The Electra Complex Freud Article Critique

  • Length: 2 pages
  • Sources: 1
  • Subject: Psychiatry
  • Type: Article Critique
  • Paper: #74569399

Excerpt from Article Critique :

Sigmund Freud believed humans early on in development had a sexual need. This was seen through his perspective of desire and emotion within the unconscious part of the human mind. To Freud, sexuality is a key component to human personality and thus plays an important role in a child's development. This is evidenced in Mary Williamson's article, "The importance of fathers in relation to their daughters' psychosexual development". Essentially, daughters develop their sexuality based on their interactions with their father. By having formed a sexual attraction in a metaphorical sense to the father, without the mother's intervention, a daughter can properly develop a satisfactory gender or psychosexual identity.

The beginning of the article is a rather lengthy introduction explaining how the information provided came to be. Williamson attempts to explain her intentions within the lens of various psychoanalytic approaches covering the father-daughter relationship. She also states that the formation of a woman's femininity and sexuality can well be structured not just from her interactions with her mother, but also her father.

Williamson continues by examining Freud's work, 'the Oedipal stage'. The notion that babies may start out as bisexual and then become heterosexual once rivalry with the parent is introduced recalls Freudian theory that suggests emotion is more powerful than reason, instincts act as motivators of behaviors, and the importance of early childhood development. Children act on instinct in relation to how they perceive their parents, according to Williamson.

Since Freud's theory examined ways humans safeguard themselves from punishment, guilt, and tension, this could explain why the relationship with the father influences a daughter's personality and identity. Williamson explains once the girl becomes the mother's rival, the aim shifts to becoming the object of love and eventually the daughter leans of male expectation in general, leading to her later physiological happiness.

While Williamson uses much of Freud's theory to help explain her own perspective, she also realizes the patriarchal society Freud lived in and his own personal view of female development prevented a deeper understanding of how daughters behave compared to males with their mothers. Therefore, the article shifts into Jungian theory of the Electra complex. Williamson did not mention the Electra complex or delve into Jungian theory, but as another article describes, the Electra complex serves as the female counterpart to the Oedipus complex that speaks of rivalry between the mother and daughter.

In the Greek myth, Electra plans…

Sources Used in Document:


Shoaib, M. (2014). Electra Complex in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Lapis Lazuli -An International Literary Journal, 4(1), 169-173.

Smart, J. (2012). Disability across the developmental life span: For the rehabilitation counselor. New York, NY: Springer.

Williamson, M. (2004). The importance of fathers in relation to their daughters' psychosexual development. Psychodynamic Practice, 10(2), 207-219. doi:10.1080/14753630410001699885

Cite This Article Critique:

"The Electra Complex Freud" (2017, January 28) Retrieved May 29, 2020, from

"The Electra Complex Freud" 28 January 2017. Web.29 May. 2020. <>

"The Electra Complex Freud", 28 January 2017, Accessed.29 May. 2020,