This may be a thought from false information but even from some teachers I've heard quotes of how Sigmund Freud had a theory about how children are attracted to their parent of the opposite gender.

I was just thinking, is that the real theory? Or did Freud mean that we are attracted to the person that reminds us of our parent of the opposite gender either physically and/or emotionally?


Both are true, to my knowledge (in the sense that Freud did believe this). They relate to the Oedipus and Electra complexes, which are are core parts of classical Freudian theory.

Children, through the Oedipus and Electra complexes during the phallic developmental stage, where they sexually desire their same-sex parent, eventually come to identify with their same-sex parent by resolving these desires through different mechanisms. These mechanisms are castration anxiety, in boys, and penis envy, in girls.

He believed that these mechanisms would lead to partner preferences matching the same-sex parent. Freud also believed that failing to successfully resolve the Oedipus or Electra complex could lead to a host of "problems" in adulthood, like neurosis, pedophilia and homosexuality.

I don't need to say that this classical view is outdated and not supported by evidence or modern theories.

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    $\begingroup$ The second part is called transference: "the inappropriate repetition in the present of a relationship that was important in a person's childhood." / "the redirection of feelings and desires and especially of those unconsciously retained from childhood toward a new object." As cited here en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transference $\endgroup$
    – user7759
    Mar 28 '15 at 15:53

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