Neo-Freudian Psychology Theories - Essay Example

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An author of an essay "Neo-Freudian Psychology Theories" discusses the point that the two noted psychologists agreed that the term best described the competitive feeling that a child has in terms of seeking and deviating her father's feelings and affections from her mother…
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Neo-Freudian Psychology Theories
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Neo-Freudian Psychology Theories
Just like everything else in life, there are male and female versions of Neo-Freudian psychology theories. This stands true even for the sexual development theories that were presented by Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung when they explained the theories of the Oedipus and Electra Complex to the public. The common denominator between the two complexes is that both are related to the sexual maturing and parental idolization of a child for the parent.
Although it was Sigmund Freud who proposed the theory that a daughter can have romantic feelings for her father, it was not until 1913 when Carl Gustav Jung, a proponent of Neo Fruedian psychology, coined the term Electra Complex for the theory proposed by Freud (Cherry, 2012). In effect, the two noted psychologists agreed that the term best described the competitive feeling that a child has in terms of seeking and deviating her father's feelings and affections from her mother. In a way, the mother serves as a threat towards the feelings of the daughter for the father and, in a way, the child then views that threat as having to be eliminated. However, unlike in the Oedipus Complex wherein the son is brought into his sexual responsibility/role by his father by fear of castration, the Electra complex does not have such relief. Rather, it is buried within the psyche of the daughter and is never truly worked out by the child. (Cherry, 2012)
This particular complex develops around the time that the child enters the phallic stage of sexual identity formation. for a daughter experiencing the first throes of the Electra Complex, this means that she has come to the realization that there is a difference in the genitals of her mother and father that apply to her as well. This awakening comes with a certain degree of disgust for her mother whom the daughter now blames for her lack of male anatomy. She then clings to her father as being the superior being and thus, the person she should love more. (Stevenson, 1996).
This is a situation that normally occurs in little girls between the ages of 3 and 6 and falls under the phallic stage of sexual development. The theory is that due to the lack of the male appendage, the daughter now rejects her mother and admires her father as a form of “penis envy”. If this situation is unresolved with the daughter during the phallic stage and she does not come to terms with it during her later development years, the daughter could begin to lust after her father in the hopes of bearing a child in order to carry his penis in her and thus have a penis in some sort of indirect way ( The Electra Complex, 2012 ).
Freud never presented any evidence that there was a way to resolve the Electra Complex in girls in a similar fashion to that of the castration complex that men develop in the Oedipus Complex. According to him, there is never any real resolution for the daughters undergoing an Electra Complex experience. Rather, a daughter slowly learns to accept her mother as her representation her father's eyes and thus, learns to possess her father vicariously through the relations that she sees between her parents. In the event that the daughter does come to terms with her feelings for her father at this point, the daughter will then enter a latency period within which her sexual desires are not as strong as they would normally be (Stevenson, 1996). His studies at the time indicated that the daughter will for some reason, be stuck in the phallic stages for quite sometime. If and when she will get out of the stage remains unknown since the Electra Complex is little studied in the Psychology field even at present.
Cherry, K. (2012). What is the Electra Complex?. Retrieved from
Stevenson, D. (1992). Freuds sexual stages of development. The Victorian Web. Retrieved from
Psychosexual. (2012). The Electra Complex. Retrieved from Read More
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