reated as simply miniature adults for a long time, and it was only in the early 20th century – in other words, fairly recently – that child development in particular was explored by theorists. Among the most popular of these theorists are Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson, and Jean Piaget, whose theories will be the focus of this research paper. Their theories shall be discussed in detail – focuses, strengths, weaknesses – and will also be compared and contrasted.
Sigmund Freud’s research focuses mainly on sexual desires and libido, dating back to the late 19th-early 20th centuries when he first developed the concept of psychoanalysis. The key point of his tenets is that humans are driven by their instincts and innate sexual urges (libido), which would determine their behavior regardless of repression. Specifically, even if one represses his libido, it will instead manifest in other ways – for instance, one may sate his sexual desires by pushing himself in his work. Humans, he says, are polymorphously perverse, capable of deriving sexual pleasure – or in cruder terms, getting off – from practically anything and everything (Psychosexual Development, 2010).
Specifically, children are said to undergo five psychosexual stages, each with its own erogenous zone (henceforth referred to as e-zone) which the id focuses on; any trauma suffered during one of the first three stages – the oral, anal, and phallic stages – may result in fixation of that particular stage’s e-zone (Feist and Feist, 2007), which Freud connects with adult personalities and personality disorders. Locke (2009) cites Edward Cullen, a character from the popular vampire romance series Twilight, as an example of repression and fixation. He is said to have been sired at the age of seventeen – the genital phase of development – and is neither come to terms with his (biological) parents’ death nor been able to fully mature into an adult. Thus, while he is chronologically a hundred