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Freud and sex

 

Disciplines > Psychoanalysis > Articles > Freud and sex

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Freud is perhaps best known for the sexual attributions that he makes. In particular, he attributes many 'normal' behaviors to deeper sexual drives.

‘the sexual instincts are remarkable for their plasticity, for the facility with which they can change their aim...for the ease with which they can substitute one form of gratification for another' (Freud 1938)

In Freud's Psychosexual Stage Theory, sexuality is developed over time.

He viewed adult traumas as stemming from earlier sexually-based trauma that ranges from the inability to successfully pass through development stages to physical abuse and the 'passing on' of trauma from person to person (although many patient's reports of abuse were later discovered to be recovered phantasies).

Discussion

The sex drive is embodied in Eros, the very natural drive for survival of the species. It is only through social morals that sex drives receive labels of good and bad.

In early development, babies do not have a sense of morals, but they do have physical senses and have primitive sexual drives.

When they touch themselves, they will feel more pleasure when touching erotic zones, and naturally will do this again.

When suckling at the mother's breast, they may share some sense of sexual arousal with the mother which contributes towards mother-child bonding.

Problems occur when the person fixates on these pleasurable sensations and seeks them to the detriment of others or their own other needs.

Freud himself realized that not everything was about sex and once commented 'Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar' (Freud was a frequent cigar smoker).

See also

Freud, Freud's Psychosexual Stage Theory, Infant sexuality

 

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