More threads by Trickster


Hi, this my first post.

I just want to discuss is Freud's psychosexual development theory still holds now in our modern society. Of course, his bias for the male sex is a great criticism against him, but living at his time, everyone would think thus. Has anyone actually tried bring the Electra Complex further than where Freud left it? and to what extend are the stages and fixations true? Are there any other theories against or backing it up?

Thanks! ;)

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Re: Psychosexual Development

Althought Freud made a lot of major and significant contributions to psychology and psychiatry, and to our understanding of psersonality development and psychopathology, most of his contemporaries split from him over his notions about psychosexual development, emphasizing other factors that were believed to be more important to the development of personality, such as psychosocial development (Erik Erikson) or triump over felt insecurity (Adler), etc. In my opinion, many of his basic concepts still have some importance today, in modified forms. But I don't think the general idea of psychosexual stages, as opposed to other factors influencing personality development, is one of them.

Freud himself iniitially did not include the Electra Conflict, the female equivalent of the Oedipus Conflict, but added it later in an attempt to address the issue of female rather than male psychosexual development. However, even Freud himself had difficulty making sense of the Electra Conflict concept and was never really able to develop it to the point where it had much impact. I might add that Freud said more than once in his life that he really didn't understand women, so perhaps it's not surprising that he found it difficult to adequately conceptualize female personality development.

I'm not aware, outside of the few Freudian psychoanalysts and Fruedian theorists left in the world, that anyone gives any credence or weight to psychosexual development, the Oedipal Conflict, or the Electra Conflict today, nor of anyone who has really tried to develope these concepts further. As a first guess, it was interesting but flawed. Thus, I'd say that it is of some historical interest but little more at this point.
Replying is not possible. This forum is only available as an archive.