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Electra Complex

Updated: FEBRUARY 4, 2019

The Electra complex refers to the sense of competition a girl may feel with her mother for the possession of and/or the affection of her father. The term, coined by Carl Jung, is part of the same vernacular as the Oedipus complex which refers to a boy's desire for his mother's attention and affection.


More About Electra Complex

The term Electra complex is frequently associated with Freud and his theories of psychosexual development which, even in the case of girls, revolve largely around the penis. Freud believed that the Electra complex came about once young girls realized they did not have a penis and consequently blamed their mother for their alleged "castration."

Carl Jung coined the term Electra complex in 1913. Freud rejected the term and instead called the phenomenon the "feminine Oedipus attitude."

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