A collection of essays

Welcome to my collection of undergrad essays. Yes it was undergrad, but I did spent a lot of time researching and obsessing over these essays, and thanks to those who said they enjoyed them, =). They were written as partial fulfilment for my undergraduate degree in psychology at Saint Thomas University.

I assert the moral authority of authorship over these essays. You are welcome to read and distribute them so long as they remain intact in their entirety – including copyright attribution. If you get any ideas for your own essays (great!), then please be careful to abide by your university’s policy on plagiarism.

Power & Romance in Three Timeless 80s Films. This paper introduces theories on the construction of gender roles, and then goes on to illuminate and develop them by examining three films from the 80s: Stand By Me, Conan the Barbarian and The Empire Strikes Back. Unlike most work on gender roles, this essay takes the balanced and middle point of view that both nature and nurture are important factors to consider when constructing a theory of gender identity. The essay explores themes of male power structures, dominance and morality, and how these factor into men’s relationships with women.

Self-Made Man: A Book Review. Norah Vincent masqueraded as a man for 18 months in an attempt to more fully appreciate the role of gender in our lives. She wittily recounts this difficult and audacious project in her book Self-Made Man. This essay is a book review.

Science, Society and Homosexuality. Scientists have long been interested in homosexuality. Although many mysteries remain, modern science has a lot of interesting information to offer on the topic. This essay explores the up-to-date science, and places it into context with the sometimes confused and bumpy relationship that science has had with society on controversial issues.

Regarding Turkheimer’s Proclamation: The Nature Versus Nurture Debate Is Over. The behavioural geneticist Dr Eric Turkheimer (2000) wrote a provocative and insightful article on the nature-versus-nurture debate. This essay summarises Turkheimer’s proclamation, and examines its historical significance.

The Utopian Pseudo-Science of Media Effects. There are two types of psychologist: one that cherishes objectivity, and the other that disbelieves in value-free science. The later feels comfortable using value-driven research as a political tool to build a “better” world. Political discourse, however, is not well known for its reasonableness. Value-driven “science” is naturally attractive to political ideologues who ride on the coat-tails of their more disinterested colleagues. This essay examines the monotonous quality of media violence research, and its interactions with larger societal issues.

© 2010, Aaron Michaux