Understanding Electra Complex and Daddy Issues

Table of Contents

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

According to Sigmund Freud, “‘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.

This concept plays a role 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. It is also known as Oedipus complex, based on the mythical Greek hero Oedipus, who accidentally fulfilled a prophecy that stated he will kill his father and marry his mother.

Girls and Daddy Issues


Freud suggested (as part of his theory of feminine oedipus attitude or negative oedipus complex) that a girl’s personality shifts when she realizes that she does not have the sexual organ similar to the opposite-sex parent, and thus, experiences envy (known as penis envy) for she believes she has been castrated previously. This makes them develop a dislike for their own kind 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 phallic stage, they will be sexually and romantically attracted to men who look like their father and strive for bearing a male child to claim the father’s role. The negative oedipus complex might result in a girl striving to dominate men by being highly seductive (having high self-esteem) or being overly submissive (having low self-esteem). This is what commonly is referred to as Daddy Issues in popular culture, referring to the idea of a girl’s relationship with her father.

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 the 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 a 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.

Related Articles for you

Browse Our Wellness Programs

Do the Magic. Do the Meditation.

Beat stress, anxiety, poor self-esteem, lack of confidence & even bad behavioural patterns with meditation.