The oral stage is focused around the development of an infant. The stage gets its name because the mouth becomes the infant’s erogenous zone. The oral stage focuses on the nursing infant. This stage in an infant usually lasts twenty-one months starting at birth. This can vary based on the societal norms and the mother’s willingness to continue breast-feeding.
The Oral Stage and Freud
According to Freudian theory infants who were weaned from the breast too early or too late were prone to develop mental disorders and oral fixations later into adulthood. Also, babies who are either over fed or under fed might also develop these oral fixations. According to Freud, infants who did not have their oral needs met would grow up into adults who use manipulative strategies to receive the oral fixation they need or these adults may never fully mature or become independent individuals.
Oral Stage anddydy Fixations
According to Freud, oral fixations can manifest themselves in a persons need to smoke, continuously eat, constantly chew, biting ones nails, and participation in oral sexual practices.
Others have suggested that there is no evidence to prove that breast-feeding causes oral fixation. In fact some researches promote the benefits of breast-feeding children until they are four years of age.