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Sigmund Freud proposed that during the anal stage, the primary zone of pleasure shifts from the mouth to the anus. For a child in this stage of development, control of bowel movements is the primary source of pleasure. Conflicts with parents regarding toilet training can produce a fixation in this stage, which can manifest itself by an adult being categorized as having either an anal retentive or anal expulsive personality. Those who are anally-expulsive are said to have been liberally trained at using the potty as children. The demand to 'get it right' is not strictly adhered to (by the parent or parents) and can lead to the nurturing of a child's 'liberal personality'.
An anal expulsive personality is broadly defined as exhibiting cruelty, emotional outbursts, disorganisation, self-confidence, liberal-mindedness, (sometimes) artistic ability, generosity, rebelliousness and general carelessness.
The 'anal stage' of psychosexual development, according to Freud, is only the second of five.
- Kosslyn, S. & Rosenberg, R. (2004) Psychology: The brain, the person, the world. (2nd ed.) Boston: Pearson Education.
- thefreedictionary.com definition
- Gerard Keegan's discussion of the anal stage of psychosexual development
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