Sigmund Freud's Theories Of Sexuality

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Sigmund Freud focused on the developed of sexuality as a way of explaining personality and human functioning. He made it “central to the psyche” (Person, 2005, p. 1257). While his theory may be considered biologically based due to his inclusion of him libido theory and the stages of psychosocial development, it also has a psychological element, which can be seen in his theory of the oedipus complex. Freud considered that the process of sexual development is vital in all other development and later functioning of an individual. His theory has greatly influenced the field of psychology, yet suffers from shortcomings.

Freud’s theory is based on three main assumptions, one of which is biological and psychic determinism. He saw “human drives
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The “libido moves through a series of preordained orderly stages” (Person, 1980, p. 608). Each of these stages are linked to an erotogenic zone - “the physical source of the sexual drives” (Meyer & Viljoen, 2008). Freud termed this theory of development as psychosocial development due to it not only being “determined by biological maturation”, but also it being heavily influenced by the social environment of the child (Meyer & Viljoen, 2008). The first stages are the oral, anal, phallic and latent stages. The genital stage begins with puberty and is “the final stages of psychosocial development” (Meyer & Viljoen, …show more content…
1257). However it suffers from many shortcomings. Firstly his theories are vague and therefore are unable to be scientifically tested. There is no scientific evidence for the thinking behind his psychosexual phases, and while they have brought understanding to sexual development, it is impossible to know whether children experience something such as the oedipus complex. The psychological elements of his theory cannot be confirmed. It must also be said that Freud was a man of his time. His theories were clearly based on world - 20th century, England (Meyer & Viljoen, 2008, p. 50). This can be seen in his libido theory - there was no female libido, which links with the idea that women were not seen to be sexual and therefore could not possess that kind of energy. Regardless of the flaws in his theory, Freud did create an impact in the psychology of the 20th century and his theories still have place in the modern world to some extend. Thus, while his theory of sexuality is not totally convincing, it still can be

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