Human sexuality; #2 (1 Of 2)
Human Sexuality the second in a series of seven classes is 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 gives the first of two lectures on interpersonal relations and psycho sexual development. It's very difficult to talk about interpersonal relations without talking about psycho sexual development and obviously vice versa. And so I don't intend to try to limit myself as your lecture or program indicate to highly specific topics but rather I'm going to cover a range of issues that are related interrelated last time. Remember that we talked about the biological substrate and we made the distinction between. Sex and gender. And you'll recall that I indicated that.
The role of genetics the gonads etc probably have. A an effect upon sort of differentially preparing the organism to receive the definitions and inputs of masculinity and femininity from the parents. But you recall that our assumption was that the human has been freed from this strict biological determination of the patterns of sexual behavior and so we have an organism which must primarily learn sexuality and by sexuality here we mean as Freud meant all of those aspects that have to do with learned patterns of response in family situations. We will call it our tribalism our cultural input. I recall too that I mentioned briefly with the caution about the interpretation of animal studies to
the human level. The studies of Hartnell in which he studied the heterosexual affectional system of monkeys and found that an mothered mothers make lousy mothers and that the offspring of another mothers while they may grow up with siblings are peers and have a good deal of grooming. Something happens in their own adult sexuality later that indicates a malfunction of this early critical learning period for the development of sexuality. Such monkeys are dramatically hyper sexual and contentiously aggressive and it is at least reminiscent of the kinds of situations we get with the eye. Children of disturbed adults we get schizophrenia kinds of
responses on the one hand we get obviously a good deal of sex disturbance we've already reviewed the transsexual homosexuals etc.. We get a number of other kinds of disturbed patterns of behavior in children as a consequence of growing up in the family one thing that is deserving a good deal of attention nowadays is what we call the battered child syndrome in which we are aware that the parents of children who are are seriously battered as a as a consequence of the tamed or controllable aggressions of the parents. We recognize that it's awfully easy for us to feel a high degree of aggression ourselves and anger toward the parent. And this is not just the battered child. As an aside some of you may be shocked with the with the fact that while we recognize a fairly high incidence of deaths from.
Measles chicken pox scarlet fever and childhood diseases but the but the one disease that kills more children than any other disease is parents namely. And I'm talking now about deliberate battering of the child every day in the United States. A child is killed by its parents. And this is a rather shocking thing. It grows out of by the way a cultural tradition that whatever the parents did in the family and this still carries pretty much in the courts although the whole pattern is changing. Up until not long ago there was a law on this on the law books in the state of Massachusetts which allowed parents to severely manhandled their children for whatever reasons that the parents decided were were not consistent with the parent's moral teachings. So that we can see certain.
Analog between the kinds of disturbed patterns of behavior in that are administered by the parents. And then what happens in the child it's relationship as you recall now in talking about last week's lecture to the development of sexuality is that there are probably critical periods in the development of child of the child during which certain kinds of experiences should optimally occur. If there is to be the normal heterosexual development of the child in adulthood that does not mean that what we are referring to are specifically sexual advance it turns out that much of what we're talking about is not really recognized as sexual. Certainly even by the mother but it is a kind of behavior which potentiate the child for the development of later sexual patterns Spitz's studies are classic in this respect. He found that infants who are were
reared during the first year especially in in homes where the mother showed a good deal of affection tended to be better adjusted and he found that children who were reared in such homes tended to get a good deal more affection and stimulation of all kinds than the children reared in foundling homes and so forth. It is probable that we wouldn't want to identify as sexual although last time we indicated that the whole concept of polymorphous perverse indicated that the child before he has grown up and has genital ised his sexuality is characterized by a high degree of sort of pan-Arab TISM that is the whole body seems to be era ties in ways which Freud thought of as indicating a high degree of sexualization. It's important for us to realize however that it's easy for adults to read into the child on the
basis of their own sexual experiences that which they can no longer recall in their own development and this is one of our problems with studies with infants is we just can't ask them what it's like in that earliest period of life we must observe and make inferences from it. If we did label some of this kind of sexual stimulation sexual now used in this very broad sense many mothers might might stop doing some of the kinds of things in the baby's bath and in fondling and kissing and handling and so forth which are quite necessary according to our model for the later to put as potentiation for the later developing sexual patterns of the child. In other words this kind of input may lie dormant for the many years that it will take or may actually appear at later specific periods in the development of the child to implement the development of certain kinds of heterosexual or sexual responses that will
later characterize the adult pattern. We talked if you will recall about gender behavior indicating that much of what we call as I said sexuality is really learning of the gender role. And I indicated that our concept of critical periods is not unlike that of the psychoanalytic version of stages of development oral anal and so forth. Now in talking about psychosexual development one is tempted to go into the whole psychoanalytic model and there this is a link the certainly is the most complete theory of personality or whatever of the behaviorists will say about its haziness and its sort of metta theoretical deficiencies. We can certainly recognize that it is there. Certainly the most complete theory of personality in it as you know.
The basic notion is that there is a kind of unfolding of a biological substrate that is somehow already a sexual script is somehow written into the organism and it somehow finds through the vehicle of the culture ways of unfolding the classical formula of course is within the family and we know it is the Oedipal situation the family romance in this as you know the tendency is to say that the child develops a sexual attachment for the mother. This is in the case of the boy. Now it's for the girl it's called an Electra complex. Note the borrowing from the Greeks and Freud. Read avidly. So that what. Happens is that the little boy becomes sexually attracted to the mother. And this means in the adult sense of sexually attracted. This is where many people have their hang ups with Oedipal theory. How can an infant that hasn't the
foggiest notion. Says the the counter theory. Possibly know anything about sexual intercourse. It's a it's a an intriguing problem. Prodi in theory to grossly oversimplified implies a kind of racial unconscious type of situation in which the child simply intuitively responds in terms of an underlying matrix that is already there. And as you know the boy then feeling the threat of the father manages to give up his sexual attraction for the mother through identification with the father and then later is able to marry someone who is in quotes like the mother that is sexually in the sense that it is a member of the opposite sex and this is the resolution of the Oedipal situation grossly oversimplified. Note however that the characteristic of this kind of a theory is to put the gleam in the infant's I. Rather then to
sense somehow that maybe this is a two way street it may very well be that we have been reluctant to see that this is an imputation to the child of feelings and attitudes on the part of the parents. Indeed a good deal of evidence has now come to light to indicate that the mother frequently is unconsciously seductive toward the child. That there are all kinds of behaviors which are not you know some kind of malicious intent on the part of the mother but a perfectly honest but unconscious script that is played out on the part of the mother. After all if one looks more closely at the real Oedipal myth one hears Jill Casta saying to Oedipus by way of calming him all you know in the vernacular. Take it easy Oedipus. Many a lad has had in dreams has slept with his mother. Indicating that maybe the myth it sets itself has a wisdom which
we have not been willing to recognize in understanding what happens in the development of sexuality. The other problem too is that we are so. Up tight about sexuality that it is very likely that we impute all kinds of sexual motives and learnings to the child possibly before the child has any possibilities for having developed the so that many childhood peccadilloes which are not specifically sexual for the child will have to read into them by parents who are constantly on guard against the child violating the cultural mores with respect to this and constantly afraid that sexuality will get out of hand or the child will somehow respond to certain potentiation too precipitously or or in a way which is likely to mar the development of the child so that many children find
themselves being severely chastised severely threatened etc. force circumstances which are simply have no particular meaning for them. Indeed it is the trauma that is that attached to the ambiguous sexual punishments that frequently give the kind of morbid quality to sexual. Situations later on perhaps this is more the case for the girl who has a much later developing sexual script as we will see in a minute. And who's also perhaps first introduced to sexual situations in in for them sort of non-sexual perhaps aggressive and perhaps negative situations that is as I said last time proved through witnessing the genitals of a male who is attempting to expose himself to her or through an older male who is attempting some kind of sexual intimacies with the younger child so that
we'd then find that that sort of negative input sort of lies dormant unless it's ballooned all out of proportion by inquiring parents and judges and so forth in which case it may then define a situation even more disastrously than it would have been had it been left alone or dealt with more candidly. We then find that later on in the developing girl an over aggressive male may read into great that earlier sexual conflict and result in disgust feelings or some kind of adversity response to the sexual encounter. So that it perhaps is better to think that there is no sort of biological sexual script though. And the Freudian theory is constantly being written written by Freud eons especially women who recognize the essential male centered aspects of Freudian theory. Freud himself recognized though as I said that what we call sexuality is really learned in the family
and was quite aware that even though there are some biological issues involved in last time we pointed to his notion of bisexuality and growing evidence that there is some kind of a sort of double system in the central nervous system for example that indicates that we indeed are bisexual it's meaning however is not what Freud intended it to mean within the psychosexual theory. Now we said that. Gender is learned. That is the child learns to distinguish himself when he develops pronouns that is you know he and she and it's this kind of attribution when one learns the words to go with things that at this point that actual one actually one's own identification in terms of gender begins. Now this is not a sexual thing as we all know it is much more at the level of blue booties and pink booties and children at this age do not. When you ask them all now what's the difference between a little boy and a little girl they
may not. They may give you all kinds of differences but they won't be you know sexual or genital or only incidentally that so that gender does not mean just this kind of a recognition of the actual sexual apparatuses which may indeed come at a great early. Much later time rather it is the beginning of all of those thousands of responses that the culture the parents siblings and peers make to the child ever after so that he begins to out of this constant responding. Develop a sense of himself as masculine or feminine. The problem here is that actually Language is the tool whereby the child does learn to control reality and in the area of sexuality it turns out that sexual language is so ambiguous that it is one area where the child has less chance of controlling this aspect of his environment or of even understanding it.
If you compare sexual language with the language of almost any other aspect of our upbringing one can see why this is the case. Sex is unlimited he processes which by the way are very frequently confused in the mind of the child because of the APA zation of the genitals and the eliminate the organs. The most of the words all of those Anglo-Saxon expletives that we are loath to see on signboards with students parading around campuses or that we want to extricate from student magazines and newspapers these days are all referring to sexual acts. And we begin very early with a kind of denial of even the language especially the gut level language that the child must first learn. And we we in our culture we seem to.
Have a kind of magic of controlling sexuality through controlling the words which represent it. It sets up a really difficult problem for the child it turns out that the first learnings in the first labels that the child learns may be words that are emotionally laden because they do take place in the context of anxiety and some kind of concern which is not characteristic of Mummy's or daddy's behavior with respect to almost anything else that the child may do. And so those early learnings may last for a long period of time whereas the other kind of vocabularies that he develops constantly undergo revision all throughout his life. Not so sexual language because what little bit is developed in the earliest period in is so to speak goes underground and the child is not allowed even to utter such words except in certain circumstances.
We can. Change political attitudes and all sorts of things but because we have no access to communication about sexuality it is very likely that sexual feelings that generated early in the family are probably the least changeable and that's why we say there probably has been no sexual revolution and there's not likely to be one for until we get at the at the basis here which is namely the family situation with respect to the use of words. Yes it turns out that many people even in marriage carry out complex sexual patterns of interaction without any words being spoken frequently. And the counselor who works with marital situations finds that the person the adult person that he's counseling about sexual problems in marriage simply has no words for the kinds of things that he's trying to communicate. Or if he has words they're words that he's looked
up in a book somewhere and he may mispronounce them or because they simply are not used. So that this is our problem if words then are the bases whereby we control reality or at least control our environment and we have no words we obviously are not going to have much control over the environment. This none. As we certainly know is much more characteristic of the girl than it is the boy. The boy simply by virtue of the way that his sexual role begins to be defined and it begins to be defined at a much earlier period is more likely to find a more varied and constant use of words especially the vernacular in his peer group. Then then does the girl soul that very frequently when communication does get established perhaps in college. Many girls are finding out many words from the boys that have been known to the boys. For some you know six or eight years and this is one of the problems.
Partly this is a situation that parents because our culture is a sex fearing culture find it very difficult to communicate to the child about sex. If sex is pleasurable and if the glans of the penis has a pleasurable area on it how are you going to tell a little boy that that is so without risking the chance that he's going to try and find out. And because the notion is that sexual play may have deleterious effects upon the child then parents are very reluctant and so they typically just cop out on this they simply opt for known no communication and typically that mother daughter conversation is really about menstruation and not about sexuality. And the father son talk just doesn't take place at all. And if it is and if it does it takes place at such a time when the when the little boy gets
very bored because he's heard all that a long time ago from his peer group. Unfortunately the sexual education because it occurs in the peer group does not ensure that it will be accurate information and actually much of the kind of sexual education that goes on in the peer group is is very likely to be wide of the mark as far as its its its reality is concerned. I quote John Gagnon one of the Kinsey researchers in this respect he points out the exchange of information between males in American culture is not sexually informative except in an indirect sense. The information comes as part of tales of sexual prowess or of humor and which emphasis is placed on heterosexual expertise or exploits. What evolves from this male to male interaction is an image of the sexual self rather than knowledge about sexuality.
And this is very important because it begins at an early period for the boy especially. And these earliest inputs have followed that law that you know all the things that get there first tend to have the most permanent and and are most resistant resistant to change. Among females on the other hand while a certain amount of sexual information is exchanged by far the majority of discussion is related to affection and love. Thus the male is cast in the role of the technical expert. And this expertise is related to his masculine role. Even if he is not expert there is a substantial constraint on the female not to point this out and not to help. Not to point this out and not to help in the sexual adjustment because there's always the problem of revealing to the male how she acquired her knowledge.
And arousing his anxiety about her ability to make invidious comparisons. Consequently the sexual relation is learned by and large through the exchange of cues and gestures rather than through discussion or direct experimentation. So if our version of ourselves then is a kind of tribal definition we might look at these differential inputs as they occur with boys and with girls to see why we talk past each other frequently in trying to talk about the differences between the sexes. First of all let's talk about the boys in the first place the boy. From the beginning has 8 somewhat more accessible sex organ the penis. And I say somewhat more because if one observes very young infants the
external genitalia are highly available for stimulation. So it's not. So simple to say well the penis you know projects and therefore is much more likely to come into contact and to be constantly stimulated because actually the external genitalia of the Clippers and the. Especially since it would be at least an analogue of the penis is far Stec sexual stimulation is concerned is also available. However for the boy there seems to be from the beginning a kind of a. Constant developing stimulation which is tied to a characteristic of males that is not the case with women to the same at least to the same degree and that is the capacity of the chair of the board to era ties everything. Almost anything that is boy can through stimulating himself later
begins to associate anything that he happens to be in contact with or looking at or thinking about can take on certain kind of through associate learning kind of sexuality. This is not so much the case with women. This is the sort of thing that counts for counts for all kinds of differences between the sexes. The Kinsey studies are replete with examples of psycho sex the cycle of logical differences in terms of stimulation. There are far more boys who are voice yours that is who gain some kind of sexual pleasure out of watching other people in the nude or. There are far more boys who exhibit themselves. Then there are women indeed this is a fairly rare situation where the woman gains sexual pleasure out of exhibiting herself now. We have perfected a kind of cultural script which calls for the woman to constantly exhibit herself but her response is not to gain sexual satisfaction herself but to elicit this very response we're talking about in the male.
And so the whole Bunny Club routine is is a case in point indeed the whole playmate cult is one in which we simply cash in on somebody cashes in on the fact of the male's arouse ability to a very wide range of stimulation. And actually at though it begins earlier certainly at puberty the boy with that high amount of gonadal input is an organism that is easily turned on that is almost any kind of sexual experience turns him on sexually whereas this is not the case for the girl. The difference here seems to be one of projection and what happens is that males not only with respect to sexual feelings but with respect to a wide range of other things tend to impute to other women the same kinds of feelings that they themselves have. It is difficult for some men to accept the fact that women are somehow different
sexually than they are and they can understand if they find themselves highly and easily aroused sexually. They find that there is something wrong with a girl if she is not highly and easily aroused sexually given the same situation which for the girl may not not even be a part of her script. That is the kinds of experiences namely simply experiencing you know the smell of sweet perfume or are simply the body witnessing the body contour or music or whatever. In other words the situation here may be that the boy projects into the girl all kinds imputes to the girl his own version of sexuality. Early in the development of the boy he learns that he doesn't have to love everything that he desires he rather quickly and this is much more the case even under privileged under under privileged families where the.
Tendency is to really at a very early age dissociate love from sex and in such families low income families you find a high degree of frustration. In the case of the woman because a very high percentage of males in that kind of context do not even see the point of giving the woman sexual satisfaction. It's not a part of their sexual script because the sexual script is much more written in terms of exploitation and a kind of male centered version of things that. The boy's tendency to stimulate himself begins at a much earlier period than it does for the girl indeed a very high percentage of boys begin masturbatory activity at a very early period and many women simply do not begin or practice mashed BitTorrent activity until a much later period if at all.
While I might say about mass to Tory activity here that there's all sorts of squeamishness about this. One hears all sorts of warnings about how one handles this in the child. Is it supposed to be prohibited are you supposed to ignore it. Do you just define it is something we don't do in our family or what do you do when this is a. No. And one of our hang ups I think is because it's very difficult to define anything for the child as even private which doesn't take on the connotations of secrecy without somehow the child wondering well why is it you know so if you would say if you decide well you're an enlightened parent and you want to tell the child that really well sex is alright but it's a private sort of thing. It's very difficult for the child to learn something that is private bathroom functions. The visceral ethics bit is one of the things that he's taught is perhaps one of the first encounters with socialization process having to do with bowel control and.
But privacy is a very difficult thing it's almost that by making it even a private act it tends to become pejorative for the child that is tends to be downgraded tends to be experienced as some kind of something to be avoided. And probably for this reason sexual learning is learning about guilt rather than you know about sex and the learning of handling of sexual drives is really the learning of handling of sexual guilt because it's very difficult to develop a sexual image of yourself in a family. Why because sex is at least typically. If not forbidden at least ignored or made so ambiguous that the child finds it very difficult to draw out something that is specifically sexual. Now I'm not talking about many aspects of gender having to do with masculinity but more about that so that and certainly later we run into the problem of mass to Tory activity even with a culture which has sort of
caught on well you know those old wives tales about you go mad or you your hair falls out or you go blind or whatever. Even though we've long since seen through that in people with the increasing in frequency are worried about such things there's still a general feeling in the culture that there's something not quite right about masturbatory activity. From the standpoint of a and we would want to make a distinction here between the problems of of a religious belief about all of these areas we want to distinguish sin. That is the both the Catholic and the Jewish faiths and the Protestant faith to some degree still at least some. Some parts of Protestantism still look upon masturbatory activity as something not quite right. But from a psychological and physiological point of view certainly speaking first from a
physiological point of view. One hears For example the caveat Well it's alright if you don't do it too much. What is too much. Well the answer is there is no too much you know. In the case of the male especially you know there's a refractory period in which the sex organs simply do not respond and so obviously from a physiological point of view it it's hard to imagine what too much would be. Certainly this is the case with the woman in the sense that well one simply gets tired. But from a psychological point of view there probably is a different story and that sets aside the problem that well if you're made to feel guilty about it then if you do it why then that guilt itself will lower your self-esteem and then you can't win because you feel guilty and upset and embarrassed and you tend to feel that other people read this when you go out in public and so forth. Well that's
all the sort of the chain reaction of guilt and we're not talking about that. Probably so that if one really feels that one should not if one has been taught that it is sinful for example then one has a problem of sin to deal with. And whatever your particular religious beliefs in this are concerned then they will have something to do with how you respond in such a situation. From a psychological point of view however I. I think Harry stack Sullivan who developed a theory of interpersonal relations in the post Friday in the idiom felt that masturbatory activity is not wrong in quotes from all those other points of view but it is wrong from the point of view that and he thinks that it's distinctly malevolent if it is practiced exclusively because it blunts the lust mechanism. That might be
necessary for the individual to be driven into hetero sexual encounters. That is simply to go out with people to be make oneself available as a sexual object. There is a diminution of sexual energy says Harry sex stacks all of them and the individual who risks exclusive practice of masturbatory activity is probably earning in this respect. But now notice that's not talking about guilt and anything else it's talking about the fact that if one sees sexuality or the drives that subtend it as very important for the development of heterosexual responses well then that becomes quite a different thing it takes a lot of the moral realm and puts it into the interpersonal sphere. Certainly as the boy grows up if we've said that one learns a sexual script and that there are no. Objects that are that is little boys don't grow up with a kind of built in template that registers you know green light when he sees a female. There's nothing like
that in the in the in the structures of the mind of the personality. What happens rather is that in growing up a whole series of role learnings take place which the culture hopes makes it more and more likely that that a heterosexual pairing will take place. Now very frequently it doesn't in for oil accounted for this in his own theory by talking about a a progressive development from what he called auto sexuality. It is the narcissistic period in which the child loves himself through a period of homosexuality to heterosexuality and the Freudian theory said that the person who is hung up at the homosexual level is obviously simply has failed to psycho sexually mature to what he called adult Gena Tallaght. Now let's look at this issue because obviously even in the Freudian theory a while it is seen heterosexual
practice homo sexual practice is seen as a an arrested development. It certainly is considered to be a normative development for all individuals both boys and girls in the growing up process. I would go even further and say that it is probably necessary that a certain amount of of spilling over of sexuality and the general companionship component that we talked about last time. That is probably necessary if one is to fully be able to deal with the full range of sexual components that will emerge in adult sexuality heterosexual heterosexual relations in the marital pairing. And I say that because obviously if the individual is. Fearful of his own in quotes homo sexual impulses This can lead to some kind of distancing of people especially members of the same sex because one somehow doesn't quite trust one's own impulses. It turns out that
obviously the kinds of attractions that are characteristic of Kamerad are e and feelings of sharing experiences would inevitably take on the tonus of sexuality because it is so ubiquitous it's always there it isn't narrowly channeled it tends to. It tends to spill over. Indeed it's probably useful for us that this kind of sexuality. I'm not talking now about highly specific genital feelings although they may certainly arise at this level. But we'd certainly want to look at homo sexual feelings and homo sexual experiences as is not somehow necessarily pathological they don't necessarily mean that that's the way it's going to be. It may very well mean that at a point in the person's life there is a kind of experiencing of the other. In this case a member of the same sex which takes on the shadings of sexuality certainly are to booze on sexuality.
Homosexuality make it very difficult for an individual to grow up and have such experiences without their head taking on a kind of self blame or self judgement according to the Kinsey studies one third of all males have some kind of homosexual experience to orgasm. Now that means of course that this is something that not just occurs in early childhood sex play but something that occurs after the male has reached puberty and is capable of having an orgasm. Homo sexual play is much less frequent among women though there's a good deal of evidence that much of the kind of generalized. Tenderness that is characteristic of women could be thought of as in the same way. It's just that little boys are not supposed to be tender. Little boys don't cry. In our society we have eight to bloom on tenderness for the male which makes
it very difficult for him to experience tenderness without feeling that he is some kind of a sissy or some kind of you know not quite to hasn't quite made it and it's probably this tremendous emphasis in our society and Western culture shares this in common that we have a kind of script for masculinity I'm a key's mole kind of version of things which is heavily defined by the peer group in terms of such things as sexual prowess or conquests. With women and perhaps the boys early. Introduction to heterosexuality takes place much more in the development of this script and it's his first conquests are to be seen in terms of the. Approval or disapproval of the peer group rad that is of the boys
that is his his friends rather than of a sexual encounter in its own way. It's very important for girls to be very much aware that many boys have this hang up and it didn't just go away when they reach puberty or shortly thereafter there is still a a a a tendency to to prove through sexual conquest one's masculinity and at the end that the auditor's here are not the girls but the girl herself but the boys back at the dorm so to speak. Jules Feiffer. Does a beautiful job with this one. And I'm tempted to quote because it shows the dilemma of the guy who is hung up on this problem of what we call homo social that is the same sex social requirements exceeding the heterosexual requirements at that point. It's one of those cartoons that Feifer
does where you have ten different ones and they all look alike except that one guy's talking the other guy's listening over a glass of beer. And this is the way it goes. The first guy says I quit going out and a guy says What do you mean this quit going out bit. How can you quit going out. So I just quit. That's all that's dishonest and I'm through the hell with it. Dishonest What do you mean dishonest. All right we could go to sleep in bed. Two in the morning and the phone rings. The sexiest voice I've ever heard. She says her name is Darlene and she just flew in from the coast and she's a friend of a friend and she has no place to stay and can I put it up for the night. All right I know something must be wrong but I tell her to come over an hour later she arrives the most beautiful girl I've ever seen and in she comes with two bottles of brandy and a dozen eggs she whips up the most fabulous breakfast I've ever tasted and we sit and talk for hours. She's read all the books I've read. Loves all the music I love the brightest most sensitive girl I've ever known. Along toward dawn we begin to nuzzle each other I build a fire suddenly we're grabbing each other warm. You wouldn't
believe it. Affectionate you have no conception it was the loveliest purest experience I ever hope to have a fantasy come true me with the most beautiful delightful girl in the world and she loves me she loves me and all the time you know what I was thinking. What will I tell the fellows. The the point of that is is of course that that applies to something you know that doesn't happen here I know. But one of the Holyoke seminars last week I think.
A girl confided to her peers that she had had sexual experiences. And the next week she had four telephone calls from Amherst. Indicating that. That you know it's very important to pass the word around because this is a part of the part of the script that's called for for the male. Now what does this mean. It means that there is an early and pervasive pressure on the male in our society to define himself sexually and to prove himself sexually. Now though the girl in the situation may not even understand the kind of tremendous pressure that the male is under to have some kind of sexual adequacy Although his own internal feelings must be to some degree that that adequacy is somehow related to giving the woman pleasure and and convincing her that he is sexually
adequate. It doesn't work out that way in the earlier period and so we have this kind of a problem that the boy has to face. Another problem is that because the boy learns at an early period a sexual script that calls for a kind of to build on tenderness. He also learns a sexual script in which the object of his own sexual feelings. Cannot be somebody toward whom he has tender and and sensitive feelings so that we get the good girl bad girl kind of bifurcation in our society a splitting of the tender and sensual components in the male. This means that he runs into difficulty when he begins to feel sexual attraction for the girl. He's put upon a pedestal and this can create severe problems because they're the good girl is the girl that one
marries one develops good and genuine and sincere relationships with the bad girl is the girl that one has sex with. And obviously when one tries to combine the two that is if one has come under the pressures of this kind of bifurcation I think it is. It is important to say that a very high percentage of you have not come under this particular kind of imprinting or cultural learning though because the first experiences in sex may be sort of stimulated by the homo social peer group that is other boys. It turns out that the kind of sexual learning which might have taken place is a highly interpersonal. The sensitive kind of a thing turns out to have been a unexploited kind of situation. The implication of it being that the male who has practiced this for a long period of time may have a good deal of difficulty shifting gears and getting
into another kind of a situation. Now it turns out as I indicated earlier here that for the girl it's a different kind of a story. One. Thing that the girl does not have is this constant sexual exploration the constant arrow ties ing of the objects outside the self. There is much less sexual play there is much less of a specific sexual script although there are literally thousands of ways in which women behave which are sexual which are not recognized by the by the girl as sexual. But there is simply the culture's definition of what will ultimately become sexually scripted for the male that is being attractive to the male. Much of this. The girl innocently thinks of being attractive What does being attractive mean. Well it means one thing to the girl and it means quite another to the boy. And in this case the girl can frequently not understand that the kind of perfectly innocent behavior which
she's learned as a part of a perfectly innocent sexual script has an entirely different meaning for the male and he finds himself much more sexually aroused and arousal in those situations and must in one way either act on this or conceal it as a part of the developing situation. So that for the girl the biological equipment is there but it tends not to be used certainly as extensively and so there is no highly specific sexual scripting for the boy. Almost all boys have reached orgasm immediately after puberty all development has occurred. A very small percentage of women have done so and mostly inadvertently under conditions which are typically non-sexual climbing up stairs or on a tree or riding a hobby horse or whatever the kinds of things that. OK there is a sexual response but it is not in a sexual situation that is defined in some kind of interpersonal way. And
so there may not. It may very well be that many girls experience much of this kind of sexual potentiation but it isnt tied to any kind of script that calls for another person in the in the act so to speak. So that for the girl it can be a very different situation. Also the rhetoric of romantic love is the domain of women. And while the man very frequently is is introduced to sexuality through it through the is introduced to heterosexual love through the primary avenue of sexuality that is for him. He starts with sexual feelings and then by. By being cultured so to speak by the girl develops a romantic rhetoric though by the way the culture for many male supplies a high degree of romantic rhetoric to begin with so that we find a good deal of fantasy connected with early sexual explorations in the male as well. One significant difference
that seems to occur as a class difference is that many males develop a highly erotic fantasy in connection with masturbate Torii activity at an early age which seems a preparation for heterosexual pairing later on. While this does not occur in the in the lower classes because of the strong to boo on masturbatory activity and the paucity of either verbal or the kind of nonspecific sexual situation so that romantic feelings are frequently absent or greatly attenuated in the lower class male whereas they can be highly. Inflated as a matter of fact in the upper class or of the middle class male. So that women are perfect and their own experiences earlier have to do with the kind of rhetoric of romantic feelings and affection and they may talk about this for the simple reason that there hasn't been this highly specific
potentiation to sexuality at an earlier period. Actually then they the boy and the girl teaches each other. She teaches him you know something about this kind of rhetoric. He teaches her about the specifics of sexuality and of course in this kind of double learning situation you find an interesting occurrence that is the boy because of the especially if sexual activity occurs especially sexual intercourse occurs there will be a tendency for the male to be less at least obsession obsessional about carrying through it may not mean that there will be actually a diminution of sexual activity but he will be less preoccupied and obsessed about it whereas the girl that is as the relationship develops whereas the girl introduced at first to sexuality. Will then. Be able once he feels accepted and loved to respond
and then begin to want more sexual activity then was characteristic of the first. The beginning of the relationship. One of the problems here though is that we live in a society which has a very prevalent double standard and it creates a tough situation for the girl growing up with respect to the problems of sexual experimentation. It is both difficult and dangerous for a girl to become too committed or too sexually active during adolescence. For the simple reason not that somehow the best of all possible worlds wouldn't make this desirable thing but because in a sense there is no place to go. That is such a girl typically will be exploited by males who are growing up under this double standard that is he must. You see there is obviously a certain amount of deceit involved because the guy is unable to tell the girl what you
know if he told her that you know if you sleep with me via that of course makes you eligible to be my wife. This kind of double standard attitude would obviously not work. What happens is that the girl who is introduced precociously to sex because typically the sexual apparatuses have not developed. Sex then takes the course not of being a truly sexual thing but plays out in terms of using sex to exploit for other purposes of affection approval and what not in those cases where especially where you have a girl who has been a kind of unattractive sexually in the pre-pubertal period and then through precocious sexual development suddenly begins to be responded to by whistling males and begins to define herself as sexually attractive Now this may not be an internal
feeling state but it certainly is external and constantly reinforced by the responses of males in that situation there is a powerful desire or tendency on the part of the girl to. Capitalize on what the her sexuality makes possible namely a high degree of that popularity that she had so little love. Just a very few months a goal and soul in this case. There can be a a tendency to prematurely focus on this kind of responding in which her experience is not as a sexual sexually participating individual but a person who is sexually attractive to and responded to by the male. In many cases then the girl does not develop or gastric potency. She simply remains frigid for the simple reason that that's not what sex is all about. And of course she's then robbed
of developing it fully. Response The sexual repertoire the so-called nymphomaniac. Can we all say something of this later when we talk about the different patterns of sexual behavior next time the so-called nymphomaniac is really not an oversexed woman. I'm not sure what that would mean. Actually as we've already indicated that the Masters and Johnson study shows that women have a high degree of sexual capacity and therefore an oversexed woman what would that mean. Actually what it turns out is is that it the nymphomaniac is typically a frigid woman who uses a high a constant in sexual encounters to gain love affection sympathy approval and so forth and so the so-called nymphomaniac is not really that at all. It's a it's a pathological condition in which the individual simply must use her body
for this kind of response. Somebody more cynical was able to say that a woman a nymphomaniac is a woman who wants more than the man wants. As a way of trying to show that our cultural notion of this is distorted following this formal presentation in the four college courses on human sexuality questions from the audience resulted in an elaboration of some of the ideas offered during the lecture. Is it possible that men inherit something through the genes that give them the capacity to be turned on more than women. Last time if you recall I indicated that there is a biological difference here. One is simply the production of androgen which we the Enderle their means. The male component and it turns out is the hormone which is in both males
and females necessary for some kind of libidinal drive. If the woman takes androgen as a part of some kind of hormonal treatment she experiences an untoward sexual drive. So obviously since the male genetically inherits a tendency to produce energy which is a substance which potentiates for libidinal development of the woman by the way doesn't have energy and if this is cut out then she loses libido. One of the as we will see one of the concerts one of the problems with the contraceptive pill is some of them for some women is that they tend to lower the energetic level in women and therefore lower libido all that is the woman loses her sex drive and does not enjoy sex does not reach orgasm and so forth. So clearly. There is a there is a difference and that's of course the point. There is a
biological difference but I think above and beyond this we would then have to recognize that well once you get to the adult level then we recognize that we have a different situation. That is women are just as capable of as quick a response to orgasm as Armyn culturally speaking. It turns out that this does not work out that way. That's simply because of the vicissitudes of growing up in this particular culture. Now you can look at it two ways. One is well women are after all more repressed than men in our society. And so they have to be helped over their hang ups. That is they simply have to repress. And this is the popular psychotherapeutic version of the reasons why women are not as sexually potentiate for quick response to orgasm. The other argument is that there simply are not all of those occasions in the
- Human sexuality
- Episode Number
- #2 (1 Of 2)
- Producing Organization
- University of Massachusetts (Amherst campus)
- Mount Holyoke College
- Smith College
- Amherst College
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- This series features lectures given as part of a class on human sexuality.
- Media type
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
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- MLA: “Human sexuality; #2 (1 Of 2).” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 20, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-h98zdz9v>.
- APA: Human sexuality; #2 (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 http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-h98zdz9v