Psychosexual Stages of Development

439 Words2 Pages
In 1905, Sigmund Freud proposed that psychological development in childhood takes place in a series of fixed stages. These stages are called psychosexual stages because each stage represents the fixation of libido (sexual drives or instincts) on different areas of the body. As a person grows physically certain areas of their body become more important as sources of potential frustration, pleasure or both. Freud believed that life was built around tension and pleasure. Freud also believed that all tension was due to the built up of sexual energy and that all pleasure came from its discharge. Freud stressed that the first five years of life are crucial to the formation of adult personality. The id must be controlled in order to satisfy social demands; this sets up a conflict between frustrated wishes and social norms. The ego and superego develop in order to exercise this control and direct the need for gratification into socially acceptable channels. “Gratification centers of different areas of the body at different stages of growth, making the conflict at each stage psychosexual.” (Saul McLeod, 2008) Also according to Saul McLeod (2008), each of the psychosexual stages is associated with a particular conflict that must be resolved before the individual can successfully advance to the next stage. The resolution of each of these conflicts requires the expenditure of sexual energy and the more energy that is expended at a particular stage the more the important characteristics of that stage remain with the individual as he/she matures psychologically. Some people do not seem to be able to leave one stage and proceed on to the next. One reason for this may be that the needs of the developing individual at any particular stage may not have been adequately met in which case there is frustration. Or possibly the person's needs may have been so well satisfied that he/she
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