- Of Men and Their Mothers: Challenging Freud's Theory
Freud attributed the Oedipus complex to children of about the ages three to five. He said If previous relationships with the parents were relatively loving and. In Freud's hands the play became an illustration of the supposedly universal “ Oedipus complex”—a son's wish to possess his mother and eliminate his father— a. Most people have discounted Freud's theory as having no merit, but plenty of other factors go into the mother-son relationship.
In the case of the girl, this facilitates identifying with mother, who understands that, in being females, neither of them possesses a penis, and thus are not antagonists.
Sigmund Freud and the oedipal complex
Therefore, the satisfactory parental handling and resolution of the Oedipus complex are most important in developing the male infantile super-ego. This is because, by identifying with a parent, the boy internalizes Morality ; thereby, he chooses to comply with societal rules, rather than reflexively complying in fear of punishment.
Electra at the Tomb of Agamemnonby Frederic Leightonc. In Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-year-old Boythe case study of the equinophobic boy " Little Hans ", Freud showed that the relation between Hans's fears—of horses and of his father—derived from external factors, the birth of a sister, and internal factors, the desire of the infantile id to replace father as companion to mother, and guilt for enjoying the masturbation normal to a boy of his age.
Moreover, his admitting to wanting to procreate with mother was considered proof of the boy's sexual attraction to the opposite-sex parent; he was a heterosexual male. Yet, the boy Hans was unable to relate fearing horses to fearing his father. As the treating psychoanalystFreud noted that "Hans had to be told many things that he could not say himself" and that "he had to be presented with thoughts, which he had, so far, shown no signs of possessing".
Whereas a boy develops castration anxietya girl develops penis envyfor she perceives that she has been castrated previously and missing the penisand so forms resentment towards her own kind as inferior, while simultaneously striving to claim her father's penis through bearing a male child of her own. Furthermore, after the phallic stage, the girl's psychosexual development includes transferring her primary erogenous zone from the infantile clitoris to the adult vagina.
Therefore, the satisfactory parental handling and resolution of the Electra complex are most important in developing the female infantile super-egobecause, by identifying with a parent, the girl internalizes morality ; thereby, she chooses to comply with societal rules, rather than reflexively complying in fear of punishment. In regard to narcissism[ edit ] In regard to narcissismthe Oedipus complex is viewed as the pinnacle of the individual's maturational striving for success or for love.
Oedipal Complex | Simply Psychology
Educators and mentors are put in the ego ideal of the individual and they strive to take on their knowledge, skills, or insights. These men, not all of whom were in fact fathers themselves, became our substitute fathers.
That was why, even though they were still quite young, they struck us as so mature and so unattainably adult.Jordan Peterson - The Oedipal Mother in a South Park Episode
We transferred on to them the respect and expectations attaching to the omniscient father of our childhood, and we then began to treat them as we treated our fathers at home. We confronted them with the ambivalence that we had acquired in our own families and with its help, we struggled with them as we had been in the habit of struggling with our fathers Once the individual has ambivalent relations with parental-substitutes, he will enter into the triangulating castration complex.
In the castration complex the individual becomes rivalrous with parental-substitutes and this will be the point of regression. In Psycho-analytic notes on an autobiographical account of a case of paranoia Dementia paranoidesFreud writes that "disappointment over a woman" object drives or "a mishap in social relations with other men" ego drives is the cause of regression or symptom formation.
The hostile feelings towards the father lead to castration anxiety, an irrational fear that the father will castrate remove his penis him as punishment. To cope with this anxiety, the son identifies with the father. The father becomes a role model rather than a rival. Through this identification with the aggressor, boys acquire their superego and the male sex role. The boy substitutes his desire for his mother with the desire for other women. Freud offered the Little Hans case study as evidence of the Oedipus complex.
She blames her mother for this and experiences penis envy. For girls to develop their superego and female sex role, they need to identify with the mother. In turn, this makes the female superego weaker and their identity as separate, independent persons is less well developed.
It seems that Freud over-emphasized the role of sexual jealousy. On the Death of Mothers and the Grief of Men," the book presents 42 writers exploring the bond between mothers and sons. Set in the context of a mother's death, the essays include writings by well-known American male writers such as John Updike, John Cheever and Wallace Stegner, along with original works by lesser known authors.
The stories cover a range of mother-son relationships, from intimacy and appreciation to alienation and bitterness. Collectively they expose the extent to which psychological and spiritual health in men, especially in the later years of life, depends upon their ability to retrieve the love and closeness they once felt for their mothers. Blauner began teaching a Berkeley course on men and masculinity inwhich has become the longest continuing course on men's lives at a major university.
Freud's theory of the Oedipus complex is a governing metaphor for masculine development, and the adult man who maintains a close relationship with his mother runs the risk of being stigmatized as a "mama's boy.
Feminist writers have used Freudian theory in explaining how a boy's developing gender identity produces separation from the mother as well as from a feminine side of personalityand many argue that it lays the foundation for male dominance. But apart from this negative imagery, little attention has been paid to the mother-son bond after adolescence. It is not shared, said Blauner, with African-American or Asian men-at least, not according to these essays.
Herman Blake and Henry Louis Gates-never seem to have shifted identification away from their mothers," said Blauner. Yet, they grew up to be effective men in the world.