Female Oedipus Complex

The female version of the Oedipal complex is known as the Electra Complex (hyperlink).This involves the subconscious sexual attachment of young girls to their fathers while they develop hostility towards their mothers.

Electra complex is theorized to be experienced at the age of three to six years old. Carl Jung coined this term in 1913 and based it on the Greek mythology of Electra, the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. Electra’s hostility against her mother stemmed from Clytemnestra’s affair with Aegisthus who killed Agamemnon. Electra then asked Orestes, her brother to help her kill their mother and Aegisthus.

Electra complex is framed as the counterpart of Sigmund Freud’s theorized Oedipus Complex (hyperlink). Freud’s theory only focused on boys and Jung thought that there should also be a certain concept for girls’ psychosexual stages. However, this theory is presently widely criticized.

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