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Oedipus complex Oed·i·pus complex (ěd'ə-pəs, ē'də-)
In psychoanalytic theory, a subconscious sexual desire in a child, especially a male child, for the parent of the opposite sex, usually accompanied by hostility to the parent of the same sex.
In Freudian theory, the unconscious desire of a young child for sexual intercourse with the parent of the opposite sex, especially between boys and their mothers (see genital stage). Followers of the psychologist Sigmund Freud long believed that the Oedipus complex was common to all cultures, although many psychiatrists now refute this belief. The Oedipus complex is named after the mythical Oedipus, who unwittingly killed his father and married his mother.