When one looks at the social psychology of sexual difficulties and sexual repression in modern society there is usually a focus on religion. How it has placed considerable prohibitions and guilt on various sexual behaviour. This, it is hypothesised has resulted in sexual problems and difficulties for a considerable number of people over many hundreds of years. It is indeed still regarded as doing the same in these modern times although it is less influential than fifty or a hundred years ago.
On the other hand psychologists have been seen as almost liberators of this sexual repression and thus society is seen as now being more mentally healthy. Freud in his focus on sexuality and the psyche is at times seen as a sexual liberator from the repression. There is however another side to all this and psychologists have in some ways contributed to a sexually repressed society in a more damaging and insidious way.
Religion is clear in presenting a certain moral view point about a lot of matters including sex. When they present their views people know what they are getting. On the other hand psychologists present themselves as scientists who provide information that is based on scientific fact. It is not opinion or value judgements and people will usually take this to be true.
The following come from
1940. Psychodynamics of abnormal behaviour. McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc: London.
This seventy one year old text book was for undergraduate psychology students as an introduction to abnormal psychology. Chapter nineteen is titled - Abnormalities of sexual behaviour. After completing the degree these psychology students were released onto the public to counsel them on a variety of matters including their sexual behaviour.
This book presents the following on what is considered abnormal sexual behaviour. It is based on the theories of Freud who was the main source of scientific information on such matters seventy one years ago.
“Sexual perversions represent behavior in which the release from sexual tension is obtained by practices other than that of normal heterosexual coitus. These practices usually involve contact of the sex organs with other bodily organs, such as the hand, the mouth, ot the anus.”
“Freud was able to show that the perversions represent fixations at levels of infantile sex adjustment”
“We further know that the intermixture of the aggressive urges with both homosexual and heterosexual erotic urges occurs in all individuals. Consequently, all individuals exhibit in their normal sexual behavior some aggression. This is seen in the semisadistic acts of the normal male and the semimasochistic acts of the normal female. The average healthy male often desires to create at least an attenuated form of pain in sexual behavior. The average healthy normal female enjoys being partly hurt.”
Sexual perversion occurs when “...the means to arrive at sexual satisfaction do not end in coitus,...”
“The basic criterion of a normal coitus is that both parties should experience the orgasm through coitus and preferably, although it is not great importance, simultaneously.”
“The sexual properly performed should leave both individuals in a state of complete detumescence.”
“Certainly for individuals living in normal marriage relationships it can be said that coitus occurring once a month or once in several months is too rare. Likewise we may say that over a period of time coitus occurring as frequently as once or twice a day is too often.”
P374 - 375
“It is quite obvious that coitus which lasts only a minute or two or in which the orgasm of the male occurs before penetration - the so-called ‘ejaculatio praecox’ - is not long enough, whereas coitus which lasts an hour or more is too long.”
“For this reason the preliminary pleasure or the foreplay of the sexual act is very important, particularly for the female. In this category is included all the forms of behavior which lead up to the actual act of coitus: thus kissing, fondling, stroking are of importance.”
So there we have it.
Non perverted sex involves peno-vaginal intercourse with the female in the supine position. Penetration cannot be less than two minutes or longer than one hour. Orgasm should occur preferably simultaneously and leave both in a state of complete detumescence. Sex should occur less than twice a day and more than once every two months. The male can be semisadistic and the female may be semimasochistic. Foreplay is permitted as long as it does not involve any perverse touching or sucking and the end of the sex act must be with coitus.
We had an entire generation of psychologists counselling people with this training in abnormal psychology. These psychologists would then have informed their clients of this and I assume informed them of what was psychological healthy sexual contact. These days this is seen as quite odd, one could even say perverse to suggest to clients that they desist from sexual behaviour that does not conform to the above. Thus we had a generation of counselling therapists who were supporting sexual repression and all the resulting psychological damage which that causes.
However it must be remembered that these psychologists were acting in good faith. The above based on the scientific facts available at the time. Indeed it makes one wonder when those counsellors in seventy one years from now look back at us and what we currently believe and have the same reaction of, “OMG how could they think that”!
This is not the end of the story. There is indeed some truth to the quotations above. But that is for the next post.