Abraham Maslow & Harry Rand Lecture


Abraham Maslow Class

The renowned psychologist, Abraham Maslow, was a member of the Brandeis faculty from 1951-1969.  Trained in the field of animal behaviorism, Maslow became best known for his later research on human potential.  In his well-known theory of the “hierarchy of needs,” Maslow suggested that human needs could be ranked vertically from the most basic (physiological) to the most evolved (self-actualized).  Once humans satisfied basic needs, they sought to satisfy increasingly higher needs, until they achieved self-actualization. Self-actualized individuals, according to Maslow, were uncommon. They tended to focus on problems beyond themselves, to value authentic behavior, to be creative and spontaneous, and to ignore social convention. Among the few individuals that Maslow identified as self-actualized, Eleanor Roosevelt, another Brandeis faculty member, was one.

On February 17th, 1965, Abraham Maslow and Harry Rand gave a joint lecture in Schwartz Hall. Rand was a noted Boston psychoanalyst and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Psychology at Brandeis University from 1957-1972.  The lecture was entitled “Consequences of Premarital Sex Behavior,” and focused on the behavioral dimensions of premarital sexual relations from a social scientific perspective.  It was the second in a series of three lectures and discussions on sex education offered that month in the effort to provide Brandeis students with a deeper understanding of intimate sexual relationships.  The lecture underscored similarities and differences in the two men’s professional training and reflected contemporary notions of gender dynamics and sexual identity.   

The series was planned and sponsored by members of the Brandeis student government and a representative from the Office of the Dean of Students.  Each lecture was followed by oral and written questions from the audience. 

To hear selected clips from the Maslow and Rand lecture, click on the links below:

Fact-Driven Study of Sexual Behavior (2 min., 17 sec.)

Individual Differences in Sexuality (3 min., 29 sec.)

Desacralization of Sex (3 min., 35 sec.)

Non-Sexual Aspects of Sexual Behavior (1 min., 26 sec.)

Changing Gender Dynamics in Courtship (2 min., 08 sec.)

Parental Influence on Sexual Development (2 min., 00 sec.)

Institutionalized Demonstrations of Femininity (4 min., 32 sec.)

Clinical Approach to Sex (2 min., 30 sec.)

Healthy Sexual Behavior (2 min., 06 sec.)

Critique of Kinsey Report (2 min., 38 sec.)

False Dichotomy Between Sexual Freedom and Control (6 min., 11 sec.)

Redefinition of Sexual Morality (1 min., 57 sec.)

Functional Approach to Human Behavior (4 min., 10 sec.)