Dr.V is back!

New job, new state, new classes this semester! Dr. V. will be bringing the popular psychology to Research Methods, Lifespan Development & Counseling at The University of Mount Union in Ohio and undertaking the hero’s journey that is MAKING STATS FUN.

What to look forward to this semester:

LOTSA Season 6 True Blood spoilers:

VampCamp: Breaking all the ethical guidelines for psychology research (including references to Nazi research, Masters & Johnson, & how to be a really bad therapist)

Fangs on the Couch: I asked for some supernatural therapy last year, and apparently the HBO folks heard my call, complete with Freudian couches, questions about her maker & inappropriate client-therapist dynamics.

Hybrid identity development: At least Warlow’s good for one thing: Teaching students about the complexities of multiple minority identity development.

Until then. . may I offer this nugget of awesomeness (NOT PHOTOSHOPPED):Vampstats

Akin & the power of the V: Psychologists as agents of social justice

I live in the great state of Missouri, which can be wonderful place to live, but also happens to be #1 in Methamphetamine lab busts as well as the home of the controversial Congressman Ted Akin who asserted that women’s bodies have the ability to prevent conception in cases of sexual assault, thus making laws to allow women to legally terminate a pregnancy in cases of sexual assault unnecessary (using the rather offensive phrase “legitimate rape” to indicate that there are cases that are not “legitimate”).

As a psychologist and an advocate for laws based on the best possible scientific evidence, I was very disturbed by these scientifically-unfounded claims & joined a host of like-minded students, staff and faculty on campus for a protest this week, and I brought my friend Ms.V, my hand-sewn, anatomically-correct vagina pillow in case Mr. Akin was interested in a lesson in female reproductive anatomy.

Ms. V. & Dr. V on the Columbia, MO Channel 8 news (background) (That’s me in the black/pink T shirt with my vulva/vagina pillow in the background at about 00:50). I was joking about pulling a “Say Anything” moment with the pillow if Mr. Akin walked by. Of course, I’m not interested in woo-ing him, but I thought it MIGHT catch his attention.

Smurfette’s Vulva: Diversity & variation in female anatomy

It was anatomy week in my Human Sexual Behavior class, which is often met with simultaneous enthusiasm, whispers, and long (ha ha, Freudian slip) periods of silence as we talk about the similarities, differences, and mysteries of genital anatomy. Always one to enjoy a bit of humor (when not at others’ expense) in the classroom, I’ve come to adore the creative interpretations of the coloring & labeling of these drawings over the last few years as students gain comfort with what’s in their (and others’) pants and embrace the within- and between-group diversity of the human (and super-human) body.

Superhero & cartoon themes tend to be gaining interest (not pictured: Iron Man’s penis, Tie-die penis, Hulk penis), but M. eagerly allowed me to borrow his artistic representation for the blog. Apparently he’s not unfamiliar with Smurfette’s woman-parts.

Makes you wonder what a “magical faery vagina” (in the words of Pam from True Blood) might look like – I think I might need some glow-in-the-dark paint or multicolored highlighters!

Queering Season 5: Male homoeroticism of True Blood (Spoilers!)

Fang hard-ons/Fang-boners! Undead coming out speeches! Daddy/Teen-vamp slow dances to Katy Perry (complete with butt-grabbing and fang penetration)!

It was a fang-tastic season for undead man-love on True Blood from Gay-Vampire-American Steve (giving Russell a high-on-Lilith public lap dance while chanting “ride the pony”), to Russell’s Greek courting (a triple reference to male homosexuality, his ex-lover, and their draining of a fraternity house), and his affectionate nicknames for his new man (“sugar lumps” “darlin” “dashing” “baby”), and the promise of a Russell-Jason-Steve “hunk sandwich”. No wonder it’s GLAAD’s the gayest show on television (see p. 9, 11)

Of course, Eric is always one to get the attention of his fellow man-vamps, whether it’s sharing being pressed up against Bill in a car-trunk (“can you reach it?” – Apparently Alex & Steven role-played a bit to get into character – oh my!), Russell’s thinly-veiled comments about “laying down the sword against one another” or Eric’s confession that giving Russell a long-deserved staking “felt even better than I thought it would”.

Big thanks to A. for the gentle “kick in the teeth” to post this week. Expect some undead woman-loving (Tara/Pam!) soon!

True Blood: Fangtasia’s basement as Freudian id

Sometimes, even the most obvious metaphor slips by me. For example, when an astute former student (K.) made a joke about how my nickname (Dr.V.) embodies my fascination with Vampires and Vaginas in my classes (not to mention “V” AKA Vampire Blood).

Perfect example: For all my fascination with HBO’s True Blood, it occurred to me last week that the basement of the vampire bar Fangtasia serves as the perfect metaphor for Freudian id.

Buried deep underground (unconscious mind, anyone?), dank, dark, and grimy, the only activities that happen in Eric & Pam’s semi-secret lair center on lust (embodying elements of libido) and/or aggression (thanatos), including torture/murder (being torn limb-from-limb, chained up for weeks on end, beheaded, silvered), feedings (consensual or glamour-induced), and the occasional (although memorable) six-hour sex romps (Yvetta, you lucky woman, you).

(Not pictured: The rest of clothing-free Eric and Yvetta)

Neural networks & Dr.V’s (sexy?) desk

Today I got an order of supplies & a book for my Human Sexual Behavior course that I unloaded onto my (notoriously cluttered) desk. Although the books and “latex goods” I acquired for class were explicitly linked with human sexual behavior, my neural network set off a chuckle as I realized that my own personal semantic network managed THE OTHER items on my desk to human sexuality as well.

That’s what I get for leaving for leaving my lunchtime banana and my new battery charger (and yes, my custom-made True Blood mug) on my desk together, huh?


Classical conditioning & the Swede

Nothing like one of your students rockin’ a Swedish soccer/football jersey in class to thoroughly (but unintentionally) distract Dr.V. in class yesterday. Great example of classical conditioning – I now associate the blue & yellow with the Skarsgard on an unconscious level.

Perhaps now I’ll start watching soccer/football .. .

Thanks D. Next time your in Sweden, pick up a jersey for Dr. V, won’t ya?

Watson & (Sexual) Behaviorism with your student

It’s pretty great teaching Human Sexual Behavior, but I think our discussion next week regarding the legendary father of Behaviorism John Watson’s affair with his 19 year old student and reports that he “took readings” and “made records” of her responses during sex (According to reports discussed in Mary Roach’s awesome book Bonk, The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex). Might be a WEE bit awkward in a room full of my 20-something students, not to mention the fact he apparently owned some sort of scary cage-like speculum device for his research.

One can only imagine what type of conditioned associations Watson & his future wife must have had to lab equipment (Probably a bit more scandalous than salivation. . .).

Watson, future wife Rosalie Rayner & Little Albert

Dr. V’s Freudian analysis of Calvin Klein’s Encounter ad (feat. Alexander Skarsgard)

Torrential downpours and rocky ocean waters? That fierce Skars-gaze?
Alexander confidently navigating the curvy, deadly cliffside roads amidst the downpour?
The close up on his massive hand removing the key from the ignition?
The water pounding the rocks as he approaches her on the balcony?
Her hand on the nearly invisible glass railing separating her from certain death?
That prelude to a kiss?
Talk about some sex (libido) & death (thanatos)?
Freud would be proud. THAT’s how you make a commercial for a fragrance called Encounter.

It may be my notorious Skarscrush, but that might make a sexuality professor make an intentional Freudian slip and drop the “o” in the title of that fragrance.


Sherlock[ed]: Irene Adler’s pupils & the science of sexual orientation

Dr. V. loves nothing more than when hot new psychology research perfectly illustrates one of her favorite pop culture moments.
The season/series two hotness between Sherlock Holmes & his woman-loving, professional dominatrix nemesis Irene Adler (AKA Faery Claudine from True Blood) was palpable and Mr. Holmes used his legendary powers of observation and deduction to diagnose her lust in part by her dilated pupils in his presence.

Well, as emerging psychological science on indicators of sexual orientation might say, No S*%t, Sherlock. Turns out that pupil dilation is a strong indicator of sexual orientation, which means that the typically-woman-loving-dominatrix has a bit of a soft spot (ha ha) for at least one man – Sherlock. Who could blame her?

To read the full article, click here

This post is dedicated to E., my Sherlocked/Cumberbatched student – I promise I won’t watch your pupils when I mention his name, if you’ll do the same courtesy when I mention a certain Swede/Viking in class.