Thursday, August 15, 2013

"Sex, society, marketing, and psychology"

“Sex, society, and psychology is the assignment,” he proclaimed. 

That got everyone’s attention. You DID notice that first picture was a pair of feet, right?  You thought what?  

I guess now when I say, “Read the assignment," it’ll get done! Okay, today’s guest speaker is Havelock Ellis, and we’re going to use his Studies in the Psychology of Sex as our platform. We’ll peruse a short sample from a biographical essay and look for a thesis statement wrapped inside of an assertion, as well as topic sentences, transitional phrases, action or signal verbs, and a summarizing conclusion.
Yes, those were feet!
No, that's your own fault for having a vivid imagination.
And no: the man in the tub didn't have twisted legs.  

No, you may not go back and look!
Now pay attention!!
     When, as a young man in Australia, Havelock Ellis resolved to become a physician and devote himself to a lifetime study of sexual phenomena, the subject was surrounded by social taboos. Ellis became the first notable English writer to discuss sex openly and with detachment. Starting with Ellis and Sigmund Freud, late in the 19th century, human physiology began to be seriously investigated and sex to be studied not as if it were a disgraceful function, but as something normally common to the human race. That everything related to sex could be freely discussed in the mid-20th century is owing largely to the work of these two trail-blazing scientists.
(Got that? You either say Yes right now and get a chance to help keep the human race going, or just say No and stop here. Literally.)
(Ok. Continue)
     While Ellis undertook a certain amount of original investigation for Studies in the Psychology of Sex, his writings are based chiefly upon already published work scattered through hundreds of learned journals and innumerable books, many of them exceedingly obscure. To the study of sex, Ellis proposed to apply the same objective research methods followed by other scholars in anthropology, politics, and the social sciences. His seven-volume work was directed primarily at the education of normal people--the general public--to persuade them that a rational attitude toward sex is essential to human happiness. Only incidentally was Ellis concerned with the problems of medical practitioners and with sexual abnormalities.
(Key points here:)

Summing up Ellis's achievements, the American psychiatrist Karl Menninger concludes: Substantially, he did three things. In the first place, he made a careful, thorough, and honest collection of data relating to a phase of biology which the hypocrisy and prudery of medical science had, until Ellis, caused to be ignored for the most part. In the second place, he evolved and advocated a hedonistic philosophy of life tempered if not determined by the sane, scientific attitude toward sex which his studies engendered. 

In the third place, he presented his scientific findings and philosophical beliefs to the world with that artistic combination of directness and delicacy which made them acceptable to non-scientific readers.  

    H. L. Mencken described Ellis as "undoubtedly the most civilized Englishman of his generation," a judgment that has won wide concurrence. Ellis has been more responsible than any other man for lifting the Puritan taboo upon sex, for bringing the subject into the clear light of science, and for preparing public opinion for objective research in the field of sex and marriage. He paved the way for the reception of Freud and Jung in psychological theory, for such literary figures as Joyce and Proust, and for such further investigation in his own chosen field as those of Alfred Kinsey.
What is the heart (and thesis) of this paper? Why does the subject being "pitched" have an impact, or WHY was this person's life significant?

Havelock’s importance as a leading pioneer in the study of human sexuality and its impact on our social values.  His contributions regarding the dynamics of humanity’s primal drive to perpetuate are profound for their ground-breaking avenues of thought and research methods. His impact on the intellectual-philosophical dimensions of sexual research (breaking away from narrow-minded restrictive attitudes and values) broke open a logjam of ideas about human behavior (women are humans and not second-class creatures), and also likely influenced the Suffragette movement in America

(Easy answer: he made us learn about our bodies and how we function as a species.) Why does he (it) matter? Oh, THAT 3-letter word. It also has a sense of power unto itself, yes? Mighty important part of our lives; we devote a considerable amount of our economy on sex, yes?
Marketing, advertising, and movies? Clothes? Music? Automobiles? Vacations and travel? Medicine, including pediatrics and the process of being born right and unto death? Our housing boom trends and real estate? Toys, games, and entertainment?   
I’ll stop there.
You’d better know the rest of the details or else you’re gonna be extinct. And college won't matter.

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