Sexuality: a search for perspective; 1; Dr. James Leslie McCary - "Why Sex Education?"
I wanted my opinion. There is no sex revolution at the present time. There is more and more evidence that revote looms on the horizon. One can hardly have escape noticing a change in sexual attitudes in recent years as evidenced by the growing freedom with which sexual topics are discussed in the various communication media screwed synagogues churches and governmental circles as well as at cocktail parties and by the man on the street. Michigan State University radio presents sexuality a search for perspective a series of recorded lectures from an interdisciplinary colloquy on human sexuality held on the campus of Michigan State University. The purpose of this series is to provide a comprehensive discussion of human sexuality in its broadest possible perspective. And yet deal with this important and timely topic in an organized informed and rational manner. The lecturer today will be Dr. James Leslie Macquarie professor of
psychology at the University of Houston. Dr. McCary is a noted clinical psychologist and author of the recent book Human Sexuality. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association the American Association of marriage counselors and the American Academy of psychotherapists. His topic will be why sex education. Now Dr. James Leslie Macquarie I've been asked to concentrate my remarks today on the current efforts to understand the psycho physiological interdependence and human sexuality. I'm assuming that this interdependence refers to the effects that psychological and environmental factors can have on sexual functioning and vice versa. Understanding the human reproductive systems people's plumbing if you want a more succinct term
is certainly a snuffle matter. The failure to comprehend sexual anatomy and functioning then can only be attributed to the many sexual emotional hang ups that afflict us and as the inescapable results. Are the centrism misinformation guilt shame and mystery that have shrouded the subject of sex. We have indeed become uncomfortably sensitized to the very word itself. It is my firm belief and most scientific evidence supports my contention that the vast majority of problems we encounter in human sexual behavior would not exist if we did not have a disturbed attitude and emotional reaction toward sex. You will hear me say this many times today. Our sexual behavior is related to our sexual attitudes. These attitudes are in turn a direct result of the sex
education we have received or the lack of it. And now the misinformation that we carry into our sexual relationships. For this reason I wish to direct most of my allotted time today and my remaining energy to the subject of sex education and the crucial necessity of improving it. To say it another way. Why are we so filed up sexually in large Lipton's recent book The Erotic revolution. He states the oing sex ways the traditional morality of monogamous marriage are in a advanced state of decay and are losing ground with dizzying rapidity and that the new morality is made up of office wives swap clubs and uninhibited teenage sex. We are told that there are signs of a sex revolution all around us but in large cities homosexuality has become open and obvious and appears to be on the
increase. But the dam of censorship is burst and books are now published and so openly. Which would have horrified our grandparents. The recent book Sex and the college girls implies that virginity among college girls is almost nonexistent. Such books tell us these things but without a shred of truth. Furthermore they are designed and written to prey upon the repressed guilt ridden emotions surrounding sexual drives and desires. And of course to capture a fair share of the American dollar. Since the beginning of recorded history older generations have been in a state of shock and horror at the immorality and other unacceptable behavior of younger generations. It is not surprising then that newspaper and magazine articles organize groups and individuals are crying out that the nation is on the brink of ruin because of the sexual misconduct of its young people whom they
view as a decadent sexually loose amoral bunch who are riding toward hell on a motorcycle. They are to be sure those incidents that incite public outrage and that are offered as evidence of general moral degeneration among the young. But there have always been such occurrences and there are no more now. It is many. Then there were in the past about twenty four hundred years ago Socrates wrote. Quote children now love luxury. They have bad manners contempt for authority they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are tyrants not the servants of their household. In what scientific evidence which is free of emotional biases makes it overwhelmingly clear that the young people of today are as well adjusted mentally as mature and there's responsibilities and as decent a group of citizens
as America has ever known. Much has been written in recent years about the sexual revolution that is allegedly taking place. And while research findings in clinical judgments are not wholly consistent the general consensus is that there has been no revolution of any significance since the 1920s when those women born around the turn of the century came of age and set new sexual standards about that time around 1920. There was a significant increase in the incidence of premarital sexual intercourse. The percentage jump from 14 percent among women born before in 1900 to 36 percent among those born after 1900. Parent Thetic Lee I might mention that this change in incidence of premarital sexual intercourse occurred at the same time that women gain so-called equality with men in the economic and political arenas. There was another
circumstance that might also have been a contributing factor although the relationship is only suspect and not proven. It was about 1920 that a safe and satisfactory contraceptive device. The present day of vulcanized condoms became available. Sociological and psychological investigations indicated very few changes are occurring in the sexual mores of boys and girls of today although as one expects of members in a new generation they are working out new standards of thinking believing and behaving came to found in 1048 1953 that between the ages of 16 and 20 years 17 to 19 percent of the college girls were having premarital sex by the age 23. The percentage had risen to 30 percent and incidentally these figures are lower than those for the same age groups which had only grade school or high school
education. In 1959 Dr. Winston Irwin studied 1000 students at a large state university and found that considerable petting was occurring in boy girl relationships. But only one out of seven girls or about 15 percent were not virgins as compared with two out of three boys who were not virgins. In 1065 Dr Marvin Friedman and Dr. Mehmet Sanford concluded from their separate large scale studies that there is no decline in student morality. Both investigation showed that three fourths of the unmarried girls were virgins. And of those who were not by far the majority restricted premarital sex to their future husbands. Only two to three percent were promiscuous. In a recent preview of the new Kinsey Report The researchers found a few differences between the sexual attitudes and behavior of today's young men and women
and those sexual attitudes and behavior on which they reported 25 years earlier. Americans in general are not having sex relations at an earlier age than before. Although the age differences between the boy and girl at the time of first sexual intercourse is somewhat smaller the neophyte sexual partners mouth tend to be more nearly the same age. There is a bit more permissiveness on the part of girls and petting and the male is now somewhat more likely to have an emotional involvement with his sexual partner even though still by and large his first sexual experience is still with the casual pick up today. There is less tendency on the part of the male to exploit the girl in a sexual relationship. Furthermore both sexes enter into the relationship with the attitude that sex is fun rather than so much with the traumatic guilt ridden feelings so predominant in past generations.
This change has been particularly apparent among the females. Furthermore there is no evidence that the pill has increased sexual acting out promise good is not rampant among college students and there's been no great leap forward in coital permissiveness since the change in sexual behavior patterns that occurred in the 1920s. There is on the other hand a great amount of evidence that today's young people especially the college population are behaving responsibly. Indeed they demonstrate considerable moral strength in their concern for the welfare and rights of others. There will always be rebellious youths whose behavior will outrage certain segments of the citizenry and such outrage has a tendency to radiate to include all youths in the thinking of many adults. But every new generation has contained a core of rebellion and the only surprise
is that today there are not more rebellious acts and certainly they are no more than in past generations. As a matter of fact Group rebellion has often forced some of our most needed social reforms. Although when such insurgence begins it is interpreted by many simply as further evidence of the failure of adults to maintain proper control of their charges. While in my opinion there is no sex revolution at the present time. There is more and more evidence that revote looms on the horizon. One can hardly have a skate noticing a change in sexual attitudes in recent years as evidenced by the growing freedom with which sexual topics are discussed in the various communication media screwed synagogues churches and governmental circles as well as at cocktail parties and by the man on the street. But attitude in the ease of discussing them are not to be confused with behavior even those to whom a decision in the matter of sexual ethic is most pertinent. Today's
college students are bewildered and be doubled by the dichotomy between prevailing sexual attitudes and sexual behavior. For example although 75 percent of college girls express the belief that their classmates are sleeping around which is an attitude. Surveys and research studies consistently point out that actually only 20 percent of our college girls experience premarital sexual intercourse which is behavior. As mentioned earlier sexual behavior is essentially the result of our attitudes towards sex and these attitudes in turn are the product of the sort of sex education we have received and sex education began with the first intimate mother infant contacts. Instruction in sexual matters however involves infinitely more than the interrelationships between parents and child significant roles are played by many other influences. They are not only the general demands and expectations of this specific culture in which the
person lives but also the special differences in sexual ethics within that culture. Differences based on such variables as the individuals as well as the teachers type of religious affiliation and depth of involvement sex age educational level and socio economic strata. And since we are concerned about changes in sexual morality and sexual behavior and sense changes in behavior results from prevailing attitude we should investigate some of the present day attitudes toward sex. It should probably be underlined at the outset of any discussion of this nature the significant changes in human Mari behavior laws and social institutions occur only gradually especially slower changes in culturally acceptable sexual behavior. Because the orientation and experiences of childhood play strong limitations on the frequency form and freedom
of such behavior in adulthood with unfortunate ease sexual attitudes can fall under the pall of such cultural maladies and misinformation as misinformation and prudery. For example. Women are emancipated. Modern societies frequently have trouble with menstrual difficulties of one sort or another. Yet Margaret major anthropological studies of women of Samoa show that when they were questioned only one woman of the entire population even understood what was meant by pain or emotional imbalance during menstruation and that particular girl was in the employ of the island's white missionary family. Most of our sexual problems have similar emotionally disturbed Addisons. All people to a degree but Americans most particularly it would appear you are inclined to cling to their traditional ways of thinking and conducting themselves whether in politics religion or
whether it's sexual matters. They are reluctant to accept change or to be swayed by outside influences. However rational are beneficial. This rather blind adherence to tradition is found not only in major cultures but within specific subcultures as well. Probably the greatest social change to occur in recent years has been the emergence of women into a position of equality in American society the freedom imperative that women demanded and now enjoy in the United States have had a profound effect upon prevailing sexual attitudes according to the traditional American attitude. Women were presumed to have characteristically different sexual needs and drives and a woman having little amatory interest in sex participated in copula Tory activity only for the purpose of procreation or to please her husband. Most women today are unwilling to accept the notion that each sex is
subject to different standards in the matter of sexual desires and conduct. They expect the pleasure received from sexual activities as well as the restrictions governing them to be equally applicable to both sexes. It is interesting to speculate on why a more restrictions in sexual matters are placed on women than men and why women are the ones on who shoulders we place the responsibility for controlling sexual behavior of both men and women. It's not too difficult to see where some of our muddled and contradictory thinking along these lines got its start. I for one need look no further than at the patriarchal customs of biblical days to see at least part of the source. Hardly had life begun as related in the Bible before we find man putting the responsibility for sexual morals on the shoulders of the woman in Chapter 2 of Genesis. God told Adam to avoid fruit from the tree
of knowledge. And by chapter three Adam and Eve had already filed up and Eve was the fall guy. Besides being kicked out of their biblical supermarket the Garden of Eden. They had to wear clothes of pelts. And Eve was assigned to have birth pains and to submit to her husband. From this crummy beginning the girls had been fighting for equality. An interesting side effect of this struggle for equality is that the sexual attitudes of American women are often considerably healthier than those of American men. Chroniclers of sexual histories whether researchers or clinicians have found that women are far more open and honest in supplying their personal data than men are. Men frequently become embroiled in the question of self-esteem and may attempt to compensate for what they feel is a threat to their self-image by boasting with the consequence that the data they provide are often unreliable.
Despite the recent liberalizing evolution in the realm of women's rights certain differences between the sexual attitudes of the two sexes continue to be forged by such factors as childhood rearing. The expectations of society and certain physiological agents premarital chastity particularly for girls is still considered an ideal even though as Thomas Patton Berger says society no longer takes the past position that all premarital Quietus is and is evil and that the offender should be punished. The most significant deterrent to premarital sexual activity are religious and moral codes that condemn it. Family training various fears a desire to wait until marriage the lack of opportunity and the lack of desire fear of pregnancy was a stronger turn in the past. But it is no longer regarded as a prime factor in premarital continence
other changes in sexual attitudes have their basis in the protracted period of adolescence that shifts in the American social structure have imposed upon its use. The imposition of additional educational and vocational requirements has made necessary and extended adolescence. Yet the age of the youngsters physical maturation comes considerably earlier than it did in previous generations. Because of these two considerations the period of social adolescence is now approximately twice as long as it was 100 years ago. During this prolonged period of youth the two sexes begin to develop different attitudes toward premarital sexual activity. The natural feelings of insecurity which adolescence breeds in the increase in physical drive especially in the boys make the adolescent particularly susceptible to the Hawkings of Madison Avenue when it extolled the supreme value of sex appeal and striving toward popularity or success admiration security and the
like. Boys are propagandized through the various mass communication media to believe that their masculinity that is their success as a man depends upon their success and subduction. The further they go with girls sexually the more masculine they are in their own eyes and from the viewpoint of their peer group. Girls on the other hand are indoctrinated in the importance of being sexy. They are exhorted to purchased an often ludicrous and you shameless conglomerate of products that according to the advertisements are guaranteed to increase sexual attractiveness. A young girl is indeed in a delicate position. She must appear and acts sexy in order to attract as many boys and to have as many dates as possible because these are the symbols in her all important peer group of popularity and social success at the same time however she must hold a lot of propriety because otherwise she risk losing her good girl status with the
consequent loss of prestige. Girls too often are favorably evaluated by their peer group. Only in correlation with their popularity and dating and the number of boys whom they caused to make open affectionate commitments coupled with their ability to remain free of sexual involvements as boys and girls grow older they come to adopt a more permissive sexual code of behavior. This doubtless is due in part to the fact that the younger teenagers submit uncritically to the traditional sexual ethic of their parents. But as they grow older and think more and more independently of their parents they come to a progressively greater extent under the influence of outside values particularly those of their peer groups. Let me remind you again high ever that even with recent relaxation and sexual code changes in teenage sexual behavior have been in the direction of increased petting rather than of
increased caution. An example of the often curious difference between attitude and behavior lies in the fact that many people in our culture especially men have difficulty entering into warm close loving interchanges with others. Little boys are often taught that to be tender and compassionate is to show characteristics of being a sissy. Little girls are admonished that it is Forward to be warmly responsible to grow up in an environment that restricts positive emotional responses makes it likely that the individual learn to express only negative emotions such as anger and hostility all the same. These people grow into adulthood with the abstract knowledge that some warm emotional exchanges are vital and expected in successful sexual interaction. But since they learn from their formative years to express only negative emotional responses these people will actually
instigate quarrels or fights with their sexual partner in order to express the only type of emotion out of they understand. Men who have never learned how to express tenderness or who are afraid to do so will often ignore the woman with whom they are sexually involved or make belittling remarks to her. These men want to demonstrate their commitment but not knowing how to use the appropriate positive emotions they use the only emotional expressions they are familiar with the negative ones. If the conflict in sexual attitudes is expressed by adolescent as well as adult males and what has been called the prince's prostitute syndrome that is the good girls don't the bad girls do attitude of some males. This data tude impels them toward intercourse with girls whom they do not care for since they consider girls whom they respect too good to become involved in
sexual activity. However the cause of their fondness for the good girls and their developing emotional closeness to them. The boys may become sexually aroused as a more intimate relationship grows sexual behavior may well progress in some cases to sexual intercourse as a result. The young boy often loses respect for the good girl who in his eyes now has turned bad and he may quite like to terminate the relationship or he may develop strong guilt feelings for seducing a good girl. A sad byproduct of an over emphasis of the good girls don't bad girls do training is that men frequently find this concept carrying over into their marriages with the result that they are unable to function sexually with the good girls they marry to involve his princes in freely expressed enjoyable sexual activity would in essence make her a bad girl. Furthermore who are the good girls in these mans early lives. Their mothers and
sisters. And it follows that sex with a good girl even in marriage would smack of incest. These thing poor men might well be able to perform quite adequately with prostitutes or some other women for whom they have little respect or admiration. That is the bad girls. Clinicians have presented convincing arguments that many men are beset with considerably more guilt over sexual matters than women are. Their premise is that women and non marital sex relationships especially usually and understandably want reassurance that they are dishonored and respected for more than their sexual performance. Women want assurance that their man will not kiss and tail and that they will maintain the same level of regard for them after sexual intercourse as before. A man on the other hand feels that as the instigator of the sex act he is this is and that the responsibility for the girl's
participation rest squarely on his shoulders to placate his own deal. Therefore he must either feel that there is love in the relationship or that the girl is bad. Furthermore since he feels guilty about his subduction of the girl he comes to regard her as the instigator of his deal. He is then impale to express his hostility and anger by quarrelling or fighting with or speaking to her in a degrading manner or otherwise manifesting his rejection of or the very girl who thought enough of him to share with him the most intimate of human experiences. Fortunately both men and women can be taught to a lock to allow themselves the joy of experiencing close warm and loving relationships. If they have not acquired this knowledge through normal maturation processes or through experience and observations psychotherapy can help them gain insight into the immense value of manifestations of affection.
When men and women recognize that free expression of affection is certainly nothing to fear nor a barometer of weakness or a feminist see. All very human relationships including the sexual one will be much fuller and happier in the matter of men showing affection it might be mentioned at this juncture that women often accuse their husbands of showing affection toward them only when they have intercourse in mind. Husbands deny this. What often happens is that the husband commits is simply to show affection to his wife with no ulterior motive in mind. However in the process of expressing affection especially if the wife responds warmly the husband may well become sexually excited. The wife then judges only in terms of the final outcome and not the initial of her husband. Girls in their mid teens began to recognize that in our society the male
is supposed to be strong and confident and to offer security to his female. Not having the insight to lead your experience to evaluate what constitutes genuine genuine strength on the part of a boy or a man. And furthermore feeling inadequate herself the girl actually does not know what to look for by way of indicators of masculine strength and may come to accept certain warped manifestations as qualities of manliness. These are the girls who are often impressed by the tough guys the Hellraiser who is defiant of rudes and the society that makes them the leather jacketed thought on his motorcycle. The school dropout committed to tobacco alcohol and profanity and to little else and why the dragster Who is this reckless of human life as he is of human sensibilities. These girls have no way of assessing such behavioral patterns as being attempts by the boys. To mask the marked feelings of inferiority that overwhelm and threaten them.
The very thing therefore that a young girl wishes to avoid inadequacy and weakness in a man are what she is unwittingly courting. When she looks to the tough guy as an ideal. An unfortunate byproduct of this twisted set of values is that the nice boy who attempts to create such a girl with kindness and honesty but who has no need to prove his adequacy about the unacceptable acting out behavior described above is too often ignored if not regarded with downright contempt by her. Other factors enter into the emotional complex complexities of these girls as mentioned earlier they are crossing the threshold into physical maturity and feel inadequate to cope with their social and sexual problems that this new role poses. Since many girls evaluate themselves as rather worthless and insufficient beings the boys who behave decently and compassionately toward them cannot they
reason have very good judgment. Often the boys offer their friendship so unselfishly they must not be of much value themselves. It follows according to these girls rationale that the boys who callously ignore and mistreat them are exhibiting good judgement and are there for the obvious strong masculine ones. The social or sexual Werther's. Furthermore these girls have normal sexual desires and wishes but frequently feel guilty about them and it ensues in their thinking that in our society guilt demands punishment. Therefore by selecting one of the tough guys such a girl is able not only to satisfy her sexual desires but at the same time to assure her punishment because unconsciously or otherwise she realizes that sooner or later she will be and she will be mistreated or rejected by this unsavory boy.
It is incidentally a widely recognized to be nominal among psychotherapists marriage counselors that many women marry problem in. For example alcoholics because they have an unconscious need to be punished. These then are some of the attitudes which form the foundation of our present and future sexual behavior. It should be apparent to each of us that many of our rigid outmoded on realistic and guilt laden attitudes must be changed. It should be equally apparent that the responsibility for these changes rest squarely on the shoulders of the parents and other decent citizens of the community who are in a position to teach and to mold new ways of thinking and behaving among young people today. It strikes me however that so long as we older people maintain some of our own neurotic and self-defeating behavior we are not likely to get very far in compelling young people to listen to what we have to say. Despite our own shortcomings it is still our responsibility to give guidance to young
people and to try to bring more consistency into our own preachments and behavior. And that's been said before. We know that sexual behavior clearly is the result of sexual attitudes and that sexual attitudes clearly are the result of the sort of sex education to which people have been exposed. The transition then from unrealistic guilt infused sexual attitudes rests solely on the quality of sex education we give our young people and to afford them proper education in this realm may well require a process of re-education on the part of the adult population. But this is a good thing too because it is never too late for any of us and might in fact open new vistas of fulfillment and satisfaction. In a recent survey high school honor students criticized their parents most for having failed to discuss with them the subject of human
sexuality. Two thirds of these students had never been told anything about sex by their parents. The others had received only cursory information and that was faulty and garbled information about sex frequently erroneous and steeped in negative emotionalism is most often received from young people's peer group. Usually through the medium of bad jokes and secondarily from their parents very little comes from public schools and similar institutions. Most of those who learned the basic facts of their sexuality learn them too late to help them through the initial period of such of adjustment. For example in another survey about two thirds of the boys who were told about sexual intercourse by their parents already knew about it and perhaps half of it already experienced it. And about 70 percent of women canvassed in still another study reported that they had been led to believe and chiefly by their mothers that sex was dirty.
Why this distressing situation is so common is quite simple. Parents are a field with shame and guilt about sex and are themselves painfully uncertain in what they genuinely believe about sexuality and sexual behavior. They are reluctant to admit to this confusion and they often have little valid information on the subject. Rectifying the state of affairs is however not a simple matter one might readily ask how young people can be trained in a healthy attitude towards sex when the adult society in which they live is unable to reach a consensus on sexual matters. If agreement for instance cannot be reached on the moral right of married adults to have free access to contraceptive information or to engage in whatever kinds of sexual activity day wish in the privacy of their bedroom How can agreement on a moral or legal code of sexual behavior for the young and unmarried be expected. It is indeed unfortunate but nonetheless true that today
there is no clearly accepted or acceptable code of sexual beliefs and behavior in our society. Adults will have to resolve their own illogical and guilt ridden sexual attitudes before the young in their charge can become educated rather than indoctrinated. Until such time perplexity and irrationality in the sexual sphere are liable to be perpetuated from one generation to another. Laymen and scientists are like too often are strangely reluctant to accept scientific findings or even to give unbiased examination to new data in the field of human sexuality. When new investigations appear to lend support to time honored prejudices they are quickly accepted as being scientifically impeccable. However when contemporary search fails to confirm cherished theories the research tends to be discounted as suspect its conclusions judged as being quite likely distorted
by sample an examiner bought us such a suspicious attitude. I have been seen in certain public reactions to the recent work of the Kinsey investigators into the work of Masters and Johnson on the subject of human sexual response. The Kinsey workers were specially harassed as came to commented in his first book. Quote during the first year or two we were repeatedly warned of the dangers involved in the undertaking and were threatened with specific problem. There were some organized opposition chiefly from a particular medical group. There were attempts by the medical association in one city to bring suit on the ground that we were practicing medicine without a license. Police in offense in two or three cities investigations share in one rule area and attempt to persuade the university administration to stop the study or to prevent the publication of the results or to dismiss the senior author from his university connection or to establish a Since your overall
publication emanating from the study and school. The many approaches to an ethical sex education range from advocating the avoidance of sexual experiences all together to openly approving complete sexual freedom. At one extreme is the ostrich like position that there should not be in a sex education. A problem not face squarely It is hoped will quietly disappear. Sexual conflicts unhappy marriages premarital pregnancies abortions and a general anxiety in sexual matters are all sad testimonials to the fallacy of this premise. Next on the continuum of sex education theories is the thou shalt not approach which treats sexuality as a gift from God that is to be used soley for the purpose of procreation. Judge from this viewpoint sexuality used for any other reason becomes immoral animalistic and the following.
The Thou shalt not approach obviously denies the basic fact that man biological sex drive will one way or another find expression. It is thus less than realistic and probably produces more conflict. Than the total ignorance imposed by the first theory. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that the guilt ridden moralistic patients crowding the offices of marriage counselors and psychotherapists have largely been molded by the vow shell not philosophy of sex education. The next approach on the continuum is that the fledgling should be inundated with facts. Sex is hereby stripped entirely of its veil of secluded innocence sanctity and is presented in an embellished fashion without any suggestions of its emotional content. According to this approach since sex is a physical drive it should be discussed in terms of physiological data and in a straightforward manner. Omitting
any psychological considerations or emotional overtones what this approach ignores is the incontestable fact. That sexual activity is far more meaningful when it takes place between people who love or at least one another. Then it is say in masturbation or when love or affection is absent. At the far end of this continuum is a viewpoint which might be called sexual anarchy. This theory of sex education urges the removal of all blocks to sexual freedom and would grant unrestrained license to any act that individual sexual needs and desires might dictate. The only qualification being that no heard or injury before all others such permissiveness of course challenges the value of virginity and monogamy as well as the other popularly approved sexual conditions. This precept implies that sexual activity should be regarded as fun and uninhibited by shame guilt tradition or any code of morality
to a degree. Such a permissive sexual ethic has much to commend it because so many of our taboos are senseless and act only to inhibit emotional growth development and happiness. However the man does not pass his days in isolation from his fellow man and he cannot therefore expect to defy openly and consistently the mores of society especially those of such emotion laden content without encountering societies around. Since most of us are influenced willingly or not directly or indirectly consciously or unconsciously by our associates it is wiser to conduct ourselves in a manner that is fairly closely related to expected patterns of behavior at least in so far as others know. Otherwise we shall find ourselves reprimanded rejected or even jailed with a painful backwash of sociological and psychological problems.
The safest solution to this dilemma would appear to be a course of compromise in selectiveness among the various philosophies of sex education. Certainly sexual needs should be permitted expression unadorned information about the physiological and psychological aspects of sex should be presented to all and the Judeo-Christian tradition within which we live must be understood and dealt with sensibly in the framework of present day society. The relative freedom of expression in sexual matters is justified because of individual differences and sexual preferences emotional and personality factors should be considered in striving for greatest sexual satisfaction and happiness. There are few absolutes in this world and only the bigots establish an inflexible code of sexual morality based soley on the rightness or wrongness of the culmination or omission of a specific sexual act. Generally speaking the consequence of a certain act upon society is
a far better criterion for judging its more oddity to expect healthy males and females to avoid or to inhibit all expressions of their sexual needs and drives is unrealistic to say the least. It is true that different cultures and subcultures permit varied means of expressing sexuality and hardly any group fails to recognize that the need is present and that it will be expressed. It is well recognized that if the sexual needs are not expressed in one way then they will in another. Thus by denying healthy expressions of the sexual impulses we are in reality encouraging its expression through the guise of psychoses neuroses personality maladjustment guilt inadequacy feelings psycho physiological sexual difficulties and true sexual perversions. And the last part of the 19th century. A physician wrote in a medical journal that he did not
believe that one bride in 100 married with the expectation of sexual gratification. What direction the expression of the denied sexual impulses took is a question the physician failed to consider or at least to answer much of a normal person's behavior is influenced by the inhibition of sexual impulses and the displacement of the expression of these impulses into other channels. For example we consciously are disturbed by the thought of premarital extramarital sexual relationships. Yet we show our unconscious interest in and perhaps desire are for these very acts by joking about them or otherwise showing excessive interest. Consider how many of us laugh at or express horror over the less than conventional behavior of certain luminaries in the entertainment world. You have races that follow every detail however exaggerated of their activity. We thereby
satisfy our own desires conscious or unconscious by identifying with these people get at the same time by pointing the accusing finger at them. We avoid self guilt the attentions accrued from a denial of our desires are thus drained off through joking in life. Certainly this is not to say that control and appropriate expressions are sexual needs according to time and place are not desirable or necessary but to set up unrealistic and unreasonable prohibitions whether directly or through the mechanism of guilt is setting the stage for trouble now or later. In his TOS volume survey of contemporary American attitudes on sex love marriage and family relations that is the folklore of Sex and the American sexual craggy Albert Ellis made a painstaking examination of stories. Advertisements books magazines newspapers movies and other
mass communication medium. He concluded are His conclusion was that our willfully inadequate sex education with the resulting neurotic repression and inhibition of normal expression has had a great Libertarius effect on our lives and behavior. There is little doubt that our guilt shame and unrealistic demands and expectations in the realm of sex. Cause are distorted approach to an interest in this normal human need pictures of near nudes on paperback books. The burgeoning sales of girlie magazines. The use of attractive women with subducted voices and voluptuous figures as modern day hucksters to sell everything from shoe polish to salad dressing the suggestive adult ads adult only ads for many films. All of these pointed out the manner in which our mishandle sexual drives are being expressed.
We allowed this display of sexual force to pervade almost every aspect of our lives. In a recent incident the only way a department store owner in Birmingham England could quell the indignation of one of the shoppers inspecting his negligee clad Mankins was to put wedding rings on the Mankins fingers. A current slogan States movies are better than ever. Why. Because films according to their advertisements contain more bedroom scenes and more snide sexual innuendos than ever. If an enterprising producer were to make a motion picture of Little Red Riding Hood and wanted to assure its financial success he need only to designated as an adult movie with no children's tickets to be sold. Now mind you this does not mean no tickets will be sold to children just most children's tickets. After all children a fair play of this game also.
The advertisements might well portray Miss Hood as a buxom candy being almost but not quite seduced by a lust for bare chested human will. The workshop or X in hand would be prominently displayed in the ads for those who like aggression or sadism in their sexual fantasies. It follows that grandmother is shown languishing on her queen size bed dressed in a flimsy nightgown. Her expression is suggestive more of longing and sexual deprivation than of the illness. The sad conclusion to be drawn from all these particulars is that our thinking in sexual matters has become warped by the residual of guilt ignorance and inappropriate means of contending with aggressive and erotic urges. It is not that the questionable advertisements fictions illustrations and the like in our mass communication media have a strong effect upon our aggressive and sexual behavior.
To the contrary they merely mirror our sexual anxieties. Too often parents rely on the supposition that if their children do not know about sex they will avoid it and will consequently lead a sexually I'm going to lie. Nothing could be further from the truth. For example parents will frequently withhold information on contraceptive and venereal diseases and there will recount only the dangers and the shames of illegitimate pregnancy and VD. Expecting these reproaches to keep their children from engaging in premarital coitus yet the findings of the Kinsey group disclosed that only 44 percent of the unmarried women interviewed listed fear of pregnancy and this was long before the pill as a deterrent to sexual intercourse and only 14 percent listed fear of a narrow disease as a deterrent. Before the modern swiftly effective cures for of for venereal diseases were available
and when these social diseases were greatly feared people nonetheless readily engaged in sexual relations even with partners whose freedom from infection was not determined. Investigating the correlation between fear of VD and its incidence. One study recently showed that up psychologically normal men who had no fear of the narrow infection fifteen point four percent contracted one of the diseases of those who had a higher and moderate fear. The percentage actually rose to twenty point eight percent and of those who had a very strong fear. Fifteen point three percent became infected. A recent study of unmarried pregnant girls showed that they had received little or no sex education either from home or screw and that their mothers either lacked proper sex knowledge themselves or were unable or unwilling unwilling to give proper instructions to their daughters. And one recent study on
followup pregnancies show that sex and sex education will decrease repeated pregnancies in unmarried girls. About 80 percent. It by no means follows on the other hand that a girl having adequate knowledge of contraceptive devices is an assurance that she will use one album if and when she has premarital sexual intercourse. The evidence is to the contrary. Many girls reason that contraception is the boy's responsibility and that if they took it upon themselves to ensure that some contraceptive method were available it would appear that they were both overly willing for Quietus and premeditated in their behavior. What contraception should a parent to become somebodies business in as much as one in six brides in America is pregnant when she marries. Curiously many of these unwanted pregnancies occurs among the religiously devout who despite their determination to refrain from sin are somehow lose control of their
emotions and get swept into the act of sexual intercourse. The World Health Organization states that ignorance not knowledge of sexual matters is the cause of sexual misadventure ie the clinical experience of most psychotherapists and marriage counselors certainly lends support to this viewpoint as does the subsequent strife and heartbreak of parents and their children who become victims of sexual misadventure. That parents possessed little enough accurate information no sex may be true. But what they do have should be shared in an open and honest manner with their children. Even though their own guilt and confusion in the area often make this a most difficult task. The important thing nevertheless is their openness with their children on this most crucial subject. For parents who do not have accurate or adequate information or who are actually afraid or ashamed to talk with their children on the subject of sex there are books physicians psychologist and various
agencies from which the children and the parents for that matter can get a sex education with a minimum of emotional stress. Even here however there is danger of unwittingly selecting an emotionally oriented factually unscientific book or a counselor who has his own problems. It is unfortunately true that except for an adequate knowledge of reproductive processes physicians as a group are grievously ignored and are actually rather prudish in matters of human sexuality. Furthermore it has been established that because of training of ministers in marriage counseling is grossly inadequate and because they are lamentably uninformed or plainly misinformed. Only 15 percent of such counseling service can be considered competent. The impact on married your adequate early sex information can be judged from Clifford Kirkpatrick's analysis of the components of sexual marital adjustment. The subjects of his survey ranked adequate sex information in
childhood. Third in importance among the leading 10 factors considered fundamental to a successful marriage. Falling behind. Only happiness of parents marriage and adequate length of acquaintanceship courtship and engagement. Marital happiness depends to an important agree upon the sexual adjustment in sexual just move the pins upon proper sex education. For example certain physiological or non anomalies have been found to be related to sex education into emotions. Most women who suffer from premenstrual tension and difficult ministration have a background of parental discord and sex education from a mother who presented it in a deprecating manner. Many other scientifically controlled studies point clearly to the fact that sexual adjustment and satisfaction are directly correlated with emotional stability and maturity. And with having received an adequate sex education. My own conclusions arrived at after 20 years in the classroom among young
people and as a clinical psychologist. Are that indeed we do need a new sex morality one based on sense rather than mindless prejudice on compassion rather than rigidity. And my feeling is that we will never achieve proper sexual stability and mental health undisputed requirements for maturity until we have instigated and persevered with a sound sex education for everyone. And since the sex education is not and apparently cannot properly be given in home or in the church it has to be given in the schools. Like it or not this goal means that those of us who are in a position to instruct. Must freely admit to what we do not know. At the same time seeking accepting and teaching that which we know to be the truth no matter how far it deviates from our own expectations and personal needs. We must educate not indoctrinate. Teach facts
not fallacies. Be objective not subjective. Be democratic not autocratic. Aide the young and formulating a code of ethics and avoid passing on to them our own irrelevant guilt producing emotionally biased opinions. This will be difficult because most people have grown up in a culture which produces new spouses most or all of the negative agents in sexual ignorance and maladjustment Richard Starnes in the New York World Telegram and Sun sums up this problem fairly well with his comment that. Never in the history has a nation talk so much about prudery from a basically horizontal position. But despite these difficulties we can and must correct these problems if we are to grow and mature in a healthy manner. The sex education movement has barely begun but great strides can be made and rapidly if we push aside public apathy resolve to overcome
- Episode Number
- Producing Organization
- Michigan State University
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Other Description
- A series of lectures from an interdisciplinary colloquy on human sexuality, held on the campus of Michigan State University.
- Social Issues
- Media type
Editor: Jensen, Steve
Producing Organization: Michigan State University
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 70-SUPPL (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “Sexuality: a search for perspective; 1; Dr. James Leslie McCary - "Why Sex Education?",” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 17, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-0k26fc1z.
- MLA: “Sexuality: a search for perspective; 1; Dr. James Leslie McCary - "Why Sex Education?".” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 17, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-0k26fc1z>.
- APA: Sexuality: a search for perspective; 1; Dr. James Leslie McCary - "Why Sex Education?". Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-0k26fc1z