Understanding Human Behavior #2

Time for another round of heavenly hash from perhaps the greatest series of textbooks ever: Understanding Human Behavior (1974).  The photograph above is from a chapter on dealing with in-laws.  The caption reads "If a boy's best friend is his mother, keep clear!  Momma's boys usually make lousy husbands."

What's interesting to me about this topic isn't so much the ridiculous advice doled out in this textbook, but rather the issue itself.  The subject of dealing with in-laws used to be a real issue - a common, almost universal, problem.  How many movies, TV shows and cartoons featured the main characters dealing with hard-to-tolerate in-laws? Tons.

Today, we are so disconnected from our extended families, that the issue of fitting in with our in-laws has slowly become inconsequential.  Sure, we talk with them, and most of us have some degree of a relationship with them.  But, today everyone moves around so much, it's becoming less and less likely you'll see them at all, except for holidays and special occasions. What to do about the in-laws? Who cares?

Here's a few more lovely illustrations from the textbook with corresponding captions...

 "It may be difficult to see yourself as a sex bomb by night if you're a domestic drudge all day."

"Millions of Americans are gripped by an anxiety that is not caused by war, inflation or recession.... it is the cold fear of dying at random in a brief spasm of senseless violence for a few pennies, for nothing..... No doubt about it.  You gotta look up to the law - one way or the other."

"Anxiety over an unwanted pregnancy can wreck your sex life."


  1. This is why Quaaludes were invented.

  2. This textbook brings back memories.

    In the '80s, I got stuck in a high school "Parent/Child Development" class, which was where they stuck the pregnant gals. There were all kinds of vintage materials around, from posters and handbooks and whatnot.

    And the teacher was this surly crone with a '50s hairdo who knitted while she taught...but I can still hear her yell, "You raise livestock, and rear a child!!!" every time someone used "raise" in describing their kids.

  3. when we got our wedding license, they gave us an offer of either $75 for the license or ony $15 if we decided to take a "relationship" course. one of the chapters was Domestic Violence which featured a wise entry: "If your partner is physically abusing you or your children, it might be time to re-think getting married to them."

    Note: we got married in 2008 in TX

  4. Image 3 is just freaky. It's like, "The world is so scary that you have to get down on your knees and orally service a multi-headed giant authority figure to be safe."