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Oedipus complex

Sigmund Freud used Sophocles' Greek tragedy[?] Oedipus Rex to support his claim that every boy fantasizes about killing his father and having incestuous sex with his mother, and must repress that desire. The Oedipus conflict or Oedipus complex was described as a state of psychosexual development and awareness.

Freud similarly claimed that all girls want to have sex with their fathers, known as the Electra complex.

Freud also turned to anthropological studies of totemism and argued that totemism reflected a ritualized enactment of a tribal Oedipal conflict. Although many scholars today are intrigued by Freud's attempts to re-analyze cultural material, most have rejected his specific interpretations as forced.

Alfred Adler contended with Freud's belief in the dominance of the sex instinct and whether ego drives were libidinal, he also attacked Freud's ideas over repression. Adler believed that the repression theory should be replaced with the concept of ego-defensive tendencies - the neurotic state derived from inferiority feelings and over compensation of the masculine protest, Oedipal complexes were insignificant.



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