Homework Question on Freud’s Theory of Psychosexual Development
The name Freud is almost synonymous with Psychology. Often, people who know nothing else about psychology know the name Freud and the basics of his work. Freud was a highly influential figure for psychology, but as behavioral science has advanced, modern psychology now takes a fairly skeptical view of Freud’s theories. In this assignment, you will evaluate one of Freud’s most influential theories, his Theory of Psychosexual Development, and discuss where it stands today.
- Briefly describe Freud’s Theory of Psychosexual Development. Be sure to include each stage.
- How has Freud’s work influenced other theories of child development and psychology?
- What are some of the major problems or criticisms of Freud’s work? Name at least 2.
- Summarize your paper by giving an evaluation of Freud’s theory. In other words, what do you think of the theory? Is Freud irrelevant in today’s psychology or is his work still useful today?
Homework Answer on Freud’s Theory of Psychosexual Development
Freud’s Psychosexual Development theory identifies instinctual sexual energy as the central element in five stages of human development. With sexual frustration in any of the five phases, an individual would develop persistent anxiety that grows into a neurosis (a mental functional illness) in adulthood. The child’s mouth represents the erogenous zone in the oral phase, which is the first of the five stages in the theory. Libidinal pleasure occurs while the child enjoys breastfeeding and explores objects in the environment using the mouth.
The anal stage lasts from 18 months to 3 years of age, with the anus serving as the erogenous zone and elimination of human waste from bowels and the bladder offering libidinal gratification (Ellis, Abrams, & Abrams, 2008). The third phase, lasting from three to six years of age, is the phallic stage, in which the child’s genitalia is the principal erogenous zone and libidinal gratification derives from undressing and exploration of others and one’s own genitals, in the process learning the sexual and physical differences that exist between males and females. The psychosexual experience in this stage occurs through son-father rivalry for possession of the mother, referred to as the Oedipus complex, or daughter-mother rivalry for psychosexual possession of the father, called the Electra complex (Ellis, Abrams, & Abrams, 2008).
The fourth stage, latency, occurring from six years of age and lasting until puberty, features the consolidation of character habits obtained in the previous years of life. Since this stage features hidden instinctual drives and delayed gratification, the child has to derive gratification from subordinate process-thinking environments such as friendships, performing hobbies, and schooling.