Sigmund Freud’s Oedipus complex is a major part of his psychoanalytic theory. He argued that all children have an unconscious desire to take the place of their opposite-sex parent and replace their same-sex parent. To successfully resolve the Oedipus complex, a child must accept the authority of the same-sex parent and identify with them, which will lead to the formation of a strong gender identity. This process of identification with the same-sex parent is essential for psychosexual development, as it helps the child to internalize the values, attitudes, and behaviors of the same-sex parent. This internalization of the parents’ morals and values forms the superego, which is responsible for regulating the child’s behavior. Freud believed that an unsuccessful resolution of the Oedipus complex could lead to psychological issues in adulthood, such as gender confusion, sexual identity issues, fear of castration, and sexual dysfunctions.
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