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Lecture 8

PSY3102 Lecture 8: Sexuality

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Yaroslav Konar

Lecture Eight: Sexuality HistoricalAttitudes: NorthAmerican view of sex was shaped by Puritan and Victorian influences, which viewed sex as a weakness of the flesh. It was not something to be enjoyed, and seen more as a duty to procreate. 1950s → sex of any kind, even implied (ie. kissing), was banned from television. 1960s → sexual revolution did little to change the perception of sex by the media, despite the fact that people’s views were increasingly more liberal. 1990s-Present → much of the media encourages artists to provide clean versions of songs, the notion of mentioning sex will be detrimental to some listeners. Alfred Kinsey: In the 1940s he was asked to do a guest lecture on human sexuality but realized that there was no research on the topic. He conducted in depth interviews and published The Kinsey Report → 2 prominent books, one on females and one on males. - he discovered that 50% of individuals cheated - most of his studies relied on self-selected samples but because there were so many people Kinsey felt justified as using this as a measure of the general population - male motivation for sex was much higher - men wanted higher frequency of sex, think about it more, have more intense fantasies, masturbate more, and are more likely to make sacrifices for sex - women’s sexual motivation was more influenced by situational, social, and cultural factors, sexual motivation was usually paired with one partner Publishing the report: - did not cause that much of an uproar - minimal changes have been made when the constructs were retested in 1994 - people find partners who are similar to themselves in age, sex, race, ect. - most people met their significant others at social events (ie. church) Gender Differences In Sexuality: look at frequency of sex on a 1-5 scale - majority of people was a few times a month to 2-3 times per week - smallest proportion of people was 4+ times a week - shows a normal distraction, the “4 times a week” group did not increase drastically after Kinsey report so it did not produce the anticipated negative consequences of publishing an article on sexuality → there was an initial fear that people would start to have more sex SexualActivity Studies: Canada Total Findings: individuals who had sex between the ages of 15 and 19 dropped from 47% of individuals to 43% of individuals. Males: relatively stable Females: drop from 51% to 43% Ages 15-17: decrease from 32% to 29% Ages 18-19: drop from 70% to 65% Quebec: highest rates because of a different French-influenced mentality Ontario: dropping and one of the lowest rates Globally: survey conduced by Laumann et al (2006) - woman have a lower degree of sexual satisfaction than men - 31% of women had low interest in sex, 22% were unable to orgasm, 21% unable to enjoy sex, 20% had difficulty lubricating 14% had painful intercourse Individualist vs. Collectivist cultures had an influence on sexual satisfaction. More individualistic cultures are often more predisposed for gender equality which leads to higher sexual satisfaction. More collectivist cultures have a larger male-centred gender gap which leads to lower sexual satisfaction. This is not always the case as some collectivist cultures such as Egypt, Italy and Thailand have higher levels of sexual satisfaction the expected by this binary. Meston and Buss (2007) identified 237 reasons for why people have sex. Eventually, this was narrowed down to four reasons: (1) positive affectionate behaviour and communication, (2) arousal and receptivity, (3) obligation, (4) circumstantial. - these could be independent processes or a combination could be responsible for an individual experience - women cite affection for partner as a primary reason for having sex - men are more likely to initiate sex - people already engaging in sex focus more on arousal-related factors rather than affection-related factors → perhaps because this message has already been communicated How soon into dating do couples have sex (Christopher and Cates1985)? 1. Rapid: 7% 2. Gradual: 31% (ie. a few dates) 3. Delayed 44% (ie. not until the relationship has been defined) 4. Low 17% (waiting or general low interest in sex) Communication: discussing past sexual experience, voicing interest, - verbal expressions are almost always preceded by non-verbal communication such as decreasing proximity, maintaining eye contact, maintaining touch, etc. - men almost always view these signals as “sexy” but women can sometimes see them as creepy if she is not interested Two ways to disengage: (1) avoiding prospectively: ignoring unwanted advances, (2) incomplete rejection: not right now, next time, maybe later. - all of these can lead to conflict or hurt feelings Sexual frequency decreases over time with age, however this is not due to health problems. This could be due to impediments (such as jobs, children, etc.): when these factors decrease, sexual frequency increases. Studies show that older adults have a lot more sex than younger counterparts when looking at impediments. Extra-Dyadic Sexual Relations - different reports show a higher than expected rate of extramarital intercourse - 50% of men and 26% of women, according to some reports in the USA Blumstien and Schwartz (1983) surveyed for extra dyadic sex but not necessarily extra-marital and found: - 33% of straight men, 20% of straight women, 28% of lesbian women, and 82% of gay men had participated in extra-dyadic sexual relations - women seek affairs around the time of ovulation - men are more likely to seek affairs - men usually seek extra-dyadic sex for physical/pleasure, women for emotional relations - however, these factors do not explain rates among homosexual couples - numbers are likely lower now due to Sexual Orientation: (social construct, biology, EBE theory) 1. Social Construct: argue that concept of sexual orientation was designed to categorize people. Prior to ~100 years ago, people were grouped into two binary categories: (1) normal, (2) sexual inverts which could include everything from the suffragettes to trans individual
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