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Human Sexuality. This is the first in a series of seven classes given as part of a four college course in human sexuality sponsored jointly by Amherst Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts. Today Dr. Haskell Copeland professor of psychology at Amherst College speaks on the subject of human sexuality. On this you know auspicious evening. I don't know what the status of co-education is at Smith or what your intentions are but if there was ever a coeducational course this is it. If we ask why do we why are we interested in the course in human sexuality I could offer a number of possible reasons why we find it salient. First of all there's a good deal of feeling that no matter what your background and experience in the past has been with respect to information and attitudes and training with respect to
sexuality that is probably very useful for an individual to have access to a body of information that he can tap anonymously or more or less anonymously presented in a non pejorative manner that is typically in our society the concept of sex is bad and we want to try to neutralize it at least for the purposes of presentation. We want to end this course to talk very candidly and freely about a wide range of topics and so you will bear with us when we do not mince words and we deal very frankly with many of the kinds of problems we will try to in the question period as well as in our lectures deal with utmost candor and we hope that you will also do that and we will feel that no holds barred when it comes to the kinds of questions that you will ask. At Amherst and at Smith last year we've given over the last few
years a sex information inventory it's not a very good one but it does reveal the range and extent of your information about various topics having to do with sex sex adjustment sex information and so forth. I tell students in the marriage and family course on the basis of their responses that. On the basis of what they now know about sex their wife will have her 10th child before she has her first menstrual period and that they will cut themselves out of some 30 years of sexual pleasure in marriage on the basis of what they know. That's because many men do not know that a woman obvious late before she minced rates following the birth of a baby and therefore could become pregnant. They also do not know that at minute pause it isn't all over.
Indeed it goes on for some thirty or forty years depending on how how long a person lives and while it may last longer for the woman because interesting only enough sexual response is not tied as much to hormonal inputs as it is in the male. Still even males continue to have sexual activity right on up through the very late period. Old par if some of you know was one of the subjects that Reubens painted and he fathered a child at 100 and then was caught on and adultery charges one hundred twenty. There is a good deal of misinformation and this is not because people aren't well read it's just that we can't eat out of the same trough so to speak and we're like ants with social stomachs we share the same you know body of information and a lot of this is erroneous
partly because its sources are within the group and it's passed on frequently as the facts of life when actually it's very made up very much of opinion so that we're going to spend a good deal of time and I hope the question periods will be specially related to clarifying misconceptions about basic ideas. We'll see as we get into more basic physiology of sex response that there are a wide range of old wives tales that still persist even among enlightened individuals. There's a good deal that we will get into later about the differences in physiological response between men and women on the sexual side. Such ideas and even most recently and you'll hear this word again and again this this particular reference to the Masters and Johnson studies because they're very. Late and accurate source of information for some of the kinds of things we'll be talking about indicate a number of
kinds of things that have a good deal to do with the possibilities for individuals finding a happier sexual adjustment for example. There has always been the notion that there is some kind of two different kinds of sexual response and women. A clinical orgasm and a valid gentle orgasm. And this belief has led many women to feel that if they weren't having the right kind it was somehow all over now that we are delighted to be able to say that there's only one kind you know an orgasm it takes a lot of people off the hook. Another kind of information that we find useful to know is that and this is a problem that we will see many reasons when we talk about psychosexual development that for many men especially in our culture the size of the penis for example is supposed to be very important. It is very important to the male because it's tied up with his image of himself. The Masters and Johnson study shows however that
sexual adequacy that is the capacity to give sex satisfaction to the woman and all of the basic physiological aspects of sexuality are not related to this. So that that takes many men off the hook. So I think it's this kind of thing just as an example although we've seen many of these all the way through that we want to stress here. Now there's a warning at the beginning here and that is that we are going to talk about human sexuality and not just human reproduction. One warning that we might offer in relation to this is that one can become a slave to technique and information so that it robs one of the capacity to understand and enjoy and appreciate a lot of the aspects of human sexuality that can't be reduced down to formula and can't be reduced down to technique and this kind of thing and so
we will certainly be interested in some of these aspects but I think our major concern will be in those areas having to do with attitudes feelings and so forth rather than on the mechanics of sex. One other running that I would make here and that is there is a kind of tyranny in statistics and everyone listens out of the corner of his mind. Where do I fall on the continuum this is whether or not one has had premarital sexual relations. How experienced one is whether one has an orgasm or not. Especially this is in the case of the woman and so on and so forth. I think we want to emphasize immediately here that our our approach is not to be a normative one that somehow whatever is the prevailing attitude or norm is somehow dictates the way it is or the right response but rather that this is simply an interesting way of looking at data rather than that it somehow dictates.
Most of you will. Rather soon perhaps be entering marriage and parenthood. And it's probably very useful for you to have a background of information and even more than that objectivity and emotionally mature attitudes for the task of rearing your own children so that they have a fair chance. At developing healthy sexual. Attitudes. What about nudity. You know what do you parade in front of your children do you allow them to see you undressed. And what about Mother and Father Mother and daughter father son talks should they occur and when. What do you do if you find the child stimulating himself. Sexually or sexually experimenting with the little girl or little boy next door as the case may be. What do you do when an adult exposes himself to the child. What do you tell a man when how do you handle such things what do you do if little Johnny is much more given to playing with the girls next door rather than the rough and
tumble do you tell him to get in there and fight it out or are you doing do you encourage him to go and play in the less threatening atmosphere of his of his little girl friends. This is the kind of question that one must ask as a parent. Then you're all going to be voting citizens and you will be you know running it for the next generation and you are going to inherit from my generation the most absurd conjuring of laws that this country has ever seen with respect to human sexuality. This is a society which in its different states punishes the act of homosexuality all the way from one night in jail if you're in New York to life in prison and in another state for the same identical act. It is the society that labels as perverse and punishes them in the courts acts that are practiced by a
large percentage of individuals who are married and acts which are considered not only not perverse by psychologists and psychiatrists and students of human behavior but perfectly normal aspects of human sexual expression for example. And I note students have heard me who have heard me know that this is my pet. Bet you are. Is the Massachusetts laws with respect to sex. It's against the law in Massachusetts to point to case. And the penalty is three months in jail and three hundred dollars. It's against the law in the state of Massachusetts to pet. And the penalties are six months in jail and six. And any man who knowingly gives to any woman to whom he is not
married any drug including alcohol for the purposes of narrowing her resistances. To having sexual relations he doesn't have to succeed. The penalty is three hundred dollars and three months in jail. There is also because certainly each person who comes to marriage into the sexual contract even. And when we think now we're not going to limit our discussions to people who are married we will talk about the whole problem of sexual ethics a little later. There simply is a need for basic information in advance of those circumstances in which an individual will need to practice or to know about these kinds of things. It doesn't do the job to wait until the wedding night to find out. And this is why as we will see sex begin sexual human sexual behavior
begins in infancy not at puberty or not when one gets married and we will be stressing this all the way through. Now one thing that will immediately emerge in your seminars because the whole point of this least one of the points of it is to really get an exchange of information and ideas. In our next two lectures we're going to see why there is a talking past each other when it comes to boys and girls men and women getting together sharing attitudes and feelings about sex because there are some fundamental biological and attitudinal differences which subtend their basic behaviors in in sexual encounters and we want to be looking at some of these even more importantly I think each of us now. Lives in a culture in which there is no longer a single standard of sexual behavior. We're seeing a burgeoning. Sexual
experimentation exploration in terms of attitudes and moral value systems and so forth and so we know we no longer can say with any kind of certainty that we are a single standard society. Actually right in this room probably there is a generation gap between peers that is considerably greater then the generation gap between you and your parents and by that I mean there is such a wide range of experience and attitudes and what you've been exposed to so that within this group we will see strong differences. One thing that we can point to before we even talk about this range of differences is that it's important to realize that. Moral opinions and attitudes somehow can exist as a function of individuals belief systems and it's important to recognize the need to
respect the rights of individuals to hold beliefs other than our own. There's something powerfully persuasive about some of the kinds of arguments that are given for one or the other system. What I hope we will arrive at here is an appreciation of the differences as well as sharpen one's own sharpening one's own reasons for believing the way he believes and indeed challenging some of his own beliefs through the confrontation of the attitudes of other people and the kinds of information that one might learn in this kind of free discourse. One psychiatrist who is a sexologist has listed the various sort of systems of morality or or belief with respect to sexual attitudes in our society and it might be useful to just to point to these points on the spectrum and let you see. Perhaps you
can say Well now here's where I stand or here's where my boyfriend or my girlfriend stands or where my parents stand or what not. First of all it is. A kind of traditional repressive asceticism and I had this is not used just to condemn it but to simply say that the law in our society basically is based upon this particular point of view. This holds that individuals should not have sex outside of marriage that the proper link for sex is procreation and that is the basic reason for sexual behavior. And this traditional attitude is perhaps at least the one that the culture of scribes too although in practice the Kinsey reports show that we do not practice what we preach in the society. Indeed much of the sexual
revolution is not so much a revolution as it is a catching up with attitudes especially since the 1920s. Indeed we will have reason to point out that perhaps there has been no sexual revolution simply because sexual patterning and the kinds of attitudes and beliefs that govern sexual relations certainly at the college level are still based pretty heavily in the parent in the in the family system with respect to the handling of sexual feelings and attitudes. But much of that later. That one cannot necessarily link sex to procreation is attested to by the fact that if you are average and we will just get brazen and use the Kinsey statistics now for every one time that sexual relations results in a child there will be 3000 times
when your sexual relations will not result in a child. Therefore we would certainly want to put a good deal of emphasis if we're being realistic on two non-pro non-procreative sexual activity and indeed much of our focus except on the lectures that have to do with pregnancy and childbirth will be focusing on just this. Now just to the left and I think it's useful to talk about rightist and leftist here as we will about anything. There is a kind of enlightened asceticism David Mace is one of the proponents of this point of view it is a kind of a more positive attitude towards sex but it tends to link chordal behavior by young unmarrieds with softness and unhealthy self-indulgence use. Youth is a time when valuable lessons of self-control and discipline can and must be learned. As this particular system. And sex is one of the supreme areas where self-mastery may be demonstrated
by the way from the so-called psychoanalytic education that is educational methods that have grown out of psychoanalytic theory you'd think that well we know about all Freud and his liberal views about sex Well actually this is pretty close to that because it turns out that the the basis for psycho sexual development according to Prodi in theory calls for this kind of conflict and strife in the development of moral. That is the super eagle. So it is not as if this is simply an ultra conservative point of view it turns out that there are some very strong and sometimes at least to certain psychoanalysts compelling reasons why one would one would follow this kind of notion about sexuality. There is a third frame of reference called humanistic liberalism and that really gets closer to the quality of the relationship.
It is not the commission or omissions of the act but the consequences in the interrelationships of people that should count in other words we're getting away from sexual practices. And now what really defines the meaningfulness the relevance and so forth of the act is you know the people involved and this is a position sort of in the midpoint of the scale. There is a kind of humanistic radicalism which has its emphasis on the quality of the relationship but with a little added punch. And that is that social engineering may ultimately make possible relatively complete freedom. So that this is a kind of a developmental notion that at this point in the development of society we will tend to be more conservative than it may be possible. This of course takes account of increasing affective contraceptive
procedures changing morality changing relationships between the sexes above all the quality or growing equality of women. There is a fifth position called Fun morality. Sex should be seen as fun. And the more fun a person has the sounder he will be psychologically. Premarital intercourse should be freely permitted and even at times encouraged or well-informed reasonably well-adjusted persons. In other words the argument is I don't see anything wrong with it. After all it's only traditional morality and religious belief systems and so forth that perpetuate these notions and so why not really put the emphasis on something that our society has been unable to do up until this point. You know kick over the traces on asceticism and get back to you know a good healthy hedonism it says here. Then there is the. Leftist the well you can call him anything
sexual anarchists. This is a rather belittling attack upon chastity virginity monogamy. The idea isn't that well these are all right in their own place the idea is these are all wrong and as long as the human race is hung up on these kind of conventional kinds of morality why we're all in a bad way and let's throw it out and the sooner the better. You get the implications of this. Well the new drug movement has some implications for this that is. Along with educational adventures like Summerhill in which there is an attempt to raise people with out of the usual kind of repressed attitudes that are characteristic of our society with respect to sexual expression. Actually I've seen a few students in college who were trying to create a kind of psychedelic Summerhill on the campus and I think you know what I mean the implication that drugs and sex somehow go together in this
particular way. We'll we'll raise this issue about the effects of drugs alcohol and so forth on sexuality. Well each of you now is in the predicament at the present time or it may not be a predicament you may already have decided where you stand and where you're going to stand for the rest of your lives. But each person certainly must confront and one of the reasons that we have the course is to allow. Some kind of a healthy confrontation with peers who have at least some access to basic facts and ideas and at the same time gives you a chance to take some pot shots at the current dating and sexual customs that are prevailing on the campus at the present time. The topic tonight is human sexuality I finally gotten around to it.
And human sexuality is a different kind of sexuality because as Eric points out in his book Escape from freedom man has. Been you know through this subjective self-awareness by the differentiation of the nervous system has been given an escape from the biological determination of the saddest fires of his drives. But he hasn't yet you know found an answer he's escaped from the biological determination but but he hasn't escaped to anything yet at least this was Eric prom's diagnosis of the situation. I have said in another context to sort of capture the difference that it makes between the biological kind of written into the genes attitude and the kind of fact
of one's self awareness. This statement and see if you can make it out to a moralist. The tragedy of Oedipus is that he slept with his mother. To a student of human behavior the tragedy of adipose is not that he slept with his mother but that he found out. That's the human dilemma that we don't have. Contrary to what we have earlier. Thought some kind of image of God that has a built in Super Eagle a conscience that was there from birth a set of nice neat rules like the incest taboo. It isn't the characteristic of the human situation. Man has been freed from the biological package and soul a very different order of learning a
different order of unfolding must occur for the human to experience his sexuality. The human unlike the lower forms of animals on the lower on the phylogenetic scale if he grows up without any kind of human contact. Then when he gets to be an adult as far as sex is concerned there just isn't anything there as far as any patterns are concerned in other words sexuality is learned from infancy and in many contexts at this point I might just talk about some of the kinds of background factors that are involved in the development of sexuality. And preface it with a remark by a. And then the criminologist a researcher in the area of the physiology of sex. There is no such biologic entity as sex. Well now there's a
shocker. What exists in nature is a dimorphism within species into male and female individuals which differ with respect to contrast in characters for each of which in any given species we recognise a male form in a female form. Whether these characters be classed as of the biological or psychological or social orders sex is not a force that produces these contrasts. It is merely a name for our total impression of the differences. It is difficult to divest ourselves of the pre-scientific anthropomorphism which is signed phenomenon to the control of personal agencies and we've been particularly slow in the field of the scientific study of sex characteristics investing ourselves not only of the terminology but also of the influence of such ideas. So when we talk about human sexuality we must talk about two
different kinds of things one is Sex and the other is gender. Freud in his interpretation of dreams and in the three essays on sexuality. I pointed out that what we call our own sexuality is really determined by one's life experiences from infancy on and is not simply a matter of inheritance. Biochemistry and other organic factors. When we talk about sex. We are really talking about the sort of the biological substrate. And one of the ways that we can look at this is by looking at some of the studies from genetics. Studies of anomalous individuals and we can recognize some of these kinds of characteristics. When we talk about sex in this biological sense we mean
that we consider such things as chromosomes or external genitalia by the way as far as chromosomes when you say well why the answer is that. All of the girls here have. A particular body in their chromosomes called a body. It's called the chromatin test and all the girls have it and all the boys don't have it. And one of the ways to tell whether you're a girl or not is whether you have it's sex you see. So that's one way to tell about sex. The. External genitalia obviously internal genitalia that is whether it's ovaries or. Prostate uterus etc.. Gonads hormonal States secondary sex characteristics. So once sex is determined by a kind of algebraic sum of all of these
qualities and we have a bi modal distribution and most everybody falls in one or the other and we call it male and female. But you know we laugh when the. Central character in what is a Flower Drum Song is I'm glad I'm a girl. But we take it for granted but the biologist looking at this really asked the question how does she really know. Because it's not all that clear cut and we will see one of the reasons why this might be SOL. All of those things that we call gender and I getting away from the sex for a minute are those things which are culturally determined. The learning process obviously starts right at birth and the cultural process Springs clearly mostly from the first from the mother. And it's her particular and idiosyncratic version of society's attitudes that forms the first
matrix for the development of this gender. And later of course papa and the siblings and society in general get into the act but it's mother at first and this is quite important. You know those studies from the thought logy the Conrad Lawrence's King Solomon in which he was able to show that there are certain critical periods for the development of certain kinds of things in lower forms of animals. Below are the human level. We call it imprinting at the human level we don't recognize any kind of fixed kind of biological imperative in this. And so we recognize that there are certain critical periods for the development of certain attitudes and feelings and if the inputs are not there the individual simply does not develop these and this applies to the human as well. But as you recall Laurens was able to get and this is a common phenomenon any dog is humanized in the sense
forms a pair of war or sort of with with humans. But he was able at a certain critical period in the development of great goslings to get them to imprint on him that is he was the mate whenever he was there they wouldn't play with other great things it was always Lawrence that they sought out all their lives even if they were separated from him for long periods of time. They would always seek out Lawrence because they early in infancy they were imprinted on him. And this is the way it is. Now it turns out that the human is in that same situation. The reason you have to ask the question biologically Why is it that humans are sexually attracted to other humans. And the answer is that there is a critical period in the early experience of the child and the infant in which there is a high degree of input from the mother especially. And it's this kind of thing that we suspect is related to although we do not understand the processes yet certainly there's a clear evidence that something like this must
exist. There are states of readiness somehow in the nervous system. That are produced by having been imprinted by human mothers and so it's not so simple we certainly don't inherit later on when we talk about the variations in the expression of human sexuality we discovered that especially for the male almost anything can become arrow ties and become the focus of one sexual object. Objects animals ideas members of the same sex. And I mean by objects I mean you know things like automobiles airplanes you know all that's in the sense of some kind of erotic stimulation or a sexual response to such fantasies and ideas that are that are connected. So the higher we go and this is the point of it the higher we go on this phylogenetic scale the more that sexual behavior is determined by by
culture and less under the control of genetic and hormonal factors. Actually you know Freud had a notion of bisexuality Well now we're beginning to suspect that there is really within the central nervous system two different sets of subsystems for the regulation of sexual behavior. And certainly up to the level of the mammals to the to the not to the mammals but somewhat below the mammals there is the possibility by simple gonadal supplementation to actually alter and change the sex of one of a particular individual male or female. Now obviously something like this occurs in the kinds of operations that we talk about under the general notion of trans sexual behavior. Oh. There are some obvious genetic considerations here we all recognize and the.
Findings that have been emerging from the use of the electron microscope are fascinating because they show how much sexual anomalies are determined by anomalous chromosomal situations that is many of the things that we didn't. Klinefelter syndrome these are technical syndromes that have to do with the with anomalous situation such as pseudo hermaphroditic ism. That is where you have a mixed sexual characteristics are are clearly caused by genetic considerations. We also know that from an end of kernel logical point of view not getting over to the hormones. That there's some interesting things that reef relate to human sexuality and one is that as you know the human male castrated before puberty does not develop sexually and of course there can be no sexual response. After puberty there is the retention the diminution of sexual
responding in the male castrate. That's the situation of the eunuch. That's well known in history. Now how about the woman though. Ah it isn't that way. If you castrate the woman that is have an ovarian you remove the ovaries before puberty the woman still develops a sexual response. She still can have an orgasm. That's an interesting speculation. It also is the case that. The human female is the only female of all the species that even has an orgasm. The rest of this subhuman species have sexual behavior control hormonally that is through extra cycles and so forth. So that's another interesting speculation. It also leads to one of the fundamental discoveries that we will certainly want to talk about here and that is that while for the male there is a highly specific orgasmic response and it
is lethal if he is unable because of course you know if the male is is impotent actually then he couldn't reproduce Himself. But this isn't the case with a woman course. The sexual orgasm is not at all necessary for becoming pregnant. The woman can be asleep for that matter it has nothing to do with it. But isn't it interesting that then for generations and generations since it isn't related you see to procreation. That is orgasm as such. Wouldn't we expect to get just what we have a kind of unitary response in the male but a highly variable response in the women all the way from individuals who do not have sexual response to individuals who have multiple orgasms. Fifty an hour under the right kinds of circumstances. You see no male can produce that for the obvious reason. That the mayor ultimately is tied to hormonal regulation namely the
production of an a jack HULETT And the female is simply not and we will see the implications for that later by the way some recent psychoanalytic writers have rewritten history in light of this new finding that really women suppression is because men feared her. Rather than the other way. It's also important to know that with respect to the sex side of this not the gender side. That if you take the hormone and give it to the person. It doesn't work the way you expect that is if you were naïve about this that is if you give. Testosterone to the male. The androgen for example seems to be the real aphrodisiac that is the thing that is highly sexual and nothing else by the way the do not happen to be aphrodisiacs all of theirs a multi-million dollar business selling them but androgens are aphrodisiacs and they work for both
men and women. There is no female you know in quotes androgen or aphrodisiac. It's the same one in both. The only catch is it does not have anything to do with changing the sexual tastes. If you give lots of testosterone to a male homosexual it doesn't make him want women. It makes him simply want males more. And if you give him to a woman it doesn't cause her to have increasingly masculine tastes. Although it does increase her sex drive so this is another interesting point that it shows that human sexuality is not something that is control hormonally and we want to be very much aware of this. It's also interesting to note as we said earlier that while the male as he declines in age and loses the hormonal input gradually loses sexual potency although as we've indicated he
lasts if he is in good health if he practices sex frequently. If there are no hang ups and his anticipations are not that he is supposed to give it up in early you know in in the sixties or whatever the particular prevailing culture might say. Then he may continue to have sex indefinitely. The woman on the other hand does not have any decrease in orgasmic capacity as a consequence of the MIN a pause indicating again that sexuality is independent of the reproductive package. Though it is obviously related in certain kinds of ways which we will see later. I don't know what this has to do with perfume merchants but women. Have a sense of smell that is regulated much more by formal
inputs then demand. Now I don't know what that means as far as whether or not certainly the woman is more responsive selectively to the perfumes she wears them to the mint and one sees this change in the pattern that is in volved in advertising for more perfumes. Recently We'll talk about this later because I think perfume ads are a wonderful example of the romantic cult in America. But they've gotten more frank as you know of late so that now the ads don't beat around the bush as they used to they now say if you want him to be more masculine try being more feminine and the perfume is placed appropriately in the cleft of the breast so that you get the idea. One wonders though whether or not it's not a woman's idea although there is clear evidence that
perfumes become selectively reinforcing as men associate them with sexual experiences. So that clearly there is some kind of after these e Akhil quality to perfumes though it is a probably based on some kind of mammalian inheritance greatly supplemented by by learning and by you know other kinds of attitudes. There are some studies that are quite important now for the understanding of this problem of gender and I won't talk about them very briefly. In recent years John Money and a research team called the Hamptons. I have worked with the genetic anomalies of those intersex individuals. And while these are very rare people in the culture they provide interesting controls for the understanding of the development of gender
behavior and from these studies we've come to realize that there is a biological kind of input that determines. The feeling of male illness or femaleness in the individual independent of the external genitalia. The reason we point to this is the average physician confronted with an anomalous situation sort of gulps and looks and wonders you know what do I do now you know and he flips a coin and puts down male or female. That's in some of these anomalous cases because it is not something that is easily determined it takes an expert to determine this and sometimes this is the dilemma of the family physician that he simply does not have the basis and the background. He will very infrequently see such a thing. It's very important because what the parents and the culture ascribe or attribute to the child that's what he is. And this is most critical for our understanding of the development of gender. It doesn't make any difference whether it's
really genetically a little girl or a little boy. If you tell it that it's a little boy then it's experience of itself will be I am a little boy and this is the critical point. This begins to develop for audion theory talks about a this kind of development. And they call it the phallic stage. Freud's theory as you know was a male theory of sexuality and it sort of dealt women out. It's been being rewritten for the last 30 years. And so we now have some different attitudes about the matrix that underlies the development of sexuality. But in these cases we discover that. As the child grows into a family situation he experiences tens of thousands of. Responses from those about him which begin to really literally put the message across in this case it's a kind of McLuhan phenomenon you know the medium in this case the culture is the punning is he does the massage or it simply rubs itself into the pores so to speak and
this is really the way it works that the child actually picks up this whole sense of himself from the culture. And that is of course independent. Now I think you can see that we're leading up to the notion that well then it's this kind of thing that causes us to have the kinds of anomalous developments that we get in sexual in gender role of individuals. It leads to the problems of homosexuality or transsexualism transvestitism and so forth real problems. And we'll have much to say about this a little later. But for this particular group of individuals it's important to see how totally This situation is tied to the development of language in the attributions of other people. When you begin to develop pronouns that's when you begin to develop the real sense that I am a girl or I am a boy. And it's at that point that really the
sexuality in terms of identity. Really develops in the case however and it's important to see then that one classical experiment that that individuals at least do for us is in the case of the transsexual now the transsexual is the individual who all his life. Typically it's a boy to begin with. Somehow experiences himself. Really very much as women experience themselves and therefore there is always even though there is no confusion about everybody mama papa everybody has said from the beginning because he is normally sexually developed. This is a little boy and yet the person constantly growing up never feels that I'm a boy. I feel as always I am a girl. Now there's no genetic support for this. No indication support for this. Occasionally there is an anomaly undescended testicles or something like that. But for the most part there's nothing biologically to back it up in such cases.
It's been discovered though there's much research going on in this area and you know Christine Jorgensen is one of the classic examples of this. The person who underwent a sexual. Transform ation in Sweden. I think it was in one of the Scandinavian countries Denmark perhaps and this situation is a paradigm for this kind of remark. I'm not referring to her Christine Jorgensen when I make this remark because we are not that sure but studies have shown that the crucial distinction. The thing that happened in that situation was that. The mother in the early symbiosis with the child was unable to really let the child develop on its own. One notices and certainly you noticed this in subhuman species that the differentiation in the growth away from the mother Harlow's monkeys are classical examples of this that if you don't get to the development away from the
mother. And the mother actually participating in this allowing the child the kind of freedom that the child seeks. But if instead you get a mother who wants to bind the child close to the body this can be because of sexual frustration although this is not necessarily a sexual thing. It can be because the mother simply wants to experience the child as a part of her own body but for whatever reasons there will be long periods in which the child simply blends with the mother's body and experiences itself really as undifferentiated from the mother for prolonged periods of time. Under those circumstances it seems that it is impossible for the boy in this case to become a boy and that is one of the critical things we notice about the differentiation of gender. Why is it that so many boy he's that it's on the male side that we have all of the anomalies such as not all of them but a very high percentage of the
problem such as exhibitionism voyeurism trance Besta TISM etc.. It's because the boy has a special task of becoming a boy while the girl all she has to do being raised by the mother is to follow suit so to speak to identify with the basic caretaker whereas the boy has to overcome all the feminine of occasions that might be imposed upon him by the mother. And for this reason many more boys than girls have hang ups about their gender identity. We talk about this a little later. There's another point here that we might make while we're still back at biology before we've gotten into some of the other kinds of considerations and that is that sex is fun sex is pleasurable. You know those studies of electrical implantation
in rats the chronic brain stimulation studies in which we take a tiny little electrode micro electrode and place it in the limbic system of the rat you drill a little hole and you go in there and you find the right place and you put it in and you put some dental cement there and you plug in. He's wired for wired for pleasure. And you rig it so that every time he touches a little button over here he gets a little shock. Well it's in a pleasure center. And so he will push that button for twenty four thousand times you know he'll push it until he's exhausted because it really turns him on. The only trouble is the rat can't tell us about it and so we put them in humans and they can and what do they say. We put it in the septal region and he pushes the septal button. Ooh that feels good. Well what does it feel like. Well it feels like you're about to have an orgasm. You never do but it feels like you're about to have an orgasm. It's interesting too because while he's there pushing the button
conversation is going on about him and every time a conversation comes up he plugs in something that has vaguely to do with sex. You say well why did you say that. Oh I don't know it just occurred to me and he grins very broadly. So we know that there is. We do know that there is a some kind of a center there. There seems to be some kind of a a a kind of a primitive mechanism pulsing in the brain that starts in prenatal life and continues throughout life for the individual. Sounds a lot like sort of the biological basis for Freud's notion of libido doesn't it. But certainly there's a good deal of evidence that this is so we know too that the more recent studies have shown in this respect that there are certain periods of
sleep during the night in which the individual's eyes bat very rapidly now some of you in psychology know what this is we call it our sleep rapid eye movement sleep R.E.M. sleep. You know it turns out that during R.E.M. sleep males have erections and the erections start with the R.E.M. and they stop when it's finished. It turns out that dreaming. And I'm not we don't know about the women yet we haven't found you know techniques for measuring this of the penis is easy to to get takeoffs from. But it's very hard to find ways of measuring this in women so far I'm sure that probably the same thing will hold for the clitoris but certainly in this case we now have recognise that there is a neurophysiological connection between dreaming and sexuality. And so it certainly for many individuals who ask that question you know why is it that when I dream you know there is always some kind of sexual component. Now we're not going to talk about dreaming but we
do. As an aside we can say that dreaming seems to be quite necessary for mental stability. If you stop people from dreaming and perhaps it's not so much the loss of sleep but the inability to dream that causes real development of real pathology in individuals. Certainly we can at this point at least speculate about some of the characteristics that are involved in in and this kind of biological background for the development of sexuality. Now you know those Harlow studies in which Harlow showed that the monkey that has been prohibited from mothering in infancy does not develop a normal sexual pattern. If you give it a cloth mother that is a fake mother but it still got something to cling onto and sort of get some haptic reinforcement you know body movement and grooming and
that sort of thing or if it has peers to groom and play with why then there is the development of a sexual pattern. It also turns out that Harlow's monkeys even though with the able assistance of the educated and sophisticated male monkeys were able to bear infants they weren't interested in sex when they grew up but they were able to reproduce. They made a horrible mothers because they didn't understand what mothering was. The infant was just another object in the cage and if one wanted to get from here to there why one would you know put one's right and go right on up and it might even kill them. Something in the process of mothering is related to sexuality and is related to the possibilities you can't be a good mother unless you were a mother. You can't be a good sexual partner if one followed this. Certainly at the level of the primates here. Unless you had
the kind of potentiation that was necessary in early childhood and so that's when we talk about not only gender development beginning in childhood but sexuality because if there weren't a number of these kinds of behaviors toward the child that potentiate did that is made ready. The unfolding of these particular processes. Now we will talk about this in a whole lecture the problem of psychosexual development but it's enough to say at this point that Freud was aware that there seemed to be a kind of a biological clock for the unfolding of certain kinds of things. And he talked about the oral the anal genital phallic etc. the stages of development at which various organ systems areas etc. became selectively sensitized for certain kinds of inputs especially having to do with their erotic sensibilities. It was all sex. But for a forward sex was a very broad thing. Much different from our very local conception of sex whenever we use the word sex for us
means a highly specific genital kinds of things. For Freud it was a much more broad and general kind of a thing. Now one other point that I might make in that is that you noticed that. Long associations between humans or animals tends to cause a kind of you know imprinting. And it's this kind of thing that leads to the kind of pollens that or even or love hate relationships between such things as masters and slaves for example the sadist and the masochist kind of a relationship. That sort of thing even accounts for why people long after they no longer find any sexual satisfaction in a marital relationship continued to be together because there is a kind of not imprinting but certainly a kind of sensitization to each other a kind of symbiosis that develops out of companionship and so
forth. Now we will talk about this in the next two lectures but at this point I want to because I know that as you will now break up and go to your your sections I've implied the basis for at least four different kinds of loving. And it's obviously that sex is only one of them. There is sexual love. There is that highly specific component that develops out of the Select the sensitization and becoming more and more specific and focusing in the genitals and the apparatuses that are related to erotic arousal. But there are also some other kinds of things the mothering kind of experience if one has been bothered then one has certain kinds of mothering or altruism. The kinds of love and any two human beings who've had this experience may find themselves being alchemists loving altruism tickly this is not a sexual thing
although it has certain intimate components to it. Certainly companionship in which we just mentioned the fact that individuals who are together enjoy being together there are a lot of just simply operations that people go through with that. Doing things together make for some kind of companionship kind of love. So we have that particular kind of situation too then. The fact that we have grown up in a society that constantly holds up to us a picture of love we call it romantic love that is. Sort of built into the culture by now. If you are an average person you've had 17000 hours in front of the television set. And talk about models. We hold up to people
in our society. Some models about how you're supposed to behave now you you know that cardiac respiratory feeling that you're supposed to get when you are in love. It is not biological. It doesn't even happen in some cultures or.
Human sexuality
Episode Number
#1 (1 Of 2)
Producing Organization
University of Massachusetts (Amherst campus)
Mount Holyoke College
Smith College
Amherst College
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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This series features lectures given as part of a class on human sexuality.
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Producing Organization: University of Massachusetts (Amherst campus)
Producing Organization: Mount Holyoke College
Producing Organization: Smith College
Producing Organization: Amherst College
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 70-SUPPL (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 01:01:00
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Chicago: “Human sexuality; #1 (1 Of 2),” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 25, 2024,
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APA: Human sexuality; #1 (1 Of 2). Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from