Understanding Human Behavior #4

Jesus Harold Christ! Try to find this in your local school library..... and yet Understanding Human Behavior was a widely circulated series of textbooks. I don't know how often they were used in the classroom - if they were ever a required text for some sociology/psychology elective - however, I am still shocked that these things ended up on the shelves of school and public libraries.  Granted, the text within these books are rather tame, but the pictures within are amazingly provocative.

As the orgiastic nudes and goat-headed Beelzebub on the cover would indicate, this volume contains a few chapters on satanism...

"Satanism is alive and well and living with the wife swappers and pill poppers in suburbura" (page 2135)

Additional Photo pg. 2138 (NSFW)

I personally find the satanism shtick pretty pathetic, really.  More of an excuse to get to humping than anything else.  That being said, I find the movies back then that scared me the most often had satanic themes - The Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby, The Omen.... and I could list more obscure ones like Black Candles (aka Los Ritos Sexuales del Diablo and Escalofrío -aka Satan's Blood) that sure disturbed the hell out of me.  There's definitely something there on a primal level that chills the blood..... even if it was just an excuse to get chicks naked and ready to bump.

This illustration is taken from a chapter which has nothing to do with satanism (although, I'm definitely getting the satan vibe here):

 "Leftover Rite: Like a moth drawn to a flame, the loser in love is irresistibly attracted to the wrong sort of woman.  Never learning from his mistakes, he homes in on the harpy who is guranteed to give him heartache, and he always ends up getting his wings burned." (pg. 2153)

I found this chapter boring and uninspired; however, the image intrigues me.  Is that Laura Gemser? Remember the chick from those Emmanuel movies and those Women In Prison flicks? That can't be her popping up in this pop psychology textbook, can it?

"In the morning he's just about recovered.  Makes it out of bed OK but a crowded commuter train begins to take a toll of his energy.  Has to work flat out at work to impress his boss and get that promotion.  Must keep up with the boys so he tanks up at the bar.  But the day's not done, and worry drives him back to the desk.  No wonder he's got nothing but snores for the wife he adores." (pg. 2123)

"The rape complex is more common, according to psychologists, than people suppose.  While she says "No!" she secretly eggs him on." (pg. 2057)

That's just what your potential rapist needs to read, isn't it? A textbook says a lot more women than you think actually want to be raped.

Now, if you'll excuse me. I've got to splash my face with cold water and wash the memory of this book away.


  1. AnonymousMay 30, 2012

    I think my classmates in sexual psychology 101 class would have been more interested in the textbook here than the one we had. Ours had a photo of courting walruses and chimpanzees (no actual mating just mating rituals) along with a collage of photos of people of different ethnic groups and sexual orientations, and for some reason the one of the lesbians was the largest in the collage.

  2. This got me to checking abebooks.com. It appears to be a series of at last 24 120-page books, and they all have interesting covers. Looks more like a Time-Life series than an actual textbook, so I doubt this was intended for a classroom setting.

  3. Trappert has it right. These were published by "Columbia House" no less...so even more sensationalist and trivial than the Time-Life Books (at their worst) that these folks were imitating...not textbooks at all. (Though the Time-Life ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WITCHCRAFT of this vintage did clue me in, in 1974 or thereabouts, about how those "inexplicable" crop-circles had been created...tagged "inexplicable" and similar nonsensical such by the 1980s and later fleecers of the gullible, and/or the self-deluded.)

  4. From my shaky understanding of satanism, the only really excuse for naked ladies was the altar for the Black Mass, which was a nude woman. Its like, what? Did the seventies really need an EXCUSE for swinging, be it satanism or whatever?

    that cover is pretty metal, though. Its like if Hieronymous Bosch was asked to paint a Black Sabbath album cover. \m/

  5. AnonymousMay 31, 2012

    Thanks for turning me on to this series of books, I collage and the pics in these are awesome!

  6. AnonymousJune 05, 2012

    Pic #2 (and NSFW #3) are of Alex Sanders (and coven) after his split with Maxine, who were the 'new' face of witchcraft in London in the early 70s -- definitely not satanists, despite the silly goat-creature head-thing. The photos were taken by John Moss in 1972.

    Red Witch


    1. I've got the whole series - 24 books in all. Interested?

  8. AnonymousMay 31, 2013

    That is like the greatest textbook cover EVER.

  9. This volume is amazing excluding the engaging artwork, and I find it very informative. Included in the editorial board was: a psychiatrist and Fellow of the Medical Research Council, the Director of the Sleep Disorders Clinic and Lab at Stanford, a medical correspondent, an experimental psychologist and Secretary of the Brain Research Association, Director of the Department of Psychology at the University of London, a scientific adviser for the Government, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, a well known author/broadcaster/journalist, and a Ph.D who was an authority on brain waves and biofeedback. I personally consider it ahead of it's time. The bizarre illustrations keep the visually stimulated reader engrossed. And it works...for me anyway. I love this volume.