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Maternal Eroticism

  • By: Marcella Bush Trevino
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

The bond between a mother and her infant, commonly known as the maternal bond, is believed to be the earliest and strongest of the bonds that humans develop. It is formed during pregnancy and strengthened in infancy and early childhood. The maternal bond often has an erotic component, as mothers experience erotic feelings toward their children and vice versa.

These feelings occur most often between mothers and sons and form the impetus behind renowned Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud's Oedipal theory that male children wish to symbolically kill their fathers and marry their mothers. This theory forms the basis for modern psychoanalysis. The act of breastfeeding can displace these feelings in infancy, but mothers are expected to repress erotic feelings as their children develop, since these feelings ...

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