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Freuds Developmental Stages Freud advanced a theory of personality development that centered on the effects of the sexual pleasure drive on the individual psyche At particular points in the developmental process he claimed a single body part is particularly sensitive to sexual erotic stimulation These erogenous zones are the mouth the anus and the genitals The childs libido centers on behavior affecting the primary erogenous zone of his age he cannot focus on the primary erogenous zone of the next stage without resolving the developmental conflict of the immediate one A child at a given stage of development has certain needs and demands such as the need of the infant to nurse Frustration occurs when these needs are not met Overindulgence stems from such an ample meeting of these needs that the child is reluctant to progress beyond the stage Both frustration and overindulgence lock some amount of the childs libido permanently into the stage in which they occur both result in a fixation If a child progresses normally through the stages resolving each conflict and moving on then little libido remains invested in each stage of development But if he fixates at a particular stage the method of obtaining satisfaction which characterized the stage will dominate and affect his adult personality The Oral Stage The oral stage begins at birth when the oral cavity is the primary focus of libidal energy The child preoccupies himself with nursing with the pleasure of sucking and accepting things into the mouth The oral character who is frustrated at this stage whose mother refused to nurse him on demand or who stopped nursing sessions early is characterized by pessimism envy suspicion and sarcasm The overindulged oral character whose nursing urges were always and often excessively satisfied is optimistic gullible and is full of admiration for others around him The stage centers around the primary conflict of weaning which both deprives the child of the
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