What Is the Oedipus Complex

What Is the Oedipus Complex

The Oedipus complex is a concept that was advocated by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, who refers to a stage of psychosexual development of the child, called phase phallic, she begins to feel desire by the element of paternal of the opposite sex, and anger, and jealousy for the element of the same sex.

According to Freud, the stage phallic happens around three years of age, at which time the child begins to realize that it is not the center of the world and that the love of parents is not only for themselves, but also shared among them. It is also at this stage, the boy begins to discover his genital organ, manipulating it with frequency, which is often disapproved by their parents, creating in the child a fear of castration, making him draw back to this love and desire for the mother, since the father is a rival far superior to it.

This phase is a determining factor for their behavior in adulthood, especially in relation to their sex life.

What are the stages of the Oedipus Complex


Around 3 years of age, the child begins to attach more to the mother, wishing only for itself, but as finds that the father also loves the mother, feels that it is his rival, because the only wants for themselves, without your interference. As the child cannot eliminate his rival, who is the father, can become disobedient, and have some aggressive attitudes.

In addition, when the boy enters the stage, the phallic, begins to direct his interest and curiosity to your genital organ, which can be perceived by the parents, as the handles with frequency, which is often disapproved by them, making him draw back to this love and desire for the mother, due to fear of being castrated, because his father is a rival far superior to it.

According to Freud, is also in this phase that the boys and girls are concerned with the differences in anatomy between the sexes. The girls come to feel envy for the male organ and the boys have a fear of castration, because they think that the penis of the girl was cut off. On the other hand, the girl, upon discovering the absence of a penis, feels inferior and blames the mother, developing a feeling of hatred.


With time, the child begins to appreciate the qualities of the father, passing usually to imitate your behavior and as you advance into adulthood, the boy will turning off from the mother and becoming independent, starting to get interested in other women.

The same symptoms can happen in children of the female sex, but the feeling of desire takes place in relation to the father, and the anger and jealousy towards the mother. In the girls, giving this stage the name of Complex of Electra.

What is the Oedipus complex unresolved?

Men who fail to overcome the Oedipus complex, can become effeminate and develop fears and women can acquire characteristic behaviours of men. Both become cold and timidos sexually, and experience feelings of inferiority and fear of disapproval.


In addition, according to Freud, it is frequent that when the Oedipus complex if it lasts into adulthood, could lead to homosexuality, male or female.

What Is the Oedipus Complex 1