What are Social Values​​?


The sociological theory that is to be exposed to explain homosexual behavior makes use of psychological theory of the values outlined in the book "Towards a Reformulation of the Contemporary Psychology: The Theory of the Senergicones" by Walter H. Bruckman. This theory explains human behavior as a result of a psychic programming which has its origin in the system of social values in the psyche of individuals. Specifically, it explains how values determine the formation of the attitudes of individuals and how this formation of attitudes in turn determines behavior.


Apart from the Senergicones theory, other theories of psychological or sociological nature that try to explain the behavior on the basis of the values are those of Ralph Linton exposed in his book "Culture and Personality", the Robert K. Merton exhibited in his essay "Social Structure and Anomie" and Leon Festinger exposed in his book "A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance". The "Senergicones theory" is the only theory of psychological and sociological nature, which is complete in terms of the way in which the values determine human behavior. Other theories deal with the subject tangentially.


Apart from the psychological or sociological theories about the way in which the values, ideas and beliefs govern human behavior, there are philosophical theories about values to explain behavior. Axiology is the branch of philosophy that deals with this topic. With regard to our purpose of explaining the homosexual conduct, we discard the philosophical theories about values and we should only use the theories of psycho-sociological nature.



What are the Social Values and How they Determine the Behavior of peoples?


The way in which values regulate the conduct of human beings is a fairly vague aspect in sociological theory. The theory of the Senergicones, previously cited, explains the way in which values regulate the conduct. Although this is not the place to lecture on the topic, we will be offering a brief explanation based on this theory.


A value is defined as the classification of a concrete object (for example, a person who commits an offence) or abstract object (for example, the honesty) in terms of two possible categories, good or bad, positive or negative.



The valuation can be made by society or the individual. The individual learns a value by the simple means of acquiring knowledge of this. But this simple fact does not imply that the individual has the value according to the general conception of what having values mean in common language. To have values commonly means act in function of them. That act based on values (attitudes) is not voluntary or rational or objective, as you might believe, but involuntary and irrational or subjective, in the sense that individuals are compelled by force or internal mood states (emotions, feelings or affective states) that compel them to act according to the values that have (attitudes).


The determination of the value for the individual or the society, in its origin, can come from an act of rational observation or reflection on the observation that when take him to establish a relationship of cause and effect, lead him to value the object negatively or positively. However, once the value is set and installed in the psyche of the individual, ceases to be a rational orientation element of the conduct and becomes an automatic element (attitude) that orients the conduct on the basis of the activation of emotional and affective States, and it therefore becomes an irrational or subjective element of the conduct.


We see, therefore, that there is a huge difference between knowing the values and has values. The individual who has values goes beyond simply learning the values, for example, learning the way in which objects are valued in terms of good or bad. The individual who has values differs from the individual that do not has values or the individual who known the values, in terms of being a prisoner of them, or of the moods they produce, and in terms of not being free to act against them (attitude). Therefore, a policeman who has installed in his psyche the values “be honest” and “be fair”, will be difficult to let go of a prisoner in exchange for money because he will feel the emotion shame, anxiety, displeasure, low self-esteem. For the same reason it will not allow that another officer do it, because he will feel the emotions anger, courage or anxiety. The same thing will happen with the prosecutor, the judge, the officer in custody in prisons, etc. A police that do not have these values installed in his psyche will feel no shame of accepting bribery, as well as any negative or unpleasant emotional state. He knows that taking bribe, be dishonest and be unfair to the victim of the offender is bad, but because he do not have installed those value in his psyche, do not react emotionally to their violation. Neither feel anger if it sees that another officer accepts the bribe.


We must differentiate between the individual that has values and who has known values. Any individual member of a society known values, because society, through the process of socialization, is responsible for teaching him what it is considers bad and what it is considers good. However, not everyone in society has values and, most importantly, not everyone has the same set of values. Only the socialization process that begins in childhood and youth through primary groups, especially the parents, friends, teacher, priest or minister, etc. and that continues into adulthood through the institutions that define the criminal justice apparatus (police, courts, prison system, etc.) and which goes beyond simple communication (involves coercion) is capable of instilling the values until they are installed in the psyche of the individual. It is then that the values, properly installed, have the ability to produce emotions and affective states, and is then that we can say that the individual has values. Violation of the value will produce shame, disgust, guilt and the fulfillment of the value will produce pride, pleasure, joy.


The individual that has values is, therefore, with respect to them, inside an invisible psychic prison. It is a prison since it is not free to do whatever he wants. It is precluded, unable to act in certain ways. Emotions and unpleasant emotional States prevent him from making or act contrary to the way in which has been emotionally programmed (attitude). On the other hand, the pleasant emotions and pleasant affective states incite him to act in certain ways. Police officers, prosecutors, judges, and officials in custody that are extracted from a population with values, will tend to have values installed in there psyche in the same proportion in which have been installed in the population. As a result, the criminal justice system will operate to the extent that the population has values installed in your psyche.



How Attitudes Work?


Attitudes, customs, habits are the behavioral result from the reaction of an individual before an object (concrete or abstract) as a result of the presence of a value evoked by the object. If the individual has installed values over an object, the presence of this valued object will produce an emotion, which in turn generates an attitude before the object. For example, the abstract object honesty produces emotion shame when the value is violated and acts dishonestly. It produces the anger emotion or courage when the person which violates the value is another. The existence of the attitude requires not only teaching values, but of the inculcation (installation) of the same in the psyche of individuals, so that they can respond emotionally to their violation. When the value "be honest is good" is installed generates an attitude (behavior) of not acting dishonestly since it will produce shame, disgust and anxiety. Also when it comes to someone else violates the value generates an attitude (behavior) prevent others to act dishonestly since it will produce anger, courage, rejection. The more attachment has the society to the basic and fundamental values of their culture, the lower the degree of social anomie in that society. That is. lower the degree of corruption in this society, lower the level of impunity before the law, etc..



How the Values are Installed?


The preceding topic succinctly explains what are the values and how they determine the behavior in humans. Still the question remains how to install values in the psyche of the human being? Again we are entering territories unsteady.


The way in which the values are installed is something that is also not clearly established in the sociological and psychological theories. Although it is insinuate some answers, it is not do in an explicitly way. The American anthropologist Ralph Linton in his classic book "Culture and personality" Fundo de Cultura Económica, Mexico 1967, pp. 117-120, establishes:


For our purposes, value is any element, common to a number of situations, which is able to arouse in the individual a veiled response, and attitude is the covert response raised by that element. …………………………………………………The value and attitude together form a configuration of stimulus-response which we will call valor-attitude system. Once housed in the individual, these systems operate automatically and, for the most part, below the conscious level. …………………………………………


The functional systems of valor-attitude importance lies primarily in its emotional content. Conduct which is not in accordance with the individual's system provokes responses of fear, anger, or at least of disapproval, whether their own behavior or that of others. If a subject performs an act contrary to some of their own systems of valor-attitude already implanted in him he will experience one great emotional disorder both before and later, and in most cases he will have that same reaction even when you know that the action does not deserve punishment. This disturbance will decrease to repeat the Act, but will reappear with every new situation involving the system in question. Equally, the acts of others that are contrary to some of these systems will cause emotional responses, although they do not threaten the individual. ……………………



It is significant that many systems of valor-attitude who share and transmit the members of societies, are most critical to the well-being of the community than for the individual. …….The individual accepts those systems desirable, but disadvantageous from the personal point of view, as a result of the social rewards that come from incorporating specific guidelines of conduct manifest. …….. The goal of obtaining favorable responses of those around us is linked to each and every one of the more immediate and specific individual objectives, and any pattern of conduct will not be totally happy and rewarding if not it serves to achieve both.[1]


How you can see, Linton seems to suggest the values control the behavior in an automatic way through the emotional states that cause its violation. It also suggests that the individual incorporates these values due to the system of punishments and rewards for those who act contrary to the values or in favor of the values. That means, recognition of other members of society to persons who act or behave in accordance with the compliance of the values is the reward that, according to Linton, want the individual and encourages or stimulates him to install and incorporate into his psyche the value. Similarly, rejection or disapproval of other members of society to persons who do not act or behave in accordance with the compliance of the values is the punishment that the individual avoids and incites or encourages him to install and incorporate into his psyche the value. It seems to coincide with Merton in that reject or punish that violates the rules and give recognition and acceptance that meets them, has the effect of installing values.


The American sociologist Robert K. Merton, among others, use the term social anomie. Merton speaks to us of the social structure and the anomie level that can be in it. The term structure is defined or refers to the relationship between the parts of a whole and how these parts through the relationship contribute to achieving the objectives, goals and purposes at all. In this sense the term organism has the same meaning as the structure. The social structure is defined, then, as the configuration of the internal organization of any social group. The social structure is the organizational chart that explains the relationship between the parties that make possible the collective life or in society. It is assumes that life in society has a purposes (objective, goals, purposes), and that different parts that compose that society must contribute to the purposes or goals of that society.


According to the sociological theory of Merton, outlined in his essay "Social Structure and Anomie", among the elements that make up what is referred to as the social structure are two of great importance. The first consists of the goals and the legitimate objectives that individuals can and should aspire to achieve. Reaching these goals receive recognition and prestige. The goals of the culture are those things why it is worthwhile to strive. For example, be rich, be powerful, be cult (counting with university education) etc. The goals are integrated and ordered according to a hierarchy of values.


The second element of the social structure determines the rules that are to be used to achieve cultural goals. These rules take concrete form in the mores and institutions governing the conduct in society. For example, rules that must be followed to reach the socially legitimate goal of to be rich are, in the generality of societies, not to commit fraud, scams, be honest in transactions that are performed, do not use force or violence to achieve their goals, not extort money, not to kill, not lie, etc. Usually these rules are contained in the mores, laws and social institutions and are also integrated, in other words, they must keep consistency. According to Merton, social anomie arises when standards of conduct (values) that society establishes as rules to achieve social goals, as for example being rich, are not integrated to the goals. That is, for certain sectors of society goals are unattainable standards. Therefore, social anomie arises when individuals are prompted to violate the rules in order to achieve the goals. Also social anomie arises, according to Merton, when culture gives more importance to the achievement of the goals (the values that define the goals) that social norms or rules to achieve goals legitimately (values that define social norms). Under such circumstances, when social groups accept persons which reaches social goals, although kill, extortion, use violence, make fraud, is dishonest, steal, lie, etc., are encouraged the state of social anomie. Merton used the term social anomie to explain deviations from social norms in American society in different groups.



How can Society Integrate Social Norms Social Goals?


Sociological theory generally presents no clear answers to this question. Rather they are insinuated. Merton presents a critical stance against what he considers one of the causes of social anomie in American society. He located one of the causes of social anomie in the lack of rejection by society, of whom violates the rules to achieve the goals. In relation to that Merton says, quoting Ambrose Bierce:


If we refused social recognition to the truancy its number would be reduce. Some will try to hide their wickedness more carefully, but others will be hurt so much his consciousness that will decline to the disadvantages of the pillaging and opt for living an honest life. …………..

We have rich truancy because there are respectable people who have no scruples is to offer his friendship; or in being seen with them; or in accept that they known them.

……………….. The American people will be subject to looting while the American character remains as is; While tolerated the fortunate crooks;...


We can see therefore that suggestion of Merton seems to be giving more importance or emphasis to social norms by means of inciting the rejection and disapproval of whom violated conduct rules (laws).


Despite the pessimism of Merton regarding the low rejection of the American society for whom commit crimes, is observed however that institutions work much greater extent than the institutions in developing countries. It is harder to bribe a police officer, a Prosecutor, a judge, or a jailer in United States that in a country of the third world. As a result, despite the pessimism of Merton, apparently this rejection by individuals in American society to who commit crimes has been sufficiently strong as to make the institutions of the criminal justice system works


On the contrary, in the countries of the third world state of social anomie is so great that it is impossible to internally generate the dynamics to reverse this state of anomie


We agree with what was said by Merton and Linton with regard to the way in which values can be installed on those members of the population, but add the following correction: the rejection or approval of the conduct of the individual must come from individuals or groups that are meaningful to the individual. That is to say those persons or groups that the individual respect or admire and which want their approval. We emphasize that such persons or significant groups are parents, teachers, religious leaders, friends and co-workers.


The question that arises is: How can I install values in the psyche of individuals when we cannot nor do we have the authority to order parents, priests, friends of the individual, to reject the conduct of the individual who is not acting according to the values and give recognition to those who act according to the values? In the absence of such authority we should have recourse to the institutions of the criminal justice system to punish who violates the rules or social values specified in the laws of the country. The criminal justice unit is the guarantor of the social values expressed through laws. However, that this is the case and the criminal justice apparatus assume that responsibility to install values, individuals in the criminal justice system must have values installed in there psyche. In other words, police officers, judges, prosecutors, etc. must have installed values. So this is so individuals in the criminal justice system must be extracted from a population or universe that has installed values.



Some Theoretical Considerations as to What are and How they Work Attitudes and Incentives


There are several mechanisms that determine behavior. The mechanisms that determine the behavior are discussed in detail in the book "Toward a Reformulation of the Contemporary Psychology: The Theory of the Senergicones". Two of them have particular relevance in this writing. One is the mechanism of the attitudes discussed in Chapter 2 of the cited book and the other is the mechanism of incentives being discussed in Chapter 8.


An attitude is formed when a value is installs on the psyche of the individual. A social value is a valuation or classification of a concrete or abstract object in terms of two possible categories: bad or good, positive or negative. Social values involve individual behaviors before concrete or abstract objects that when all members of society are done, followed or met, resulting in a greater well-being for the collective, that is, for all of the group or society. The values installed in the psyche of individuals are those who have the ability to activate emotions and, therefore, affect behavior (the correct attitudes).


Therefore, an attitude is or can be defined as the set of reactions that occur in the individual to deal with a concrete or abstract object and which determines his behavior before the object. That is, it determines what feels, thinks and makes the individual with respect to the object. This set of reactions toward the abstract objects "the work", "the corruption", "the honesty", "the justice", etc., or concrete objects, "the worker", "the corrupt person", "the dishonest person", "the unfair person", etc. have it origin on unconscious psychic phenomena. An attitude towards an abstract or concrete object is the result of one or more values installed in the psyche of the individual towards the abstract or concrete object. A value installed in the psyche of an individual is the one who activates one or more emotional states when the individual is confronted with the concrete or abstract object that has been valued, that is, the value whose violation activates one or more emotional states.


An incentive is or can be defined as an abstract or concrete object that has the ability to trigger emotional and affective states in the individual, which serve to energize or motivate the conduct of that individual, not before the first object that directly activates the emotional or affective state, but the conduct before another second abstract or concrete object with which the first object is linked.


In brief, we can say that the conduct before an abstract or concrete object that is determined by attitudes is energized or motivated by emotional and affective States triggered by the values that the individual has installed in his psyche with regard to that concrete or abstract object. By contrast, the conduct before a concrete or abstract object that is determined by incentives is energized or motivated, not by emotional and affective states that can activate you that specific object, but by emotional and affective states activated by other abstract or concrete objects which is called incentives. Incentives are valued abstract or concrete objects and, therefore, have the ability to trigger emotional and affective states in the individual. For example, gold, money, recognition of a significant figure, etc. are positively valued objects, some concrete and others abstract. The punishment, the rejection or contempt of a significant figure, etc. are negatively valued abstract objects. The majority of individuals in society have these values on these abstract or concrete objects installed in there psyche. As a result, his conduct before them is the result of an attitude. That is, his conduct before gold, money, recognition of the significant figures as objects is oriented automatically by emotional states activated by these objects. These valued objects are converted into incentives when energized the behavior towards other objects not valued by the individual, but that are related to these valued objects. For example, an individual can know learn the social basic values with respect to the abstract objects lie or steal. That is, the individual can know that lying is bad and stealing is bad. However, that individual cannot have installed those values in his psyche and, accordingly, does not respond to the violation of such abstract objects valued with the activation of the emotion shame. Therefore, he can lying and stealing without feel the emotion shame (although he know the values that lying and stealing is bad) because he does not have these values installed in his psyche. However, that individual can abs


However, that individual can abstain from lying and stealing due to some incentive. That is, the objects lying or stealing can be associated with objects which are valued positively or negatively, such as money or punishment. In that way the individual can refrain from lying or stealing because he will be rewarded with money to do so or be punished if he does. In this case his behavior is not the result of an attitude to the abstract objects lie or steal, but the result of the incentives produced by other abstract or concrete objects that are valued.


It can also happen that an individual has installed in his psyche the value that stealing is wrong, and therefore feel ashamed to being caught stealing. However, as the incentive becomes larger, that is, as the rewarding emotion of the object that serves as an incentive becomes more intense, it could be greater that the intensity of the emotion shame and, consequently, the individual is incited to steal, risking being caught and punished by the emotion shame. That is, if it is an incentive of 20 or 30 dollars, he does not steal because the intensity of the gratifying emotion to have 20 or 30 dollars is not enough strong to counteract the intensity of the emotion shame he would feel if he is caught stealing. However, if it is an incentive of 2 or 3 million dollars perhaps surrenders to the temptation of the incentive, no matter he die of shame if it comes to be surprised. That is why many honest officials that fall in the temptation and steal, once being caught stealing end up committing suicide by shame.



The Hierarchy of Values and the Magnitude of the Punishment to their Violators


In our previous topic we saw that every society has a natural right to regulate sexual behavior of its members. Consequently, society is perfectly entitled to determine whether homosexuality, incest, loss of virginity, etc. is something bad, shameful, degrading, etc. Deprive society of that right is deprived of a natural right to establish what is moral. Note that I'm not saying that homosexuality is bad. It is possible to be agree that everyone were homosexual, as well it is possible to be agree that the virginity as value should not exist. What I would point out is that society has a natural right to regulate the sexual conduct of its members and to be determined by this medium what is good and what is evil; in other words, determine what is moral.


Never the less, the values that established the society for regulating the social conduct of the individual are not all equally important. Therefore, that is why the social norms arising from them do not have all the same importance. While most importantly it is a value the higher is the punishment which society imposes for it violation. For example, kill is considered so bad that society severely punishes his violator, jailing him for life and sometimes sentenced to death. Stealing is bad but not so much as kill, that is why penalties are less severe. Incest is considered bad but not as kill that is why punished is less severe. Not knowing rules of etiquette to wear or sit at a table or eat is considered little bad and is punishable by the mockery, rejection, social ostracism. Homosexuality is considered little bad and is punishable by the mockery, rejection and social ostracism.


In sociological theory this hierarchy that makes the society is known and is classified as: 1. customs, 2. Mores.


Give little importance to a value does not mean that it do not play any social function. It implies that its violation does not affect greatly the collective. However, it is useful and practical that people know how to behave to sit at a table. Snapping the food or eat with your mouth open can be unpleasant to others. Consequently, if all meet this standard, food becomes more enjoyable. If instead all decide to talk with his mouth full, meal can be something very unpleasant and maybe nauseating. Accordingly, those who speaks with his mouth full does not be killed or sent to jail, only be rejected or made mockery of him.


If everyone is gay it is possible that society will suffer a significant increase in sexually transmitted diseases and a notable reduction in the birth rate. If so only a few make it the problem is not so serious. That's why the ways of social punishment for his violation are lax and includes only ridicule or rejection.



[1] The underscore is provided.


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