As a child we are born into a world with our human loving energy granting attachment to the first socially acceptable form of an attachment system we are aware of: our parents. Our sexuality is then determined. It is determined through our oscillating feelings of attachment to either parents or grandparents that develop through sexual channels in adolescence and early adulthood.
For a number of reasons this could be seen as a subversive and controversial take on subjects such as homosexuality, eroticism and the Oedipus Complex, which in my opinion might as well be considered in the same realm of credibility as Scientology. Why schools of thought surrounding childhood attachments are constantly affiliated with the Oedipus Complex in a way implies it’s credibility, however there are so many different layers of complexity to the nature of human sexuality that are not taken into consideration out of taboo or discomfort. Basically, as no one has suggested something monumental enough to combat the credibility of the Oedipus Complex, it remains as a socially accepted theory that doesn’t really serve much in terms of helping people understand their sexuality, and is fundamentally sexist. The emphasis on the mother’s role over both genders to this day is not addressed: it simply stands as an example of how mothers are glorified in our society by doing domestic work.
To surmount the theory I mentioned in the first paragraph over the Oedipus Complex, one cannot ignore the Oedipus Complex as a previously established pseudo-fact that has no productive place in contemporary social science. Basically what I’m trying to say is that when a baby is exposed to each parent, and sees each parent enacting gender roles, the child feels more obligated as they grow to find a place where these gender role fit into their self-perception. American society encourages this and this has been addressed on a contemporary level: gendered objects marketed towards children encourage their understanding of gender roles, and make for strong examples of how the child envisions their future offspring, and on the cycle goes.
It is my opinion that sexuality develops out of which parent provides the greater lack of attention to the child. If the mother and father or both aren’t able to provide the child with enough effective means of validation, the child’s self-perception will be warped and they will likely have trouble finding partners who are well-adjusted emotionally, unlike the child who was incapable of connecting with parents on a level that didn’t demand a level of self-sufficiency and constant hope that their familial situation will improve. The hope here at the early developmental stages is ironically the one factor that separates the child’s experience from what they understand about themselves as an adult; for a child, hope is not supposed to be at the forefront of their life’s agenda, as adults around them are supposed to be caring for their every need, literally. Perhaps if, as a society, we took a more lax stance on the way that children are supposed to develop specifically, and were more open-minded to the experiences of children as significant on an altruistic level, they might experience less pressure to both please and be like their parents.
Whichever parent is inaccessible to the child will, at the very least, set the stage for what they will expect from a romantic partner in the years to come. When our feedback receptors are craving things like food, it might be tempting for us to view our childhoods through the lens of a dog’s experience, because really, are humans no better when they’re children in need of food? Or, say, madly in love?
Essentially, everyone is observant. Each individual develops their own thought processes and opinions in regards to life as they age, and this is ongoing until we die. Why anyone would or should think anything different is basically hearsay. Age-based classification of experiences may come and go under the lens of modern science, however, there is a basic understanding on a human level that we are constantly learning, growing, and encountering problems that demand solutions crafted by the mind. As children, while we may be under the pressure of not knowing what basically anything is or how things work, we still maintain that constant drive to be observant.
The things we observe about our parents form the conclusions we draw about ourselves from a young age. Because of the level of kinship established between parent and child through displays of affection and rejection, as well as just general dependency on them for survival, (an this message being enforced daily), we may feel as though our knowledge of our parent’s personalities are some of the most special memories and facts we keep inside our brains. Enacting them by choosing a romantic partner that mimics these traits brings out the child within us, which can be one of the most psychologically gratifying experiences a person can have. Of course there are many other components to romantic relationships which demand attention in the context of this argument, but understanding that as humans we feel that our experiences (possibly all of our experiences) need to be validated is important.
Where sexuality comes into play specifically is much more complicated. I think there is a basic understanding among the majority of the human race that sleeping with a parent is disgusting for reasons that don’t really seem worth going into, for obvious reasons. The hope to again mimic something about our parent’s personalities or to “rediscover” a parental figure in a romantic partner is the basis of the Oedipus Complex, and while that part of it does make sense to me I think that that thought can be detached from the parent’s physicality. Rather, would an orphan be sexually attracted to people who remind her of supervisors at an orphanage? If this sounds wrong, is it not because the majority of the people who might read this essay cannot easily imagine the experience of an orphan with no adoptive parents, but can easily draw upon memories and thoughts of their parents’ actions. Maybe the devil you know simply manifests through patterns of that element of “rediscovery”, which, even in the romantic moments which command our highest level of critical thinking, comes before all else.