Tag: psychologist

Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us by Jesse Bering

Posted November 17, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Non-Fiction / 2 Comments

Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us by Jesse BeringTitle: Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us (Goodreads)
, 2013
Pages: 288
Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Jesse Bering, award-winning columnist and psychologist, wants to talk about perversions. We are deviants in one form or another; we may not be paedophiles, or into voyeurism and exhibitionism but there maybe something in our past we rather not discuss. In Perv, Jesse Bering looks at the psychology of having a fetish outside the norm and compares it to the difficulties he faced growing up in the 70s and 80s as a gay man.

This is an interesting book; it doesn’t condone sexual abuse or committing a sex crime. This rather looks at the psychology of paraphilia’s and makes the reader think about it in a different light. Just because someone has a fetish for something unusual doesn’t make them any less human. Bering looks at cultural thought, imprinting, conditioning and compares them to his own struggles as a homosexual.

While he looks at things like zoophiles, paedophiles and bestiality, he also looks at other perversions. Cross dressing, bondage, sadism and tries to get the reader to accept people as human. Just because they have this desire doesn’t mean they are committing crimes, these people are struggling and dealing with the guilt. As Bering states, sometimes they often feel like they have three options in life; depressive sleep, being institutionalised or suicide. Neither of these solutions seems effective at solving the problem.

I thought I had a decent understanding of the GSM (Gender and/or sexual minority or LGBT if you prefer) lifestyle but this just throws so many questions. I’m not comparing GSM with paedophilia, I’m just saying that the psychology of sex is so complicated and how can you treat people with paraphilia without a decent grasp on it. Especially a paraphilia that was so rare that no one bothered to find the Greek name for it.

There wasn’t much about paraphilia’s as I wanted; I was hoping to learn more about these ‘out of the norm’ sexual preferences. Not because I want to make fun of them, the whole thing is just fascinating. My favourite paraphilia discovered from this book is auto-plushophilia (look it up). I think this book looked at paraphilia’s in a new light, I hope this will help me understand them a little better and make it easier to accept them. I now think the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders approach to paraphilia’s are very dated and destructive. If psychologists don’t approach the treatment of these people struggling in a more accepting and human way then these people will never get the help they are seeking.


The Measure of Intelligence

Posted February 10, 2011 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Education / 3 Comments

In 1904, the French psychologist Alfred Binet created the Binet Scale which became the basis of what is now the IQ Test. Originally it was created to measure a child’s strengths and weakness so the teacher knew which areas would require special attention for each individual student. The Binet Scale become a revolutionary approach to the assessment of individual mental ability, but it was never designed to test someone’s intelligence. Binet himself cautioned against misuse of the Binet Scale and has been quoted in saying “the scale, properly speaking, does not permit the measure of intelligence, because intellectual qualities are not superposable, and therefore cannot be measured as linear surfaces are measured.” He also feared that the test would be used to condemn a child rather than assist their education.

The Binet Scale had a profound effect on educational development but they failed to listen to Alfred Binet’s warnings and as a result of Lewis M. Terman’s revisions to the Binet Scale (now known as the Stanford Revision of the Binet-Simon Scale of Intelligence) we now has a standardised intelligence test. This IQ Test became a standard practise and a multimillion dollar business; even resulting in the American Academy for the Advancement of Science listing the IQ test among the twenty most significant scientific discoveries of the twentieth century along with nuclear fission, DNA, the transistor and flight (in 1989).

If the IQ test was meant to monitor a person’s intelligence I have some questions that need answering;

How are they defining intelligence?

  • The ability to do well in school?
  • The ability to read well and spell correctly
  • Or the ability to following an intelligent person?

When did a person’s intelligence become linear?

The problem I found is that standardised testing is trying to make everyone the same, when we should be using the test on the young for its original purpose. Maybe we should just scrap the whole thing. I’ve also think other tests like the SAT’s are been misused as well. Let me know your thoughts.