Human sexuality; #3 (1 Of 2)
Thank you. Human Sexuality the third 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 gives the second of two lectures on
interpersonal relations and psycho sexual development by way of review. I recall that we indicated a kind of sleeper effect that early experiences. Have a shaping effect on later behavior especially sexual behavior that there is a kind of that human sexuality begins in infancy that a lot of the kinds of experiences that are not specifically sexual are potentiation for the later developing patterns of sexuality. And we also indicated that unlike almost all of the other areas that have to do with growing up in the area of sexuality undergoes these other areas undergo revisions the sexual area sort of goes underground. We don't develop a language that makes for effective control. And we indicated that in this area rather singularly many of
our earliest attitudes remained essentially edited and changed the subject to a kind of implicit recall in our behavior later. This by the way makes for a lot of the kinds of problems that people have in which they simply are unaware of the origins of certain. Responses have no access through memory since we have a kind of massive repression that kind of not only a mass the forgetting of anything that occurred before three or four years of age but certainly according to the Freudian model we have some kind of massive repression of those areas that have to do with sexuality this occurs at the so-called Oedipal period and you will recall that the Oedipal period comes also right at that period when language development occurs most rapidly and when pronouns and learned and when as we've said gender role behavior begins to develop.
We pointed over the last two lectures to some differences between men and women in the ways in which gender role is learned. We indicated that for boys sometimes at least at the early period in the pre and post pubertal period that heterosexual experimentation is not just for sex but serves to establish an image of the self as masculine. It's in other words it's not just so specifically sexual although it seems eminently soul to the person experiencing it. During this early period we've already indicated the problem of conquest looms large in the eyes of the young boy because sex and sexual activity is frequently defined in such terms. In other words we've called it the home of social requirements that is the requirements that one define oneself sexually first in the eyes of one's peers. And in that
period the peers really mean other boys because remember at this point boys have just emerged from a period in which girls were to be shunned and avoided. It was corresponds to what Freud called the homosexual period and by the way this occurs with girls too those gonads are breaking up that old gang of mine might be the theme. When when it when it happens. Recall how it felt. When your own peer group was breaking up under the assault of puberty. The little girls were beginning to cast glances across the aisle and the little boys had already begun the same thing although as we know the girls were about a year and a half ahead of the boys and in development at this period. But at this point when the boy emerges his first practices and his first as we've been calling it sexual script gets to be written marginally in terms of the homo
social group. And that is the boys and it's only later if with good success he overcomes this that he can establish a fully adequate and satisfying sexual pattern I mean a mature sexual pattern. We've It's during this period that we realize that much of his behavior may be much more for scoring or for making out or for some kind of accentuating or defining the self in sexual terms rather than for sex as such and it's quite important for girls to remember that a lot of boys are still trying to do this. That is. We we know that the the so-called Don Juan complex if you recall Don Juan was a man who compulsively sought each night a different lover. The point being that one had it was always a different lover other nights other conquests. The point of it being to somehow
in the vernacular put not just in the bed post. Rather then to then to establish any kind of heterosexual intimacy. In other words the goals of sexual loving were not for most or perhaps ever in the in the mind of the Don Juan so that we have now as psychiatry and psychologists tend to manufacture all kinds of symptoms and syndromes. We have what we call a Don Juan complex and it's the individual who has not outgrown that compulsive need to keep warding off his own anxieties about his masculinity by ever and ever proving again and again that one is capable of making conquests with others. The unfortunate thing about it is that it never works one never proves anything one continues to try. However the. A point we made about the bifurcation of tender and sensual component might bear repeating here because it's from this that we get our double standard recall we said that
little boys don't cry. This is by the way changing and I would enter the same Kaviak that I did last time that it probably does not apply to a fairly large number of you and yet it is still the prevailing sort of mode of the career that we come under this kind of influence to separate. As a consequence of the inability to handle our tender and sensual sense US components in the same package too tend to split them off and then too in our ascertainment of women too to split them into the two groups namely girls who are for loving and girls who are for having sex with in quotes so that we have this good girl bad girl good girls don't and bad girls do. Kind of oversimplified. The forerunner of the double standard.
And I think while the double standard seems to be eroding considerably through the quality and the increasing equalization of women secularization and a number of other trends would certainly indicate this we still at this point in the development of culture have a prevailing double standard in which women are still very much seen as as the objects of sexual interest rather than as fully human beings in their own right. Look how many ways in the culture that this kind of emphasis on sexuality occurs I recall a few weeks ago seeing one of these. USO shows in which I think it was Mimi Ford was regaling about five or six thousand. And the one salient comment that she made that got the wildest waving of G.I. hats was love them and leave them. And this of course really
captures the sort of the prevailing double standard notion that is that once a conquest is made then you know the intrigue is over. There's something about this idea that wants conquest has somehow been achieved why then the the object loses its value. At least it is devalued. And this occurs the. An occurrence of this is this double standard is that while we've already indicated the practiced male wins the approval of his peers the practiced female especially if she's gotten a lot of her practice with his friends. It does not win the same kind of approval he's he's thought to be in quotes a stud and this is a positive not a non pejorative term. And she is in quote promiscuous. This leads to some
very interesting attitudes about the what's fair in the sexual conquests area. And I want to quote from a transaction a new sociology magazine. Some of you may have seen it. A simply a quick summary of a of an article by Eugene Kane and that appeared in sociological quarterly. What a nice young college boy out on a date with a coed tear off her clothes or pin her down in the backseat of a car till her screams convinced him that to go any further would be risking a charge of rape. He might. Especially if he were a fraternity member and the girl had a reputation for easy accessibility. This is what Canaan found when he interviewed a randomly selected group of 381 undergraduate man at a coed university in the Midwest. Kane asked the boys whether during their college
years they'd ever made a forceful attempt at intercourse with a girl who tried to fend them off with tears pleading screams and so on. The boys were eager to tell all. And. Not one refused to answer the questions and 87 admitted to this sort of sexual aggression. Cannon believes that boys are more likely to be sexually aggressive if they are egged on by their friends that the boys back at the dorm syndrome we've already talked about. He found that only 5 percent of the non-aggressive boys felt that their friends were pressing them to acquire more sexual experience. But 23 percent of the aggressive boys reported a good deal of social pressure. This sort of pressure seems to be stronger in the fraternity house than outside it. Forty six percent of the sexually aggressive men compared with 30 percent of the non-aggressive men were fraternity members. But he found that 62 percent of the aggressive man had a record of sexual
assault that dated back to high school. These Boy these boys may join fraternities partly because they are seeking a peer group that will offer support for their aggressiveness. A few of the students interviewed thought that sexual aggression was defensible even among the aggressive ones 52 percent said that sexual attacks could never be justified. The remaining aggressive students. They had to find some sort of justification. If the girl could be characterized as a tease a gold digger or loose or even for some men if she was known to have had sexual experience before then she was considered fair game. Perhaps the aggressive approach paid off 67 percent of the aggressive men compared with only thirty eight percent of the non-aggressive ones had managed to lose their virginity. This record of sexual success however
did not seem to satisfy the aggressive boys. They were more likely than the non aggressive ones to say that they were dissatisfied with their sex lives. Some 50 percent as opposed to 30 percent. Perhaps the aggressive ones encouraged by their friends simply expect more. Well that's simply an example of this. The effects of the double standard in which the girls are don't have an equal chance in the in the situation. A number of other forms that this takes and you're a perhaps more familiar with the prevailing it prevailing idiom with respect to how one describes these kinds of people but at least one of the things I hear at Amherst is what's called sexual cowboy. Now. I grew up in the ranch country of Oklahoma as a boy and.
I recall that a cowboy rode out and out of the whole herd of young unbranded cows. Systematically sorted out one roped it dragged it unceremoniously up to the branding fire and with a red hot poker branded it. And then after making a tally mark in the tally book it was called a tally book by the way. The cow was let go to go back enjoying the rest of the cows and no further demands were made on the cow. Now I don't know whether this. I don't know whether there was some kind of native wisdom in the selection of this metaphor or not but it certainly certainly seems to describe one at one kind of pattern that does prevail Another one is to use another metaphor is
probably the stock market model in which by the way this has a kind of a brochure that goes with it. What is it called who the girls are. Now don't but don't anybody act as if they know. Isn't there a Isn't there a catalog with pictures and ratings and all that sort of thing that are sent around. One of the problems is that the ideal calls for giving all this up when one when the real one comes along. You know the difficulty is that one gets practiced with this particular kind of script and it becomes the model for one's relationships with the other as sex and even in marriage it tends to prevail. It's not so simple to you know switch scripts constantly.
It turns out that whatever works and that is you know a matter of empirically determining what works tends to prevail in the end the pattern of the individual and it can lead to difficulties. One of the challenges that your seminars produce is to see if you can you might discuss this I don't know what your what form your seminars are taking now in discussions but instead of the old. Bromide of should we or shouldn't we having to do with premarital sexual exploration. One might try to derive a certain set of necessary that is these all these have to be present and sufficient that is if they are present why then that's all that it's required. The necessary and sufficient conditions under which premarital sexual activities could take place. This we might find then that many of the kinds of relationships that
we find ourselves in simply don't meet all the criteria that we would all agree upon in such a group. Some of these kinds of things might be for example whether or not my own particular biases interest here. It would seem to me that one might say that one would want this kind of experimentation and we're talking about any kind of sexual experimentation including sexual intercourse here outside of marriage. One would certainly not be you know skipping the double standard if one didn't hold that one would not want this poor someone one wouldn't might want for someone toward whom he felt concern and affection. Now let me say that again. What I think I was trying to say is that one would not want
this for someone toward whom one had real affection and one would expect the same kind of pattern to occur here. Another point that I've already indicated and that is what we call sexual copyright. The FF the freedom to know that what is happening as a personal relationship stays inside the relationship that it is it is not banded about. Back at the fraternity house or back at the dorm or whatnot one of the clearest problems that I think individuals have is this problem of reputation. The most severe is severely eroding effect that we get with with sexual reputation is due to this very fact that in a close community. And I think we could characterize the smith Amherst Mount Holyoke and university the five college areas is in some
respects this way certainly in terms of Folkways within the various colleges. Certainly at Amherst I know that it's certain that can be characterized as such a sexual copywrite might seem to be quite important if the girls own freedom and autonomy is to be preserved. One would certainly expect it to have a certain quality of non-coercive mutuality and one would certainly want to have access to talk about SCN to care and clarify and to work through problems that are might arise both before and after sexual encounters and one certainly would want to be prevented from the consequences of this. And I think as we'll see later when Dr. Sorel talks with you about contraception that we share the feeling of Dr. Goode mocker that individuals who are not married to each other should under no circumstances have sexual intercourse without contraceptive proper contraceptive procedures. Now by saying this we mean that we obviously are separating out highly
personal and private act which is between two individuals and which may then arise out of their own personal morality and ethics and religion and whatnot. And the consequences of that act which then radiate in the in the event of conception to the whole community at large and gets involved with all kinds of legal issues with the unborn. Whatever that may be whether it's an attempted abortion or whether it's going to full term and then having the baby adopted or whether it's a premature marriage or whatnot. One thing that I wanted to talk about tonight is this problem of what is normal sexual in sexual behavior and the problem is made rather difficult by the fact that we all come under the silence of the culture that we have a constantly competing set of value systems here. It makes it very difficult to arise and arrive at answers.
And if you go seek advice of course one has to choose his advisor because there are such an array and such a mosaic of advice that grows from religious and our peer group and our culture and our parents and so fall the pitfall of statistics I've already alluded to that it may tell us what prevails within a particular subculture or a particular group. But it's very difficult to try to use statistics as some kind of normative. That is whatever is right whatever prevails happens to be the right thing we've already indicated that Kinsey. Perhaps heard in this respect when he because of its ubiquity he made premature ejaculation a normal thing. That is the male unable to. Withhold ejaculate but for a very short period of time and this time typically not enough time to prepare prepare the woman for sexual
response because it is soul and prevails typically in the American culture. Kinsey was willing to say well that's sort of normal for the for the situation. And by the way his argument was not all that. Naively Kinsey took a rather biological approach he was a biologist after all not a psychologist and his attitude was that which is most efficient and most quickly assures. The success of copula Torii behavior would be called you know normal. And certainly the male who prolongs sexual release for a certain extended period of time is therefore less likely to have. And ejaculate. By the way one whole community in the united community as some of you may know practiced a kind of eugenics in which only certain men in the society were able to be
the fathers of the children and all the rest of the men developed a technique called carets which was simply to prolong sexual intercourse. Two three six hours without ever having a jack elation a will the woman herself might have a number of orgasms. So here you have a society in which the whole society agreed upon a normative kind of behavior in this case within that society you see the prevailing norm would be having no sexual release at all as far as the male is concerned. Another prevailing norm which is a function of age and we've already talked about the problems of the practice and and repression and so forth is the lack of orgasmic response in the young adult female that is the woman who's been recently initiated into heterosexual activity especially if she has had little opportunity for sexual exploration or has taken or has had no master to Tory activity then. It would be
obviously erroneous to make a statistical judgement that somehow because a fairly high number of individuals don't reach orgasm that this is somehow normative. Take even the kind of thing that is supported by laws in half our states. That is that the kind of sexual position in sexual intercourse even among married couples calls for what is euphemistically called among tribal groups as in quotes the missionary position. That is the man on top. And the reason it's called the missionary position is because it may come as a surprise to many of you that is not even the prevailing norm in most cultures. It happens to be squatting facing each other. Now you have to do a little imagining to figure that one out. One of the by the way as an aside one of the significant shifts that
we've been bandying this idea of whether there's been a sexual revolution. One of the significant shifts in your generation is that toward peer group rather than Then parental or institutional definition that is as to what is right or what is normal and sexual behavior. Some recent work in what we call reference group theory and reference group studies indicates that a person is most likely eventually to mold his behavior around his primary reference group now and that since for most of you that will mean the people who live next to you in the dormitory your roommate and that kind of a thing. It may mean that this will be much more likely to conform to your actual patterning of behavior than what you were taught in Sunday School or or or you know in the family or whatnot. When we look at this business of normality we run into a number of different frames of
reference the obvious one is the cultural the wisdom of the culture the prevailing folk ways that articulate themselves through the various patterns there. They worked out as the most expressive of the religious and the mythic in the social patterns within the society. The problem with the cultural point of view is that the whole cultures may be sick. That is there may be it may be said that just because a whole culture perhaps perhaps agrees upon one or another form of behavior as normal does not automatically mean that this is the most fruitful or most useful mode. There is another one which we are much more familiar with even in the sense that it can be clearly defined and that is a legal kind of definition of normality. And this reflects an articulated belief system that was prevalent at the time the laws were passed and for us that means about 100 years ago and under the especially. Strong
import tunings of a man named Comstock. And that's where our term Comstock aree comes from because he was a kind of. Kind of Carrie Nation for sexuality bent on prohibition and stamping it out for the evil that it was and our laws still reflect this prevailing attitude today. The good example of this by the way is that the last man to die in the electric chair in the state of California was Caryl Chessman I believe. Caryl Chessman stayed on death row for some 11 year through a number of appeals and so forth and it's very unlikely that many of you know why he was convicted except through the legal terms. He was convicted of forcing a woman to perform sexual oral intercourse that is in this case it's
called fellatio and he was put to death for this. Now obviously there was coercion and we're not going to argue the merits of the case as far as whether or not one should be put to death for this or not. But what it points to is the fact that we hold very strongly in our society. This is something worse than rape. It's certainly something as bad as murder. And yet if we look at statistically prevailing norms in the upper classes in our society two thirds of all married couples do just this kind of an act. Now it's obviously not under coercion. And there are all kinds of merits to this case that we can't discuss. But I would point out that this is something about which the culture feels very strongly and it does not conform to what we might call prevailing standards of psychiatric psychological and so forth of so-called normality though certainly the act itself would be would be considered depraved or abnormal. It's just that the evaluation that is put upon the act itself
is a function of a prevailing attitude and does not correspond let's say to the to the absolute severity such as equating it to let's say murder and so forth. The American Bar Institute by the way is a group. Judge Learned Hand was of formerly associated with it during the time when it was formulating a uniform sex code. And while this is been adopted only in part in only one or two states it is actually a great step forward in getting rid of the Comstock aree that characterizes many of our sex laws. We've already alluded to the kind of law that that by the way makes all sexual activity except nocturnal emissions. All sexual outlets according to standard prevailing American law except for heterosexual intercourse in marriage are
condemned and given various penalties. That means that masturbation for example not only with the unmarried but with the married is considered to be you know either sinful or against the law and most of our states. There is another. The British by the way as an aside here have recently moved in the same direction which has characterized the attempts of the American Bar Institute to try to separate sin from the illegal by saying there are many things which we will still want to continue to consider central such as adultery perhaps and so forth that we don't necessarily want to make illegal. And so all the attempts in this area are to move in the general direction as we will define it later of saying that normality then is largely a matter of whatever between
whatever occurs in private that is outside the unwilling view of others between consenting adults that is consenting here means that whatever is practiced is agreeable to both without coercion would then be considered to be quote within the range of normal sexual behavior. And we'll see that that broad definition lets in an awful lot of things that are now considered to be perversions of. The statistical view we've talked about the cultural and the legal the statistical view of normality is what is done by most people. It's special appeal as it seems the least threatening alternative given the information vacuum and the competing value systems all the way from that repressive asceticism to the kind of sexual hedonism scale that we introduced in our first lecture.
By the way the family which usually sets the standards in so many areas is secret with respect to what is actually. Practiced in sexual behavior. It's perfectly alright for the modern mother to say mommy and daddy make love. But this never gets very clearly defined even in the more sophisticated and lightened kind of family. Most young people some of our researches have shown simply cannot imagine their parents making love. This is in terms of the actual facts it's also due to this same kind of inability because the sexual script was never made very clear one of the reasons as we said earlier that parents don't tell their children about the facts of sex is because of the fear that the children will infer perhaps correctly that this is going on between the parents and so there's a tendency. Not to. Not to express this. It's also why perhaps 80
percent of Amherst man and I noticed almost the same percentage of Smith girls did not answer that item correctly on our sex information test which talked about the relationship of the menstrual of the menopausal period to the decrease or increase in sexual activity or sexual arousal ability. There is a prevailing assumption that once you reach the menopausal period sex is on the wane in the sense that it dies out shortly thereafter. And one of the most pathetic things about our culture is is that this is shared nowhere more firmly than among the old themselves so that in old age groups by and large at the present time in the society sexuality is look you know the recrudescence of sexuality as it might occur in the group let's say between a widow and a widower is looked upon as a kind of perversion. You know as if
somehow there's something naughty or not quite right about this. This kind of thing. The other problem with the statistical problem is that keeping up with the Joneses seems to be a kind of an American affliction and we are therefore most likely to want to constantly check out and see what other people are doing. It's for this reason that we have the problem with the male who hasn't been able to get over into a an interpersonal model for sexuality rather than the homo social checking it out with the boys back home model. There is an ideal perhaps in most of our minds though this one is very hard to articulate. It would come out of a growing awareness of the the new findings about sex and sexuality. One of the hopeful things about a course such as this is that you're exposed to lectures and through especially through readings it legitimates as we said your searches for
new information about the correct at least at this moment in time the correct what is presently known about sexuality so that it gives us the basis for a probably a more ideal more correct I should say more fulfilling kind of sex ethic. Lots of people work on this sort of thing. Sex Reform League spring up all over the country there's a burgeoning new sex I think which we can talk about if we have time for. Let me say a few things now and we want to close early tonight so that you'll have a little longer for for your sessions about normality. There are six ways and we've already touched on all of these in which human sexuality can be expressed. Masturbatory activity we've already talked about and I think our return to that at this point would merely to a be to affirm the fact that
it seems to be ubiquitous that while there may be strong cultural prohibitions religious prohibitions and we don't take issue with those that we think those are matters of personal concern and private concern. But that from a from the physiological personality point of view assuming that other things are going correctly and we indicated some of the negative characteristics that might involve masturbatory activity we certainly could not view master Vittoria activity with any of the kind of reserve that has characteristically been the position within our society by the way. A fairly substantial number of married people that is both men and women especially if they masturbated before marriage are likely to continue Mashaba Torii activity throughout the length of the marriage even when the sexual partner is available. Now if you although there are strong feelings about this it very frequently
is a way of showing hostility toward the other individual but it does not necessarily mean pathology in a marital relationship if one or the other is masturbating. One of the things that we've already indicated that came out of the the Masters and Johnson study is that the woman's most intense response or gas tickly speaking is from master but Tory activity and not from sexual intercourse or. The the other way is another. There are of the six ways that we express human sexuality as nocturnal emissions and just in passing we've already indicated that the boy will sooner or later discover if he hasn't already discovered through masturbatory activity that he's capable of an ejaculate and this occurs just after puberty. There is although even this one you can't get away with it because frequently it's called nocturnal
pollutions implying that somehow even that is not quite cricket. You see one is polluted. Masturbation itself is can they be translated means self pollution. As if the notion is some kind of. The language expresses the contempt of the culture for this kind of thing. There of course is no nocturnal emission in the woman but there are orgasms during sleep that many women report though typically women will not have an orgasm until they have become sexually experienced that is until their having orgasms in other ways. Women do have many sexual dreams and women are capable simply of fantasy to orgasm. That is they don't have to have any stimulation at all some few women I should say. Some very few women at the present time. If you read your Brecker and Brecker book you will note that the Masters and Johnson team are working with two women who can
simply lie on a table and begin having orgasms through thinking about it. Heterosexual petting is another point of expression and obviously this is almost universal among both men and women. I think there's very little to say about it except for our purposes here instead of talking about techniques and that kind of thing to really simply say that more and more people I think because of the problem of the sexual outlet and the prolonged period in which individuals cannot have any acceptable sexual substitute that a number of people who counsel encourage that heterosexual petting be the mode of sexual expression. Let's say even rather than sexual intercourse because of the untoward effects of contraception and that sort of thing and the greater implication so that I think for the
for not for the first time but certainly for a much. A much more larger number of individuals tend to actually instead of sort of being squeamish about it say well this is kind of behavior that we should be encouraged simply because the individual has no acceptable pattern of outlet. There are others by the way who encourage masturbate Torrie activity. I mean encourage it simply because there is the feeling that there is nothing wrong with having sexual outlets as long as the individual is living a full and active life otherwise that this should have no one toward affect upon later sexual development. There is even the encouragement among not even liberal individuals that heterosexual petting is a kind of practicing in interpersonal relationships above and beyond simply sexual techniques and that kind of thing. Homo sexual relations we've already alluded to as another form. Outlet and we've already indicated that it's much higher.
It's much higher prevalence among men than among women. It is also much more to boo among men than among women which is another class. A classic example of our double standard in which women don't quite count as much. In New York at the On a recent count there were 700 arrests for male homosexuality to one a rest for lesbian ism which shows you the prevailing pattern perhaps in the United States and most of the states it isn't even against the law to have sexual relations between women. Try to figure that one out why would it make such a difference between men and women. 50 percent of women report that at one time or another they have intense and passionate feelings for a member of the same sex and we've already indicated that a third of all males have some kind of homosexual activity to orgasm. Now if one wants to talk statistically obviously it would sort of put to bed the notion that one ought to be uptight about any kind of homosexual feelings
that might crop into his repertory of behavior. It is just as absurd to assume that because an individual under the promptings of another or under the influence of alcohol. Was was seduced in and into a homosexual episode that this should somehow govern one's life and make one wonder. You know am I or am I not a homosexual. As a matter of fact the question Am I a homosexual perhaps itself is a wrong question for an individual to have just because he has experienced some kind of homosexual prompting at one point or another. Recall that we indicated that probably normal heterosexual development through this sequence of events that we called psychosexual development would probably call for a spilling over of affectional relationships at time into the sexual component How can you keep them separate since the whole sexuality thing is that genital ises it becomes increasingly
genital. Will obviously take on some of the other components of affection and tenderness and that sort of thing and when this is felt toward an inappropriate object and inappropriate is only defined by the culture one should not begin to define oneself in terms of I am or am not a homosexual. There is obviously home sexual contact with animals. We don't think much of this. It is again against the law and it is called a crime against nature. It is it might better be thought of as the peccadillo of a small farm boy because that's mostly where it takes place. Young boys especially growing up on farms as we've indicated this high highly potentiate had turned on organism can respond in all kinds of ways to all kinds of objects and so there's a great deal of sexual experimentation that goes on. I would tend to just pass over this by indicating that if one looked at this in the same
purview without some kind of legal version one could see that this there is no innate perversity or in quotes crime against nature involved in this necessarily it may be just what it is a spilling over of the sexual component which does not find some kind of biological direction in our upbringing. Then the last. Way is of course heterosexual intercourse both in and out of marriage and I would just as briefly try to finish up here by saying a few things about normal sexual behavior in sexual intercourse. Perhaps the easiest way to say it is to say that with these other limiting factors that is when it is consenting adults and I'm thinking out primarily of the marital pair that all of our concerns about what's right and what's correct and what's wrong what's perverse especially the question of what
is perversion because there are many many long and link the definitions of perversity that a very wide range of these kinds of so-called perversions are simply what we would consider psychologically perfectly normal behavior. Let's put it this way that to summarize much too briefly here. There shouldn't be any limit on the frequency of intercourse. There shouldn't be any limit on the kinds of sexual practices that are involved as long as the pair consents that is both are willing to participate as long as it is not aesthetically offensive and so forth. Now this brings in the typical kinds of situations that one encounters in the petting behavior is that increasingly radiates to more and more non-call adult sexual practices. Genital manipulation whether it occurs manually or orally
is far from a psychological point of view is not seen as any kind of perversion at all. And yet of course legally speaking it very much is the case. In a recent case defended by Playboy magazine. You may know that a married couple were sentenced to a prison term for having oral genital relations. Something that psychiatrist and psychologist would consider to be perfectly normal sexual practices so that our concept of perversion here is largely a legal one and from our point of view we would simply say that most of the kinds of hangups we have come from the ways we've been taught about how we are to behave in in in in respect to sexual expression. Another issue that we might touch on too is that there isn't any ideal pattern that
can be prescribed for all couples. One of the hang ups that many men have is that they feel almost coerced into developing a pattern of technique and practice which expresses their own adequacy and then if this does not succeed why it reflects upon their adequacy and then they have real hang ups about it. This is especially the case when the male is unable to give the woman sexual gratification an orgasm. It might very well be a much more realistic approach to try to disabuse ourselves of some of the prevailing standards. One of the most typical ones and I know that Dr surreal will touch on this is the requirement that the ideal sexual climax is a simultaneous orgasm and what the Masters and Johnson studies has shown that for many individuals this may be an ideal response pattern but to impose it upon
any couple is to be arbitrary about it for the range and patterning of sexual response is so variant and will differ from couple to couple as well as from individual to individual. That it is quite. Out of order to to somehow say that this was the prevailing ideal to be reached for the simple reason that at one point the woman or the male in either case might want to focus upon his own sexual responding at that point and it will be a distraction to continue to focus upon the other person's response. There are many kinds of considerations here but I think the critical point to make is that it is very difficult to spell out some kind of ideal pattern for any particular couple. The there is actually a very wide range of sexual practices. The mentally healthy approach is for a couple to enter as freely as possible and as open
as possible to whatever pattern can develop within the possibilities of both. One of the early ffs sex marriage. Marriage in the family text books by Paul Landis quotes from a young woman to this effect as a final caveat on this whole problem of sex technique and practice and so forth. We would have been the happiest couple in the world if somehow we could have forgotten all that stuff we ever heard or read on the subject of sex. My happiest moments were when we were together. I love to feel his near miss and wanted nothing more than to satisfy his every wish. But he was sure that I should get the same excitement out of sex that he did. We never relaxed and enjoyed the intimate life that could have been ours instead we search for a kind of mutual ecstasy that was forever out of reach. Our sex life became a time of tension and awkward experimentation that left us more and more upset and dissatisfied. After a while I lost the simple but deep happiness I had known in our intimate
life. And from there on our marriage seemed of little value or meaning to either of us. Well perhaps that's a little over sensational but I think it gets the message that one can become obsessed with technique as if somehow this is the new ethic and somehow this is the really that is somehow if one protects the method and so forth that it somehow takes care of all the other kinds of issues that might arise. There's even a danger in working toward a prescribed pattern because it has inevitably in it some kind of normative notion about what ought to be the case. A couple should have fun. They should enter in to sex with a sense of adventure excitement and release. They should feel that it is completely normal and right that they have every that each has equal rights to satisfaction that they should be flexible and in their expectations recognizing that can be a highly complex interaction. And most importantly or at least quite importantly leave the culture out of the bedroom. A bed is not a stage.
Oh. One thing that I might just touch on and I've passed over many of the things I was going to say is that sex is a kind of a barometer of other elements in a relationship. And for this reason sex carries a special load. It is quite true that a couple can be highly well-adjusted sexually and still be miserable in a relationship. It is also true that a couple can be miserably adjusted sexually if one wants to define it that way and still have a highly viable and highly satisfying relationship so that our earlier notion somehow that sex was was a kind of automatic measure of the quality of a relationship certainly has to be must go examined because it certainly is that is the case that sex has this peculiar quality
for carrying many other things that are non-sexual in a relationship. For this reason Albert Ellis who counsels on sexual matters feels that only some 20 percent of couples reach anything like the kind of sexual sexually satisfying adjustment for the period of time that should be the right of all individuals who enter a marriage a marriage or a sexual relationship. One more note the question comes up again and again about the problem of alcohol and and the drug scene with respect to sexuality. Why alcohol is not an aphrodisiac it's an actual enemy of sexual integration because too much alcohol tends to desensitize anesthetize and to certainly break up the patterns that have been built up in terms of sexual control.
As far as the male is concerned it is true however that alcohol and certainly drugs do have the capacity to sort of dis inhibit the individual. And in that respect we could probably think of it as an aphrodisiac although we've already said that there is no such thing except androgenic supplement supplements substances with respect to drugs. I think the only thing I could say is that. Surely Timothy Leary is not correct when he says that's what it's all about. Because while people experiencing especially hallucinogenic drugs do tend to experience something akin to what we call this process in reverse a kind of de genital ization of sex that is we've indicated that as one grows up there is an increasing patterning of sex toward genital structures and the so-called erogenous zones. And it's clear that some drug effects for
some individuals is to somehow degenerate allies or to spread sexual effects throughout the body and to actually make this experienced be experienced as something that we might call brotherly love or some term such as that. That is a kind of era ties ng of the much broader spectrum of human relationships that are not felt as so specifically sexual. And for this reason the drugs have that effect of increasing. Accessibility to intimate experimentation. But it would certainly be I think incorrect too to have the impression that that drugs are some kind of substance that really turns one on sexually and in this inhibit all of the disconnect all of the the cautions and the prohibitions that are built into the individual following this form of presentation in the four college course on
human sexuality questions from the audience resulted in an elaboration of some of the ideas offered during the lecture. The question is the intensity of the woman's orgasm through masturbatory activity exceeding that of the orgasm that she has through copula Tori behavior and also that of the male. There's a tremendous range of difference between the orgasmic response of any one individual that's the first thing to say that it can be all the way from a highly overpowering response to a very almost unrecognized response under certain circumstances. So that in any one individual there can be a wide range of responses. When the Masters and Johnson studies say that. The woman reaches a more powerful orgasm it means that she is able to know all about herself much more than the male can find out about her. That is
certainly in the initiatory in the initial stages of the lovemaking. The so that she simply is much more likely to find those areas of sensitivity and the pattern is such that no two women are the same in this respect so that it's quite natural that we can expect her to be able to meter her own physical stimulation along with this rising pattern of sexual response that you will read about either in Macquarie or and you'll be hearing about in your lecture next time. So I think the same thing applies to the male. That the intensity of the orgasmic response may more likely be greater through masturbatory activity. But you see as we alluded to this in an earlier lecture that isn't what sex is all about necessarily. The vast array of other kinds of responses that attend the sexual
encounter. May simply attenuate and take away the focus from the orgasmic responding and place it on many other elements of the relationship and so it's very important to remember that we didn't say it's a better orgasm but that is simply a more powerful or more intense one as far as the physiological tallness city of the body is concerned. Certainly this would be no argument at all for Master but Tory activity you know in preference to heterosexual encounter. This is not the point of it it's really to say be very much aware of the physiological substrate that can be tapped in this respect. And certainly we would say that the individual who exclusively especially in those situations where there is optimal opportunity for encounters that that individual who exclusively resorts to homeless to masturbate or activity would certainly be thought to be you see not well-adjusted.
One exception to this and it's not really an exception but in a dead end it is that many older people who have lost their partner continue to resume masturbate or activity until very late stages of their lives. My feeling would be you know that this is a perfectly valid response in the absence of other kinds of possibilities. The dynamics that are involved when individuals continue to masturbate when they're married. The point that I made earlier that sex is peculiarly the vehicle of a wide array of other kinds of things in other words this can express aggression hostility. It may be it may be that the sexual patterning for an individual above and beyond its exclusive manifestation of a kind of paired you know response also has certain
components that are private and personal so that for some individuals masturbate Torii activity would be expressing that aspect of their own private domain you know a kind some kind of narcissistic love of the self but simply that certain components in the make up of some individuals might make them prone to simply practice Mashaba Torii activity. You know in this way. Now if this however interferes with is instead of. Or takes away from the individual's encounter with the other one would recognise then that it is probably not expressing this private and personal thing but is the vehicle for probably some concealed hostility aggression. Some other kinds of hang ups it can mean also that person for example. Some males because they have such a more much more powerful sexual response through masturbate or activity. You
will simply resort to masturbate or activity simply because it is a much more you know intense response. And this of course means that it that it would be something that one did as as a as a thing separate from the relationship. The only point I would like to make is that.
- Human sexuality
- Episode Number
- #3 (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)
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- Series Description
- 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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- Chicago: “Human sexuality; #3 (1 Of 2),” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 10, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-t14tp581.
- MLA: “Human sexuality; #3 (1 Of 2).” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 10, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-t14tp581>.
- APA: Human sexuality; #3 (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-t14tp581