What is Oedipus Complex?

Updated: November 28, 2022
The Oedipus complex is a psychoanalytic theory that proposes that each child has an unconscious desire to sexually possess their parent of the opposite sex. This theory was first proposed by Sigmund Freud.
Detailed answer:

The Oedipus complex is one of the most essential concepts in the development of psychoanalysis and is named after the Greek mythological character Oedipus. It describes a boy’s feelings of attraction towards his mother and jealousy of his father.
In psychoanalysis, the term “Oedipal Complex” first appeared in Sigmund Freud’s 1913 article “The Disguises of the Love Life.” In this article, Freud argued that all children develop an unconscious sexual desire for their opposite-sex parent (usually the mother) during their early childhood. This desire is known as an “Oedipal Complex,” which he defined as an “ambivalent attitude towards one’s rival for mother’s love.” In boys, this attraction manifests as an unconscious desire to have sex with their mother, while girls experience an unconscious desire for their father. However, these feelings are controlled by repression mechanisms that hide them from consciousness until provoked by traumatic events later in life (such as incestuous experiences).
This complex is a controversial concept that has been both praised and critiqued by psychoanalysts. While some theorists believe it is essential to understanding human development, others believe that it is an unnecessary construct that hinders further research into other areas of psychology (e.g., attachment theory).

What is Oedipus Complex?. (2022, Nov 21). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/qa/what-is-oedipus-complex/