Valentine’s Day is Over-Genitalized

The content of this post has largely to do with where I work: A college campus, where romance and dating are, well, of significant interest.

You may recall from Psychology 101 Freud’s stages of psychosocial development: Oral, Anal, Phallic, Latency, and Genital. Well, as tomorrow is February 1 I’d just like to point out that I find Valentine’s Day over-genitalized. And I’d like your help in reversing the trend.

This post came to mind a few days ago when my wife brought home the class valentines for my sons to hand out to their respective Kindergarten and 3rd Grade classes. I love elementary school Valentine’s Day. Remember when everyone got a Valentine’s card? And it didn’t matter what gender you were? Boys gave valentines to boys and girls to girls. And so forth.

And then it dawned on me. My boys are in the latency stage (ages 6 to puberty). They don’t worry about homoeroticism (or heteroeroticism for that matter) when they exchange valentines. Their classrooms are not sexually charged.

But then puberty hits. And we enter Freud’s Genital Stage. And all of the sudden we become sexual creatures. For the rest of our lives. And Valentine’s Day gets ruined.

Remember Valentine’s Day in High School? Compare it to Valentine’s Day in elementary school. In elementary school, Valentine’s Day was about friendship and inclusion. Love was about philia.

But in High School Valentine’s Day becomes about boyfriends and girlfriends, about romance and hinted at sexuality. Love was about eros. And, thus, it became not about the many, but the few. The few lucky ones who had that special someone. Now, many people hate Valentine’s Day. It has become a reminder not of what you have—a host of friends who love you—but what you might not have (a date on February 14) or about what you have lost.

So I declare: Dr. Freud, your genital stage has ruined Valentine’s Day. I like the elementary school version better.

And I’m going to do what I can the change the trend. Valentine’s Day for all!

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7 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day is Over-Genitalized”

  1. Richard,

    Speaking of whimsy. Did you hear the joke about the Aggie filling out the employment form (it does relate to, well, possibly, the erotic)? He wrote his name in the appropriate spot. He proudly wrote that he had received a BS degree in agriculture. In the blank for Graduation Date he wrote: Mary Sue Jones.

  2. dr. beck, when should i stop by your office to pick up my valentine card from you? it better be something good

  3. Freshmen year of college, my friend from El Salvador gave me a Valentine's card, stating that in Latin America, Valentine's is also "Friendship Day." Perhaps there is hope - an inclusive Valentine's Day still exists in other parts of the world!

  4. I like valentine day. This is a more romantic day for each couple, whether
    they are girlfriend and boyfriend or simple friends? I really appreciate
    for this post!

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