If the Oedipus complex is resolved successfully, then boys will develop a healthy sexual attachment to their mother (or mother-substitute) and a more respectful relationship with their father. The identification with one parent was necessary for boys but not for girls because girls already identify with their mothers due to biological reasons (i.e., women give birth).
In his theory of psychosexual development, Freud proposed that children pass through five stages as they mature physically and emotionally: oral, anal, phallic, latent and genital. In each stage there are certain conflicts that must be resolved before moving on to the next stage. For example: in the oral stage (birth-1 year), children experience an intense desire for their mother’s breast (erotic). They also experience anxiety when this desire is not met (aggression). The conflict is resolved by creating internal defenses against these desires which result in character traits such as shyness or timidity.
The resolution of these conflicts results in an increase in self-esteem or self-confidence. These unresolved conflicts can lead to neurosis or psychosis later in life if not addressed early on. Freud believed that the resolution of the Oedipus complex was essential for the development of a mature sexual identity.