Freud Theory of Psycho Sexual Development B.Ed Notes

Psychoanalysis is a system or school of psychology that was the brainchild of the Viennese physician Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939). On the theoretical side it presented a theory to understand and explain the human psyche and on the practical side it provided a method called psychoanalysis for the study of human behavior.

Structure of the Psyche or Mind

Freud, while explaining the structure of human psyche or mind, divided it into two different parts, first by organizing it into three layers as conscious, subconscious and unconscious and second by considering three other components i.e. the id. Ego and extreme ego.

The Concept of Conscious, Sub-Conscious and Unconscious Mind

The conscious mind lies just above the surface of the water like the tip of an iceberg and occupies only one tenth of our total psyche or mental life. The thoughts, ideas and images of which we are aware at any moment of our mental life are said to be located in this upper layer of our brain. First of all, below the conscious layer is the subconscious mind. This central part of our brain stores all kinds of information dormant or unused just below the surface of awareness which can be easily brought to the level of consciousness at a moment’s notice when needed.

Below the subconscious mind lies the unconscious, which is the most important part of our mind. It deals with that large part of our mental life which is hidden and generally inaccessible to the conscious. It includes all repressed desires, wishes, feelings, motivations and drives, many of which are related to sex and aggression.

Psycho – Sexual Development

According to Freud, sex is the basic drive or basic purpose of life. All physical pleasures arising from any organ or any action are ultimately sexual in nature. Sexuality is not exclusive to adults. Children also have sexual desire from the very beginning. He called this ‘infantile sexuality’. A child goes through the following different stages regarding his psycho-sexual development.

  • Oral stage: According to Freud, the mouth represents the first sexual organ to provide pleasure to the child. It starts with the pleasure received from mother’s nipple or bottle. After this the child puts any thing, candy, stick, his slap etc. in his mouth.
  • Anal Stage: In this stage the child’s interest shifts from the mouth as erogenous zone to the organs of excretion i.e. anus or urethra. He derives pleasure by retaining or expelling the waste material from the body through the anus or urethra. This stage generally lasts for two to three years.
  • Phallic Stage: This stage begins around the age of four, when the child’s interest shifts from the genitals to the genitals. Children at this stage take into account the biological differences between the sexes and derive pleasure from playing and manipulating the genital organs. According to Freud, this state can lead to many complications such as deprivation and Electra complex in girls and castration and Oedipus complex in boys.
  • Latency stage: This period starts from six years in case of girls and seven to eight years in case of boys and extends till the onset of puberty. At this stage, boys and girls prefer to be with people of their own gender and even ignore or hate members of the opposite gender.
  • Genital Stage: Puberty is the starting point of the genital stage. The teenage boy and girl now feel a strange feeling of the stronger opposite sex. At this stage, they can feel pleasure from self-stimulation of the genitals, love themselves by taking interest in decorating and grooming their bodies and can become quite close to members of the opposite sex, even to the extent of Even till. Engaging in sexual activity.
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