Understanding Electra Complex and Daddy Issues


Is Electra complex all about daddy issues or does it have deeper roots in a person’s psychology?

Renowned neurologist & father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, has deeply talked about personality and its development in childhood. He refers to some phases as psycho-sexual stages of development. The third stage called the phallic stage, which is from the age of 3 to 6 years, is considered to be the most important stage for personality development.

Electra Complex and Daddy Issues

Sigmund Freud suggested that, ‘the sexual wishes (of a child) in regard to the mother become more intense and the father is perceived as an obstacle to them; this gives rise to Oedipus complex’. If a boy is stuck in the phallic stage, they will develop castration anxiety, and the reason behind the fear of castration is the sexual desire to be with their mother and look at the father as his rival. A part of this concept has been shown in the book Hamlet written by famous playwright William Shakespeare. In the book, there is a famous plot in which Hamlet, the prince of Denmark, had a desire to kill his father and marry his mother.

Girls and Daddy Issues

Freud suggested that, in girls, the personality shifts when she realizes that she does not have the sexual organ similar to the opposite gender and end up experiencing envy. In this stage, girls resent their mother for the ‘castration’ and want to spend more time with their father and later with other males in order to make them feel complete. If a girl gets fixated in this stage, they will be sexually and romantically attracted to men who look like their father. This is what commonly is referred to as Daddy Issues in popular culture.

What is Electra Complex?


Have you seen that some girls never find good guys attractive?

The theory of Electra Complex suggests that if a girl’s father has been emotionally or physically unavailable, abusive, or has been showcasing abnormal behavior. Chances are, when they grow up, they will adore a man who have similar qualities like their father.

Who was Electra?

In Greek mythology, Electra was the daughter of King Agamemnon and Queen Clytemnestra and the sister of Iphigenia, Chrysothemis and Orestes. In the mythology, Electra persuaded her brother, Orestes to kill their mother Clytemnestra and her lover, Aegisthus to avenge the murder of their father.

Is Electra Complex Real?

The idea of penis envy and rivalry with mother has been rejected by many psychologists and feminist theories. These studies about the concept do not support the idea that Electra complex is real. However, many psychologists also believe that the theories of psychoanalysis have an orthodox base. As uncomfortable as the thought might sound, the truth is that this could also be categorized into a problem originating from childhood experiences, wherein the child picks up behavioral patterns from her immediate environment, especially their parents. Seeking the same dynamics in relationship with other men could be an unconscious choice, however, if these feelings are addressed right in the beginning, a better & brighter future can be paved out for the child.

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