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PSYC 436 Lecture Notes - Human Sexual Response Cycle, Safe Sex, Sexology

Course Code
PSYC 436
Irving Binik

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9/27 27/09/2011 07:55:00
If inc sex from once a month to once a week is like making an extra
50,000 a year in the happiness equation
Something about sex is related to well being—we don’t know if it’s
physically or psychologically or whatever
Motivated laumann study—spread of disease and STDs
If understand behavior that transmits disease better than have
better handle prevention
oDo this by surveys—but do people tell truth
oIn most populations the spread is still going up—hasn’t been
controlled in any way
We don’t really know why but there are models that try
and explain this:
Information, motivation, behavioral model
oIt’s really a general health model than
can be applired to this
Info: 1) doesn’t predict anything because
now everyone knows what predicts the
spread of AIDS. E.g. everyone knows that
smoking is bad but the info has little effect
oFisher says it’s the RELATED info that
is what counts
Says should correct info people
THINK is correct but is wrong
E.g. monogamous
relationships are safe, it’s
too late anyways I’ve had
unprotected sex
Says have to get way more
sophisticated about our info
o1) have to have positive attitudes
about prevention e.g. in relationship
need to both have positive attitudes
about prevention

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oHave to be motivated to do something
about it. Can have all the right info
o2) Perceived normative support: are
people around you or people that you
perceive to be relavant to you. are
they engaging in those behaviors or
do they agree about statements and
info around it
Motivation will suffer if don’t
o3) Estimation of personal vulnerability
on avg people will give
themselves a LOWER
vulnerability to the population
average. It’s the SAME unless
doing something different. Best
guess is the base rate
have to work on this motivation
and unconvince people
Behavioral skills
oBuying condoms, keeping condoms,
negotiating safe sex practices with
partner, testing etc that will help but
if uncomfortable and havnet
practiced. Have to practice skills and
will help
Fisher is doing a lot of work in Africa and places that have a high
oWell know if works through surveys and drop in number or
lack of drop
oEven if testing we need to know how things happened
Conclusion: can we get truth from survey self report?
We don’t know.
Right now if took survey from people in the field of FDA, sexologist,

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oThey will say self report is the best measure we have right
oBetter than behavioral and physiological but it’s the best we
Use converging methods: if checking for a behavior in a couple, can
check with the opposite couple to see if the data converges
We’ll never know if it’s the real truth
Technology of self reports would improve a ton if we had one major
one every 50 years. We need to do them more frequently. Not a lot of
funding is going towards it right now
Structure of course:
Theory- what do we mean by desire, arousal etc. not totally definable.
We need a good defn to study properly
Research- choose set of expts about each topic to demonstrate at least
one line of research
Application-clinical application part. Take problems with each topic and
discuss how research has helped us develop how we deal with these
Chose these 3 topics because constitute new sexual response cycle
In 1970’s plateau and resolution disappeared
People didn’t find them useful, there was no research. It was a
figment of masters and johnsons models. People stopped talking
about them so they got dropped from models of sexuality
Why did desire appear in cycle
For clinical reasons-nothing in masters and johnsons about lack of
desire. Clinicians who tried to work within this model were flooded
by people complaining (in 1970s almost 100% women) about low
sexual desire. Couldn’t find it as part of the model so realized it was
a problem.
Did low desire appear suddenly as a problem in 1970s?
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