A CRITIQUE ON FREUDIAN PSYCHOSEXUAL ENLIGHTENMENT OF THE CHILD
PROBLEM AND BACKGROUND
In the annals of history, sex has remained a mystery to both man and the society at large. Its importance in human life is so evident, yet no single human being has been able to give a conclusive explanation of what sex is. No human experience has been able to demystify the hidden meanings of this particular concept. Freud rightly asserts that, “the misunderstanding of sexuality is no intellectual error, nor an accidental ignorance”. On the other hand, sex has exerted many impacts on human life. These impacts of sex in the society can be seen in different human experiences. If we have a detour to the sacred scripture, we can see some of the negative impacts of sex in the human society. Some of these impacts can be seen in the story of Samson and Delilah in the book of Judges 16:17. Another is seen where sex has led to the ruining of the interest of kingdoms as can be seen in the book of Kings Chapter 21 where Jezebel influenced Ahab to give order to the killing of Naboth. Another instance is seen in the story of Herod and Herodias, which led to the beheading of John the Baptist. Matt 14:10.
On the other hand, there are many positive impacts of sex as we can see in the story of Abraham and Sarah in the book of Genesis. A positive aspect is also seen in the lives of many families in our contemporary society. “The highest positive impact of sex in the human society is its place in the continuance of the human race”. When sex is integrated, it makes for maturity and good human relationship. In spite of the positive aspects of sex in human life, its place in our contemporary society has regrettably deteriorated. The reason is not far fetched and can be seen in the misconception of the concept of sex. Majority now see sex as a pleasure-giving thing and as a result, everyone is free to indulge in it at any time he feels. Furthermore, the indiscriminate use of sex has led to the present day proliferation of diseases including the dreaded HIV, which is capable of wiping off the entire universe if precaution is not taken. These negative impacts of sex can also be seen in the anti-natural scientific inventions of many countries ranging from abortion, cloning etc. It has also led to some anti-cultural practices like gay marriage, marital unfaithfulness and pre-marital sex. The different religious denominations of the world also suffer these negative impacts as can be seen in the ordinations of gays as clergymen in the Anglican Church.
As a result of the debasement which sex has experienced in the contemporary society, I find it pertinent to advocate for a reasoned thought among all. Just as Plato asserted that “The kind of knowledge that helps one to distinguish between shadows, reflections, and real objects in the visible world is just the kind of knowledge that man needs to discriminate between the shadows and reflections of the genuinely good life,”. I have set out to bring out a reasoned thought on how man can be able to discriminate between the shadows and reflections of sex and what it genuinely entails.
1.2 PROBLEM OF THE STUDY
Very deep is the well of the past … For the deeper we sound, the further down into the lower world of the past we probe and press, the more we find that the earliest foundations of humanity, its history and culture reveal themselves unfathomable.
- Thomas Mann
The place of sex and its influence on the formation of the psyche of the adult through the developmental processes was what Sigmund Freud (1853 – 1939) set forth to offer to the world in his psychoanalytic theory. However, he did not do that without encountering some problems ranging from over centralization of sex as what constitutes man’s maturity and entire life to many other problems. Freud’s lack of religious tenets made him justify many anti-natural problems, which he should not have done. For instance, he regarded sexual perversions like homosexuality, fetishism, sadism and masochism as justified though they are abnormal.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This work is intended to be a proper itinerary into Freud’s psychoanalytic theory in order to study his views, analyze them and finally to make a proper criticism of these views. I also intend to sift out the positive aspect of his theory and at the same time place it side by side with the place of sex in our present day society. Lastly I intend at the end of this study to present a dignified position of sex in the present day society.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research work will be based on the psychoanalytic theory propounded by Sigmund Freud. The views of other psychologists and some philosophers will however be entertained but only as they affect Freud’s line of thought.
1.5 METHODOLOGY OF RESEARCH
The method is expository, analytic and prescriptive. As this is a philosophical approach to Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, arguments based on faith are carefully avoided.
1.6 THE DIVISION OF THE WORK
This work is divided into four chapters. The first chapter is the general introduction into this scholarly work. The second chapter goes to explain what psychoanalysis is. The third chapter is an x-ray of Freud’s different theories on psychoanalysis. The fourth chapter is a critical evaluation of Freud’s psychoanalysis and his thoughts on the psychosexual enlightenment of the child.
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