Explore the history and concepts of psycho analytic theory, from Freud to modern interpretations. Learn more.

Incest taboo refers to the universal prohibition of sexual relations or marriage between the members of the same family such as between mother and son, father and daughter, or brother and sister. There is hardly any society that permits such relations. There is various explanation for the incest taboo.

Sigmund Freud, an Austrian neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis, had given psychoanalytic theory of incest taboo. He suggested that incest taboo is a reaction against sub-conscious and prohibited desires. His theory is based on the Oedipus Complex. Oedipus Complex refers to the son’s sexual attraction towards his mother or the daughter’s sexual attraction towards her father.

Sigmund Freud says that the Oedipus Complex leads to hostility and antagonism towards the father who is seen as a rival by the son. But the boy knows that his feelings towards his mother may invite punishment from his father. Therefore his erotic attachment towards his mother must be either given up or suppressed. Freud believes that the Oedipus Complex is repressed and becomes a part of the unconscious, where it continues to exist.

To conclude, Sigmund Freud emphasised the importance of the unconscious mind. Indeed the goal of psychoanalysis is to make the unconscious conscious.


Incest Taboo: Psycho Analytic Theory

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