Medicine: Mother Is Incidental

Dr. Sigmund Freud studied the Oedipus myth and came to a shocking conclusion: Oedipus, like most sons, was in love with his mother, and, as many a son would like to do, killed his father to get her. The Oedipus complex, said Freud, is an all-too-common ailment of mankind—"the essential part in the content of neuroses."

This week, a modern psychoanalyst brought forth another theory: Oedipus may have been unconsciously looking for power, rather than sex. Manhattan's Erich Fromm argued the point in a new anthology (The Family: Its Function and Destiny, edited by Ruth Nanda Anshen; Harper; $6). According to...

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