genital stage

Cultural Dictionary

genital stage definition


According to psychoanalysis, the third social and sexual stage of a young child's development (after the oral stage and the anal stage). In the genital stage, interest in the child's own sex organs and in other people's replaces the earlier focusing on satisfaction of hunger and control of bowel movements. A genital personality is mature and no longer dominated by early drives for pleasure.

Note: The Oedipus complex is most often observed during the genital stage.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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