What are the Psychosexual Stages Pt2
For approximately the first year of life, oral activity provides the primary means of gratification. The mouth is the centre of the infant’s experience and requires the most tension-reducing stimulation. This occurs, initially, by suckling the mother’s breast (the oral dependent sub-phase) and, later, with the development of teeth, through biting (the oral aggressive sub-phase). Fixation at the former sub-phase may lead to gullibility (swallowing anything), pessimism and dependency in later life, in addition to problematical behaviours such as smoking, overeating and alcoholism. Fixation during the latter may represent the prototype for subsequent hostility, sarcasm and argumentativeness.
Between the ages of one and three, the focus of libidinal satisfaction shifts from the upper to the lower end of the digestive tract. Â Pleasure is derived from the process of elimination.Â This is the classic potty training scenario. A strict parental approach in such matters is suggested to lead to anal-retentive traits in later life: the so-called anal triad of order-liness and cleanliness, parsimony and stinginess, and obstinacy. At the other extreme of excessive gratification exists the anal-expulsive character, comprising messiness, sloppiness and unregulated self-expression. Pleasure may also be obtained through providing a symbolic gift to the parents, forming a template for later creativity and productivity.