Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939)

Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis. He believed that human behavior was motivated by unconscious forces, the most primal of which was sexual energy or ‘libido’.

He proposed a theory of psychosexual development arguing that children were sexual from birth and that the child possessed a sexual desire towards the parent of the opposite sex which he termed the Oedipus complex for boys and the Electra complex for girls. Freud also claimed that sexual repression in childhood led to neuroses and mental illness in later life.

His theories in general have been extremely influential in modern psychology and his psychosexual theories have played a crucial part in preparing the ground for the sexual revolutionaries.


An explanation of the Oedipus Complex