LATENCY PERIOD: The period of reduced sexuality that Freud believed occured between approximately age seven and adolescence. Freud claimed that children went through a "latency period" during which "we can observe a halt and retrogression in sexual development" (Introductory Lectures 16.326). During this time, the child also begins the process of what Freud terms "infantile amnesia": the repression and estrangement of those earliest childhood memories that we find traumatic, evil and/or overly sexual. Freud warns, however, that "The latency period may... be absent: it need not bring with it any interruption of sexual activity and sexual interests" (Introductory Lectures 16.326). See also Freud: Module 1 on psychosexual development.
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