Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud, now known as the “father of psychology,” once proposed that the sexual drives and instincts of humans actually begin in childhood through a series of fixed stages.
These stages are known as “psychosexual” as each phase represents a fixation of the libido on a different area of the body. When each source of libido tension is released and when each stage is “completed,” Freud proposed that we move onto other stages of sexual development. If all stages of libido fixation and release are completed, a healthy and whole human being emerges.
However, if, for some reason, we fail to psychologically release and complete our sources of libido, we become trapped by them. This inability to meet each psychosexual need may result in defense mechanisms that are built during childhood to avoid the anxiety associated with not having our needs satiated.
There are 5 different psychosexual stages in Freud’s theory: Oral, Anal, Phallic, Latent and Genital. Remember that while this test might reveal something new about you, it is not intended to diagnose you in any way. So take it with a grain of salt!
Which Psychosexual Stage is Best?
There are no ‘better’ or ‘worse’ stages in this test. However, the most sexually developed stages run in this order:
- Most mature stage – Genital (develops during puberty to adulthood)
- Latent (develops during 6 years to puberty)
- Phallic (develops during 3-6 years)
- Anal (develops during 1-3 years)
- Least developed stage – Oral (develops during 0-1 years)
According to Freud’s theory, each psychosexual stage of development must be met successfully for proper development. If, during our upbringing, we lack proper nurturing and parenting during one of these stages, we may become stuck in, or fixated on, that stage. Fixations can lead to neurosis and addictions.