Too Long; Didn't Read
With further investigations into the nature of the repressed complexes a very astonishing situation was revealed. The parental influence on children is something so well recognized and understood that to call attention to it sounds much like a banality. However, here an extraordinary discovery was made, for in tracing out the feelings and emotions of adults it became evident that this influence was paramount not only for children but for adults as well; that the entire direction of lives was largely determined quite unconsciously by the parental associations, and that, although adults, the emotional side of their nature was still infantile in type and demanded unconsciously the infantile or childish relations.
Freud traces out the commencement of the infantile attachment for the parents in this wise.
In the beginning the child derives its first satisfaction and pleasure from the mother in the form of nutrition and care for its wants. In this first act of suckling Freud sees already a kind of sexual pleasure, for he apparently identifies the pleasure principle and the sexual instinct and considers that the former is primarily rooted in the latter. At this early time commence such various infantile actions unconnected with nutrition as thumbsucking, xxiiivarious movements of the body as rubbing, boring, pulling and other manifestations of a definite interest in its own body, a delight in nakedness, the pleasure exhibited in inflicting pain on some object and its opposite, the pleasure from receiving pain. All of these afford the child pleasure and satisfaction, and because they seem analogous to certain perversions in adults they are called by Freud the “polymorphous perverse sexuality” of childhood. The character of these instinctive actions which have nothing to do with any other person, and through which the child attains pleasure from its own body, caused Freud to term this phase of life as autoerotic after Havelock Ellis. However, with the growth of the child there is a parallel development of the psychic elements of its sexual nature and now the mother, the original object of its love, primarily determined by its helplessness and need, acquires a new valuation. The beginnings of the need for a love object to satisfy the craving or libido of the child are early in evidence and, following along sex lines in general, the little son prefers the mother and the daughter the father after the usual preference of the parents.