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c) Psychosexual Stages of Personality Development

A controversial idea proposed by Freud is known as the psychosexual stages of personality development. Freud suggested that the desire for sexual pleasure is a lifelong drive that begins in infancy. Humans go through five stages of psychosexual development beginning with the oral stage whereby a baby’s oral needs are met by sucking the mother’s breast. Anal stage is about meeting anal needs either by holding or eliminating faeces. During the phallic stage, children become aware of the genital differences and become attach to the opposite sex of parents. The latency period is when sexual interest is relatively quiescent since children get engrossed in school activities and peers. The last stage is genital which begins at puberty and each gender takes more interest in the opposite sex. Excessive gratification as well as excessive frustration at any point of development in any of the stage will result in fixation, unresolved conflict or emotional hang-up, manifested in a form of personality problem or disorder.

Stage

Period

Focus of pleasure

Focus of development

Behaviours resulting from fixation

Adult personality resulting from fixation

Oral

Birth – 18 months

Mouth

Satisfy needs by sucking, swallowing and chewing/biting

Gum chewing, nail biting, smoking, kissing, overeating, alcoholism

Oral-dependent (gullible, passive, attention-seeker) oral-aggressive (argue, sarcasm, biting)

Anal

1 – 3 years old

Anus

Satisfy needs of holding or eliminating faeces – toilet training

Throw temper-tantrums, self-destructive behaviours

Anal-retentive (obstinate, stingy, very orderly, compulsively clean.

Anal expulsive (disorderly, destructive, cruel, messy)

Phallic

After 3

Genitals

Become aware of genitals and gender identity, physically

Oedipus-complex (boys rival with father for mother’s affection)

Vanity, egoism, shyness, low-self-esteem, worthlessness.

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