What are the stages of development according to Freud?

Freud believed that the child passes through a series of stages of development. In each stage a different erogenous zone is in focus
Erogenous zones: areas of the body that are particularly sensitive to sexual stimulation.
Freud saw the libido as being focused in these zones.

  • Oral stage
    Lasts form birth to 1 year
    The child’s chief pleasure is derived from sucking and otherwise stimulating the lips and mouth.
  • Anal stage
    The second year of life
    The child’s interest is focused on elimination
  • Phallic stage
    From age 3 to age 5 or 6
    The boy’s interest is focused on his phallus (penis) and he derives great pleasure masturbating
    Oedipus complex or electra complex
  • Latency
    Until adolescence
    The sexual impulses are repressed or are in a quiescent state
    • Modern research shows that children do continue to engage in behaviour with sexual components during this period
  • Genital stage
    Sexual urges awaken and become more specifically genital.
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