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date: 17 September 2021

p. 293. Exploring the pastlocked

p. 293. Exploring the pastlocked

  • Anthony Storr


‘Exploring the past’ explores Freud's research on sexual and emotional development. Freud split sexual development into four stages spanning from birth until puberty — oral, anal, phallic, and genital. He believed that the interruption of sexual development could lead to neuroses (such as ‘oral’ and ‘anal’ personalities). Freud outlined the ‘Oedipus complex’, where children harbour sexual phantasies about their parents, coupled with fear and disillusionment. These ideas seem outlandish in a literal sense, but they do have merit when applied to real situations. Freud also described, albeit incorrectly, the latency period that exists between early childhood sexual development and puberty.

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