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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %REFLEXIVE SELF ESTEEM JUDGMENT AFFIRM DENY TRUE 920904 Scientists who study human relationships tend to approach their studies within the context of the scientific paradigm which calls for objectivity. Their sense of self respect and self esteem depends significantly upon how well they fulfill the traditional values and ideals of the scientific paradigm. What their scientific peers think of them as persons depends significantly upon how well they fulfill the ideals and values of the scientific paradigm in their studies of human relationships. The process of trying to fulfill the traditions of the scientific paradigm within the context of the study of human relationships puts the social scientists in a double bind. It is essentially impossible to study human relationships without being close to the people who are participants in the relationships which are the object of study. The more distant from the relationships the social scientists are, the less closely informed the social scientists will be about the finer details of the relationships. The more close to the relationships the social scientists are, the more closely informed and involved in the relationships the scientists will be. There is something like the Heisenberg uncertainty principle which must operate: the product of the uncertainty-in-objectivity and the uncertainty-in- information must be about the size of some constant. Decreasing the uncertainty regarding the level of objectivity increased the uncertainty regarding the level of available information; and vice-versa. The more intimate the human relationships are which are the object of study, the more significant this social- science-uncertainty-relationship is to the conclusions which may be drawn from the studies of the human relationships; and to the level of self-esteem of the social scientists who are seeking each other's respect through their studies. The more intimately social scientists are involved as participants in the intimate relationships which are the focus of their studies, the better informed they may be about the relationships which are the object of their studies; but the less objective they can be about the object of their studies. There are many roles which social scientists may play in such situations as: participants, observers, analysts, critics of methods and publications, judges of personal integrity, supporters of each other, affirming each other, etc. It is not easy to keep clear in each situation which roles one is playing and how well one is playing the roles which one feels one should be playing; especially when one feels/believes that roles should be kept distinct and separate---to avoid conflicts of interest. If one is a participant social scientist seeking to gain scientific understanding of intimate human relationships, what is to motivate and lead the process of involvement in the study; if being well informed in the study calls for intimate involvement in the relationships which are the focus of the study? Is the desire to achieve objectivity to be most important? Is the desire to achieve high levels of information to be most important? How is the greatest level of understanding to be achieved in the study? How is the social science uncertainty relationship to be dealt with? These considerations become very significant when seeking to understand intimate sexual relationships which are usually "governed" by many tacit rules, prohibitions, taboos, and collusions. Some of the tacit rules, prohibitions, taboos, and collusions call for extreme forms of judgment and rejection in the presence of some of the common forms of sexual relationships. To be present and study such forms of sexual relationships without expressing alienative judgments is often regarded as expressing tolerance which is regarded as approval and and an affirmation of the propriety of the common but presumably "perverted" forms of sexual relationships--- which are viewed as being taboo by many people who know little about them. How then is the social scientist to intimately study such forms of sexual relationships without being involved in them, and so overtly and/or tacitly being the victim of judgments and excommunications for being participants in taboo activities? This would all be a purely academic matter if sexual relationships were not central to most human dilemmas and many apparently technical problems. But such is not the case. In truth a large fraction of all human dilemmas and apparently technical problems are in fact rooted in human difficulties in studying, understanding and dealing with human sexuality: Teen-age pregnancies, abortions, venereal diseases, AIDS, birth control, the population explosion, over-crowding, hurricane damage, typhoon damage, flood damage, resource depletion, pollution, garbage disposal, sewage disposal, sexual addiction, relational addiction, romantic addiction, other forms of addiction, rape, codependency, sexual injustice, sexual discrimination within scientific professions, corporate abuse of human sexuality in advertising, sexual collusions; and alienation due to sexual legalism, judgmentalism and excommunication. It is no wonder that some people treat sexuality as the root of all evil! How are we to gain an integrative understanding of human sexuality; an understanding which promotes both personal and communal integrity and health? Can it be done objectively? If not, then how? How certain, uncertain, and/or confident can we be of the conclusions which we draw? How can we be wise in the face of the realities of our dilemmas? (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================