clearly the bodily component most usually connected with both lowerings of biological urges and pleasure feelings at this time.

Anal Stage (18 months to 3 years) :

During the second and third years of life, the anal area becomes the center of libidinal activity. Young children enjoy both the retention and expulsion of faeces, and they progressively learn to increase their enjoyment by delaying bowl movements (i.e. allowing slight pressure to be put against the lower intestine and anal sphincter).

The Phallic Stage (3 years to 5 years):

The third stage of psychosexual development, commencing around the age of three, in Sigmund Freud’s standard psychoanalytic theory, when the libido is concentrated on the genital area (penis or clitoris) and discovery and manipulation of the body become a primary source of pleasure. During this time, boys are said to have castration fear, girls to have penis envy, and both to have the Oedipus complex. Also known as the phallic phase.

During the fourth and fifth years of life, the child’s libido shifts to a new erogenous zone of the body, the genitals. Children might be seen exploring their sex organs at this phallic stage of psychosexual development.

The Latency Period (5 years to 12 years):

The period of psychosexual development in which overt sexual attraction is suppressed and the child’s attention is concentrated on skills and peer interactions with members of his or her own sex, according to traditional psychoanalytic theory. This period is said to endure from the resolution of the Oedipus complex, at the age of six, to the commencement of puberty. Also known as latency, latency period, latency phase, and latent stage.

The Genital Stage (12 years -puberty):

The last stage of psychosexual development, preferably attained during adolescence, when the Oedipus complex has been entirely resolved and erotic attention and activity are centered on intercourse with a sexual partner. Also known as the genital period.

The endocrine system secretes hormones that cause secondary sex characteristics when the reproductive organs mature (e.g., beards in males, breast development in females).




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Areej Mirza

Areej Mirza

Psychologist | Writer | Counsellor | Life Coach | Entrepreneur