A description used by psychoanalysts of the subconscious attraction of a child for its parent of the opposite sex. This is accompanied by a wish to get rid of the parent of the same sex. The origin of the phrase lies in the Greek story in which Oedipus kills his father without realising who he is, then marries his mother. It has been suggested that the arrest of psychological development at the Oedipal stage may cause NEUROSIS and sexual dysfunction.
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