This is a sample of an introduction of a research paper on the anal stage. Paper Masters can produce a custom model project for you.
The anal stage is the second phase in Sigmund Freud’s five-stage theory of childhood and adolescent psychosexual development. At each stage the libido—that is, the emotional and psychic energy associated with a biological instinct—is focused on a different area of the body. The anal stage begins at around 18 months of age and lasts until about age three. During this period, the individual is preoccupied with the challenges and rewards that result from learning to control bowel and bladder functions.
The following are Freud's stages of psychosexual development:
- The first stage was the oral stage (0-1 year). Babies focus on their mouth to feel pleasurable sensations.
- Secondly, in the anal stage (1-3 years), babies focus on pleasure received through elimination. The baby learns to control this function at this age.
- Thirdly, the phallic stage (3-6 years) includes children who are obtaining gratification through their genitals. They masturbate, and they fantasize about their opposite sex parent. This causes the first feelings of guilt and shame.
- The next stage is the latency stage (7 years-puberty). Physical urges are submerged while children focus on learning about the world.
- Finally, the genital stage (adolescence) occurs when young people exhibit adult sexual desires.
Anal Stage Positive Reinforcement
Freud believed that a child’s success in negotiating this stage depends largely on how the parents approach toilet training. Ideally, parents rely on positive reinforcement when the child uses the toilet in an appropriate manner. Children who receive such reinforcement are likely to feel senses of self-control and proficiency. They are making important progress on the road to competent, well-rounded adulthood. Unfortunately, however, some parents fail to provide positive support and reassurance during this critical stage. Some parents pay inadequate attention to, or are overly lenient about, toilet training and related tasks. Their children are liable to develop what Freud termed “anal expulsive” personalities —which are characterized by disorganization, carelessness, and emotional instability. On the other hand, children of parents who are overly strict and/or premature in their approach to potty training are liable to develop anal-retentive personalities. Frequently referred to in the popular culture simply as an “anal” personality, this type is marked by rigidity, “uptightness,” and obsessive orderliness.