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Lecture 24

ANTHROP 3HI3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 24: Castration Anxiety, Ego Ideal, Libido

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Priscilla Medeiros

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Sept  Freud and psychoanalysis
- When the child is born and contacts the real world, part of the id
differentiates into the ego
- Ego
o Works on Reality Principle if it feels good, do it; but only if it wont
cause us harm/pain/displeasure/gets us into trouble
o Secondary process egos method of gaining gratification for what the
id wants main purpose
Wants to find desired object and interact with it in the real
world rather than just imagining it
Ego has direct contact with the outside world; can see, hear,
taste, smell, etc.
o (as a sense of time; knows theres a tomorrow; so postpones instant
o Most of the ego is unconscious but a fraction of it is conscious;
recathexing the libido
o Ego takes some libido from the id to use for its own purposes the
more highly developed your ego is, the less strongly you will feel
urges. Youre using more libido in a planned way.
o Ego creates barriers to id preventing the id from attaching libido to
dangerous images
Puts up a psychological wall forcing the id to look somewhere
else for a similar image
These barriers are called anticathexes
Essentially ego prevents id from attaching libido to anxiety-
producing images
- Superego
o Guides individuals behavior through morality/ethics
o 1. Ego ideal
Set of things that are praise-worthy, moral, and acceptable, etc.
These behaviors are learned from parents
o 2. Conscience
Behaviors that the child shouldnt do
Mostly unconscious, small part of it is conscious
The Oedipus Complex (Boys)
- Boy wants to remove dad b/c the child has to compete with him for his
primary caretakers moms affection
- Sexual urges towards mother and aggression towards father
- Boy experiences Castration Anxiety
o Thinks father will take his penis to retaliate
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- Boy decathects sexual libido from mom and aggression from dad (this is
determined by how much of a rival the father is/the threat that he poses)
- Some libido left cathected
o Aggression towards dad may take other forms later in life (ex;
competing in a sport)
- Child identifies with dad
o Taking on his characteristics/beliefs/values
o Child takes pleasure now in dads positive interactions with mom
o Defensive identification we are less likely to be violated/harmed by
people who are like is in some psychological/physical way
Think that if they are similar to their dad, he is less likely to
attach the son
Similar to Stockholm Syndrome
- Also some identification with mom
o )f you cant have your mom to yourself, you can take on characteristics
of your mother and love that part of yourself
- This is what happens to decathected libido: Displacement of sexual libido to
Mom-like objects
o Freud believed that men are always looking to replace their lost,
nurturing relationship with their mother
Sept  Freud and psychoanalysis
The Oedipus Complex (Girls)
- Electra complex was coined by Carl Jung, not Freud
- Sexual libido cathetched to mom
o Girl wants to remove dad
- Penis envy
- Cathects sexual libido to dad because she wants a penis
- Fears mom, decathects most aggressive libido
o The daughter will always resent the mother in some way
- Decatchects most sexual libido to dad
- Identifies with Mom; some with Dad (identification with Dad is very positive
because she is identifying with someone with a penis)
- What happens to the decathected libido?
o Displaced to Mom-like and Dad-like objects
o Aggressive libido displaced to Mom-like objects and sexual libido
displaced to Dad-like or penis carrying objects
- Because the threat of mom retaliating against the girl is not as scary as the
threat from Dad, the girls identification with mom will be weaker than the
sons identification with Dad – the girls superego, sense of morality, is
weaker. Girls are less likely to make decisions based on moral rules; their
decision-making is more pragmatic/sensible
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