Friday, 15 January 2021

How Does the Oedipal Complex Resolve?

How Does the Oedipal Complex Resolve?

Oedipus complex refers to the son–father competition for possession of his mother that occurs during the phallic stage of psychosexual development. The male child resolves it by crushing the hostility against and identifying with his father and repressing his feelings for his mother. The child takes on the mannerisms, standards, and behaviours of his father, and in this way, the superego develops at six.

Trigger for the Resolution

When the Oedipus complex forms, the boy remains in a constant conflict. He directs his libido towards his mother and develops an emotional rivalry with his father. Because of this rivalry, he wants to kill the father, but because of his position; becomes fearful that his father might castrate him—we call this castration anxiety. 

Use of defences

Defence mechanisms provide momentary relief of the conflict between the id and the ego. Repression and identification are the two mechanisms that help with this. 


It means "unconscious blocking of memories, emotional impulses, and ideas from the conscious mind." Repression provides momentary relief of the conflict that the child has with his father."


To permanently abolish the conflict that gives rise to castration anxiety, the boy identifies with the father, incorporating his personality characteristics. He enjoys being like his father—a hero like his father. 

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