Following the American Psychological Association’s Guidelines
Sigmund Freud developed the theory that the human personality is made up of the id, ego, and superego. He theorized that the id makes up the primitive component while the ego operates as the mediator between the id and reality and the superego is the moral component of a human’s personality. Freud also developed the theory of psychosexual development based upon Oedipus Rex written by Sophocles.
Today it is referred to as the Electra Complex for girls the Oedipus Complex for boys.
Psychosexual development is divided into five stages which are oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital. Freud theorized that a person become fixated on a stage if he or she received too much or too little of stimulation. In Steve’s situation, his mother took care of his physical needs but didn’t give him much affection. Steve is most likely fixated at phallic stage because of his mother’s lack of affection.
According to the case study, Steve’s mother didn’t give him the affection he craved as a child. At the phallic stage, male children develop a sexual attraction to their mothers. They deal with this attraction by seeing their fathers as rivals. While the text didn’t speak about Steve’s father, one can conclude that by being unable to win his mother’s affection as a child, this resulted in Steve’s sexual behavior as an adult. He’s unable to form a meaningful relationship with a woman after having sex with her. Furthermore, he sees himself as unattractive which leads to him changing his appearance in order to appear handsome enough to attract females. Various aspects of Freud’s theories can explain this behavior.
Steve gets instant gratification once he is able to have sex with the women he’s dating. This is the id personality seeking pleasure from a biological source. His ego allows him to delay gratification. He does this by bringing the women to a romantic place, such as a romantic restaurant, where the end results is usually sexual pleasure. By constantly dating, having sex, and breaking up with women, Steve shows he doesn’t have an overactive superego. While he knows what he is doing is considered wrong, he has no guilt in being a serial dater.
Mcleod, Saul., 2008, Psychosexual Stages, http://www.simplypsychology.org/psychosexual.html.
Felluga, Dino. "Modules on Freud: On Psychosexual Development." Introductory Guide to Critical Theory. Jan. 31, 2011. Purdue U. Date accessed July 22, 2011. http://www.purdue.edu/guidetotheory/psychoanalysis/freud.html.