Oedipus complex

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Related to Oedipal complex: Electra complex, latent stage

Oedipus complex

 [ed´ĭ-pus]
a term used originally in psychoanalysis to signify the complicated conflicts and emotions felt by a child when, during a stage of his normal development as a member of the family circle, he becomes aware of a particularly strong, sexually tinged attachment to his mother; the term also applies to a similar attachment felt by a girl to her father (called also Electra complex). At the same time, the child tends to view the other parent as a rival and yearns to take that parent's place. This pattern, which was described by Sigmund Freud, is named from the legend of the mythical Greek hero, King Oedipus of Thebes, who was raised by foster parents, unknowingly killed his real father in a quarrel, and later married his mother. When he learned of his unwitting incestuous relationship with his wife he blinded himself.

According to psychoanalysts, a child enters the oedipal phase at about the third year and usually has solved his largely unconscious conflicts in a satisfactory way by the age of 5 or 6. He does this by turning his feelings of possessiveness toward one parent and competitiveness toward the other into a wish to be liked by both of them. Eventually, a child who has worked out his conflicts well can focus his affection on members of the opposite sex outside the family circle and can establish satisfactory marital relationships as an adult.

Freud's theory is generally accepted by psychiatrists, although many have developed supplementary theories for the behavior pattern he described.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

Oed·i·pus com·plex

(e'di-pŭs, ē'),
a developmentally distinct group of associated ideas, aims, instinctual drives, and fears generally observed in boys 3-6 years old: coinciding with the peak of the phallic phase of psychosexual development, the child's sexual interest is attached primarily to the parent of the opposite gender and is accompanied by aggressive feelings toward the parent of the same gender; in psychoanalytic theory, it is replaced by the castration complex.
[Oedipus, G. myth. char.]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

Oedipus complex

n.
In psychoanalysis, an unconscious sexual desire by a child, especially a male child, directed to the parent of the opposite sex, usually accompanied by hostility to the parent of the same sex.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Oedipus complex

Psychiatry Normal attachment of a child to the parent of the opposite sex, accompanied by envious and aggressive feelings toward a same-sex parent; the OC is a constellation of consequences–per Freud–resulting from the sublimation of a boy's psychosexual desire for his mother, likened to Oedipus of Greek mythology, who killed his father and married his mother. See Jocasta complex.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Oed·i·pus com·plex

(ed'i-pŭs kom'pleks)
A group of associated ideas, aims, instinctual drives, and fears in male children 3-6 years old; at the peak of the phallic phase of psychosexual development, the child's sexual interest is attached primarily to the mother and is accompanied by aggressive feelings toward the father; in psychoanalytic theory, it is replaced by the castration complex.
[Oedipus, G. myth. char.]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

oedipus complex

The Freudian belief that much psychiatric disorder, especially the ‘psychoneuroses’, are caused by the persisting effects, including unresolved guilt feelings, of the child's unconscious wish to kill the parent of the same sex and to have sexual intercourse with the parent of the opposite sex. The notion was one of the central tenets of Freudian dogma but is no longer widely held. Freud derived the term from the name of the swollen-footed, mythical hero of Sophocles' tragedies who was nailed up by his feet as a baby (hence the swelling) but who survived to kill his father and marry his mother. See also FREUDIAN THEORY.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005

Oedipus,

King Oedipus of Thebes, mythical Greek hero.
oedipism - (1) self-infliction of injury to the eyes; - (2) manifestation of the Oedipus complex.
Oedipus complex - a phase of psychosexual development in which the child is erotically attached to the parent of the opposite sex and has feelings of aggression toward the same-sex parent.
Oedipus period - the time of a child's development characterized by erotic attachment to the parent of the opposite sex.
Medical Eponyms © Farlex 2012
References in periodicals archive ?
In this case, Elliot attempts to transgress at some certain points, specifically when his role in the rebellion against and the downfall of Spinx is concerned, which is evocative of the Oedipal myth since he brings down a father substitute and since it becomes analogous to the transgression in the Oedipal complex where the male offspring is in rivalry with the paternal figure, secretly desiring to eliminate his existence.
To become independent and separate, the internal view of girls or their self-esteem has to become strong and confident to be able to overcome the Oedipal complex, as well as, to follow a unique path in their evolution throughout their lifetime development.
It is in the Oedipal Complex we need to look for an understanding of the relationship between the gaze, desire, and lack.
A chapter on violence is followed by one on the applicability of Freudian analysis, specifically relating the Oedipal complex, to understandings of male/female relationships in New Guinea.
As "reconstellated" in Cozzens' schema, the "presbyteral Oedipal complex" reveals the newly ordained priest as son, with the local ordaining bishop as father and the church as mother.
Father-son relationships in the novel, both actual and metaphorical, are examined in terms of the Oedipal complex that according to Degraeve underpins much of the action.
Children may feel both jealousy and hostility toward one parent and love for the other (Oedipal complex).
Freud had previously suggested that children progress through several stages of what he called psychosexual development, including a period in which boys have to resolve an Oedipal complex marked by sexual desire for the mother and rivalrous hatred of the father.
Thus Proser complements Kuriyama's (and to a lesser extent Barber's) Freudian study of the Oedipal complex producing Marlowe's "homosexuality" (186) by "refocusing the shape of the Oedipal story" - "Oedipus' most primitive unconscious motive [being] retaliatory aggression against authority figures perceived as destructive, an impulse characteristic in Marlowe's plays" (3).
In this reversal, in the chapter entitled "The 'Dark Legend' of Matricide," Freud becomes the prime locus of the matricidal narrative, the underlying Orestes-Clytemnestra complex for which the Oedipal complex is only a cover.
Through a chain of associations, he goes on to propose an Oedipal significance to the intervallic relation of the third, bringing to consideration the two characteristics of the Oedipal complex: blindness and the triangular family situation.
Benjamin Spock, who revolutionized child care, preached Freud's theories of early childhood sexuality and the Oedipal complex. Professors taught Freud and universities even gave extra credit to students who underwent Freudian psychoanalysis.