Mother's boy, also mummy's boy or mama's boy, is a term for a man who is excessively attached to his mother at an age when men are expected to be independent (e.g. live on their own, be economically independent, married to a woman or about to be married). Anecdotally, this age of independence varies throughout each strata of every human society in the world, sometimes greatly. A mother's boy may be effete or effeminate, or might be perceived as being macho, or might have a personality disorder, such as avoidant personality disorder, or might be schizophrenic, so that the mother acts as a caretaker. In any case, a mother's boy cannot maintain a healthy partnership with a woman (Martyn Carruthers, 1998).
In classical Freudian psychoanalytic theory, the term Oedipus complex denotes a child's desire to have sexual relations with the parent of the opposite sex. Sigmund Freud believed that a child's identification with the same-sex parent is the successful resolution of the Oedipus complex. If this identification fails, the boy remains a lifelong mama's boy.
Being mother-bonded is sometimes seen as a sign of weakness, and has a social stigma attached to it in many places, although in other places it may be more acceptable or perceived as normal. A mother-bonded man is seen to give control of his own life to his mother.
- Father's girl
- Human bonding
- Oedipus complex
- Norman Bates
- Seymour Skinner
- Otis Wilson (nicknamed "Mama's Boy" as shown in the Super Bowl Shuffle)
- Martyn Carruthers: Mother-Son Emotional Incest - Part 1
- Charles Rycroft A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (London, 2nd Ed. 1995)
- Joseph Childers, Gary Hentzi eds. Columbia Dictionary of Modern Literary and Cultural Criticism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995)
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