A mother's boy, also mummy's boy or mama's boy, is a man who is excessively attached to his mother at an age at which men are expected to be independent (e.g. live on their own, be economically independent, be married or about to be married). Due to cost of living of in some parts of the world, this is a viable option for many single men or even newlyweds. Anecdotally, this age of independence varies throughout each stratum 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 caregiver.
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 may be seen as a sign of weakness; in some cultures, it has a social stigma attached to it while in others, it is considered acceptable and perceived as normal. A mother-bonded man is seen to give control of his own life to his mother.
- Human bonding
- Norman Bates
- Otis Wilson (nicknamed "Mama's Boy" as shown in the Super Bowl Shuffle)
- Jewish mother
- Daddy's Girl
- 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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