Phallic stage  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In Freudian psychology, the Phallic stage is the third stage of psychosexual development, spanning the ages of three to six years, wherein the infant’s libido (desire) centers upon his or her genitalia as the erogenous zone. When children become aware of their bodies, the bodies of other children, and the bodies of their parents, they gratify physical curiosity by undressing and exploring each other and their genitals, the center of the phallic stage, in course of which they learn the physical differences between “male” and “female”, and the gender differences between “boy” and “girl”, experiences which alter the psychologic dynamics of the parent and child relationship. The phallic stage is the third of five Freudian psychosexual development stages: (i) the Oral, (ii) the Anal, (iii) the Phallic, (iv) the Latent, and (v) the Genital.

Female sexuality and criticism of Freud's theories

Freud believed that it was natural for female children in this stage to focus on the clitoris as their primary organ for sexual pleasure. He believed that upon reaching adulthood and sexual maturity, a female's primary sexual focus shifts to the vagina. There is considerable criticism regarding this theory, as it portrays adult women who continue to enjoy and/or orgasm from clitoral stimulation as having not reached full sexual maturity.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Phallic stage" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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