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Freud's psychosexual development

Freud's theory of psychosexual development posits that childhood is divided into five developmental stages, each with a different erogenous zone. If a child doesn't resolve a stage successfully, they may develop "fixations" that affect their behavior into adulthood. Created by Shreena Desai.

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Video transcript

Voiceover: Alright, let's dive right in to our first area of development, and we're gonna take a look at Freud's Psychosexual Theory of Development. So here's Freud over here, and he proposed that psychological development in childhood takes places in a series of fixed stages called psychosexual stages. And he believed that life was built around this concept of tension and pleasure, in that the buildup of tension could cause a lot of conflicts. So this tension buildup or fixation was due to this concept of libido. Now, libido is a natural energy source that fuels the mechanisms of the mind. And when this libidinal energy is stuck or fixated as we like to call it in this theory that's a term you should get familiar with whenever you hear the psychosexual theory of development so fixation. So when fixation occurs, it can have a lifelong effect well into adulthood. Cuz remember, Freud, Freud's theory stressed the importance of personality development at childhood. So if a certain stage, if fixation occurred in a certain stage in this childhood, it could have a lasting effect well into adulthood. So each of these stages is associated with a particular conflict that has to be resolved in order for the person to successfully advance to the next stage. So Freud again, stressed that the first five years of life are crucial to the formation of adult personality. Now this idea of libido and fixation is centered around different areas of the body at different stages of growth, which is why he calls it a psychosexual development. So, you can remember the order of these stages by using this neumonic that I came up with and it's called. I'll just run through it. It's Old, Age, Parrots, Love,. Love. Grapes. Oops. Let's give ourselves a little bit more room over here. There we go. Okay, so old age parrots love grapes, and that's associated with each of the stages. So the OId stands for the oral stage. The Age stands for the anal stage. The P stands for the phallic stage. The L stands for the latent stage or the latent period. And lastly grapes stands for the genital stage. So old age parrots love grapes. Oral, Anal, Phallic, Latent, Genital. Now, I was talking about how this fixation of libido is focused on different parts of the body, so depending on what stage we're at, there is going to be a certain fixation of this energy at a certain body part. So, when it comes to let's pick a different color, okay. So when it comes to oral, the part of the body that the libido is focused on is the mouth. Oral for mouth. The anal stage is anus, pretty self explanatory. The phallic stage is the genitals. And I'll go through and explain all this in a bit. The latent actually doesn't have anything. And the genital last stage is again the genitals. Alright so let's go through the stages. So the first stage, the oral stage, I'm going to try to pick a different color again here. Okay, so the oral stage is the first stage of personality development. And it occurs between the ages of 0 to 1 years of age. So, there we go. And this is when the libido is centered around the baby's mouth. So the infant's primary source of interaction occurs through their mouth. Through the rooting and sucking reflex. And obviously the mouth is vital for eating. And the infant derives his or her pleasure from oral stimulation through activities such as tasting and sucking. And because the infant is completely dependent on their parents, their caretakers who are responsible for feeding the child, the baby also develops this sense of trust and comfort through this oral simulation. So, we can talk about the major development over here as feeding. Now if there's a fixation or conflict that occurs here, through the weaning process. So the baby. Has to learn to wean off in order to advance to the next stage, so if there's a conflict in this process, the child becomes less dependent upon the caretaker. And Freud believed that an individual with fixation at this stage could develop issues with dependency or aggression. So later in adulthood, we see an oral type of personality in people that smoke. Or bite their fingers. Or their nails, or that suck their thumb. So the adult fixation personalities or examples are of people that smoke. Or bite their nails, or people that, over eat. Alright, moving on to the second stage. The second stage is the anal stage and that occurs between the years of 1 to 3. And Freud believed that the primary focus here was centered around the anus. And in controlling the bladder and bowel movements. So, we can consider this trip, toilet training. So when the child gets older and starts to wean off from feeding in the oral stage, it's going to start getting potty trained. So the major conflict at this stage is toilet training, where the child has to learn how to control his or hear bodily needs, and this leads to developing a sense of control and accomplishment, and independence, so parents who utilize praise and rewards for the child using the toilet are encouraging positive outcomes. And helping the child feel capable and productive. And Freud believed that positive experiences in this anal stage can help serve as the basis for people to feel competent and productive and creative adults. However, not all parents take an encouraging approach to potty training, so if any fixation occurs in this stage, that can lead to problems as and adult. And Freud said that adults, Who have fixation at this stage could possibly have problems with orderliness and messiness, so these are attributes of the adult fixation. Moving on to the third stage. Stage the phallic stage. So this occurs between 3 and 6 years of age, and its focus the genital area is the focus of the libido. So at this age, children are beginning to discover the difference between the males and females and here Freud came up with two important terms. So he believed that boys actually begin to view their fathers as a rival for their mother's affections and he called this the Oedipus complex which describes the feelings of wanting to possess the mother and the desire to replace the father. This is what little boys, go through. And the same thing occurs. For females towards, or young girls, towards their fathers which he termed the Electra Complex. So that's the major development here is being able to resolve this Oedipus and Electra Complexes. And usually this is resolved through the process of identification, where the child starts to understand and develop similar characteristics of their same-sex parents. So they'll look up to fathers. Little boys will look up to their fathers, and little girls up to their mothers. However, if there's a fixation at this stage that can transform into adulthood and cause sexual dysfunction if this is isn't resolved. The fourth stage is the latent period. So this is usually between 6 to 12 years of age and there's really no focus of libido over here and this is a period in which 12 being puberty so 6 to puberty so this is the time of exploration in which the sexual energy, this libido, is still present but it's not really focused on one area. It's being directed into. It's not focused on one area of the body rather, it's starting to be directed into other areas such as intellectual pursuits and social interactions. And children developing new skills. So this stage is really important in the development of social and communication skills. So, you can say the socialism aspect and the development of new skills. So this begins around the time that children enter school, and so they become more concerned with the peer relationships, hobbies, and other interests. And, play between children, starts to become largely confined to children of the same gender. And, any fixation at this point doesn't really develop into an adult fixation. And the last stage is the genital stage which occurs from the age of 12 and above. So here again, the focus is back on the libido. And that's because the individual starts developing strong sexual interests. So there starting to reach sexual maturity. And during this stage they develop the sexual maturity towards the opposite sex that lasts well into their life. Well through life till, till death. So in early stages the focus was solely on individual needs but in this stage their interest in the welfare of others so. If all stages were successfully completed then the person should be sexually matured and mentally healthy. So, the adult fixation example is, since this is the last step there really isn't any adult fixation because it's under the assumption that all these other stages were completed successfully so we can just say the person is mentally healthy that's what Freud said. So if all the other stages have been completed successfully the individual should now be well balanced, warm and caring. So the goal of this stage, the genital stage, is to establish a balance between the various life areas. So this is Freud's theory of psychosexual development in a nutshell.