According to Freud, human beings are motivated to seek pleasure, and during psychosexual development the focus of this erotic pleasure shifts from one erogenous zone of the body to another.
Consequently, he called the psychosexual stages: The oral stage; The anal s.; The phallic s.; A latency period; The genital stage.
- During the oral stage, which occupies the first year of life, the baby's mouth is the primary source of sensual pleasure.
- During the anal stage, in the second and third years of life, the child's attention shifts to the anus and the pleasures of holding in and pushing out feces.
- The phallic stage of psychosexual development covers the years from about three untill five or so, when the child's attention is focused on the genitals and the pleasures of fondling them. It is at this stage that the child finds out about genitals differences between the sexes.
- From the phalic stage, children move into the fourth stage, a latency period. Until puberty, children's sexual impulses remain in the background.
They busy themselves exploring the world and learning things.
With the hormonal changes of puberty, sexual feelings --- and the genital stage begins. The focus in this final stage of psychosexual development is on the pleasures of sexual intercourse.