PSY327H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Human Sexual Activity, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Charlotte York Goldenblatt

48 views21 pages
25 Oct 2018
School
Department
Course
Professor
Questions
Are people who have lots of sex happier?
How do you keep the spark alive in relationships?
Why do people cheat?
Can you love more than one person at the same time?
Plan for Today
Part 1: Sexuality
Part 2: Jealousy & Infidelity
Part 3: Non-Monogamy
Sexuality and well-being
Quality of sex life predicts relationship quality
Sex has physical health benefits
Sexual Frequency and Sexual Satisfaction
Sexual frequency is associated with increased sexual satisfaction
The link is bidirectional.
Consistent for men and women, for people living in Western vs. non Western
countries, for same-sex and mixed-sex couples.
Also benefits for satisfaction with life in general . . .
Satisfaction with life
30,645 participants
Sexual frequency only matters for well-being for people in relationships
Found a curcilinear effect of sexual frequency on life satisfaction
Sexuality and Well-Being
Sexuality and Well-Being
Sexual Conflicts of Interest
Romantic partners inevitable encounter situations in which their sexual interests
differ
One of top 3 most cited arguments, common reason to seek therapy
Difficult type of conflict to resolve
Maintaining Desire and Satisfaction
Self expansion1.
Sexual communication2.
Sexual goals3.
Sexual communal motivation4.
Self Expansion
In new relationships, people are rapidly expanding their sense of self.
We start to incorporate the other person into our sense of self (self-other overlap)
Declines in Self Expansion
We tend to get into routines with our romantic partners and do fewer novel and
exciting activities
To maintain satisfaction, we need to engage in activities that enable us to KEEP
expanding our sense of self
Self Expansion in Daily Life
118 couples filled out surveys for 28 days
Average age=32
Average relationship duration=5 years
Each day rated relationship satisfaction, sexual activity, and sexual desire
Measure of Self Expansion
How much did being with your partner expand your sense of the kinds of person you
are?
How much did being with your partner result in you having a new experience?
Results
More daily self expansion predicted:
Higher sexual desire
36% more likely to have sex
More satisfied with their relationship
Experimental Study
198 participants from amazons mechanical turk
Mean age=33, mean relationship duration=7 years
Randomly assigned them to one of three conditions:
Self-expanding activities
Comfortable activities
Control: no information
Weekend self expansion study
% Who Had Sex?
Maintaining Desire and Satisfaction
Self expansion1.
Sexual communication2.
Sexual goals3.
Sexual communal motivation4.
Communication
97% said they could talk to their partner about sex, but only 28% reported serious
discussion in past year.
Long-term couples understand 62% of behaviours that partner finds pleasing, 26% of
what find displeasing
Communication
Sexual communication is important for sexual satisfaction and sexual well-being.
Instrumental function
Expressive function
Sexual assertiveness (asking for and initiating what you want) is linked to satisfaction.
Couples with sexual problems have poorer sexual and non-sexual communication.
How and When To Communicate
Communicating nonverbally during sex is related to greater satisfaction.
Couples more satisfied from using sexual terms vs. technical terms
Charlotte, On Faking Orgasm
“…if you really like the guy what's one little moment of ooh-ooh versus spending the
whole night in bed alone?...And who's to say that one moment is any more important
than when he gets up and pours you a cup of coffee in the morning?”
- Charlotte York, Sex and the City
Faking It?
70% of women do not experience orgasm as a result of intercourse
Men (25%) and women (50%) report faking orgasm
Want sex to end, orgasm unlikely, want to avoid hurting partner
Women may fake orgasm in an attempt to retain mate
Maintaining Desire and Satisfaction
Self expansion1.
Sexual communication2.
Sexual goals3.
Sexual communal motivation4.
Sexual Goals
Approach goals: pursuing positive sexual outcomes
Avoidance goals: trying to avoid negative sexual outcomes
methods
Sexual Goals Measure
Study 1: daily results
Study 1: longitudinal results
Study 2: daily results
Study 2: longitudinal results
Maintaining Desire and Satisfaction
1. Self expansion
Sexual communication2.
3. Sexual goals
4. Sexual communal motivation
Sexual Communal Motivation
The motivation to meet a partner’s sexual needs
How high a priority is it for you to meet your partner’s sexual needs?
How far would you be willing to go to meet your partner’s sexual needs?
Sexual Communal Motivation
Have partners with higher sexual and relationship satisfaction
But they are also higher in sexual and relationship satisfaction too!
Maintain higher sexual desire over time
Maintaining desire over time
Remember approach goals?
21-Day Dyadic Daily Experience Study
• Participants:
101 established couples ages 18-53 years, together 6 months-22 years
Intake session: sexual communal motivation
Daily diary: engaged in sex? Sexual desire. Sexual satisfaction
Desire Discrepancies
Partners reported sexual desire each day
Desire discrepancies on 69% of days
Tested desire discrepancy as a moderator
Goal: demonstrate effects of communal motivation even on days when people
had lower desire than their partner
Unmitigated sexual communication
Communal motivation to meet a partners sexual needs that is unmitigated by agency
Involves neglecting ones own sexual needs
Sexual communal motivation
On days when people were higher in sexual communal motivation…
They reported higher relationship satisfaction
Both partners reported higher sexual satisfaction
Unmitigated sexual communication
On days when people were higher in unmitigated sexual communication…
They reported lower sexual and marginally lower relationship satisfaction
No effects for the partner
In Sum
Sexuality matters for well-being, but there are challenges to sexuality in long-term
relationships.
Many factors can promote desire and satisfaction
Self-expansion, sexual communication, sexual goals, sexual communal
motivation
Break
Plan for Today
Part 1: Sexuality
Part 2: Jealousy & Infidelity
Part 3: Non-Monogamy
TopHat Question
Have you ever been jealous of someone who has interacted with your romantic
partner?
A. Yes
B. No
TopHat Question
How did the situation make you feel?
A. mostly sad and hurt
B. mostly angry
C. mostly anxious
D. mix of all 3
Jealousy
A combination of hurt, anger, and fear
Occurs when people face the potential loss of a valued relationship to someone else
Reactive jealousy occurs in response to an actual threat.
Suspicious jealousy occurs when one’s partner hasn’t misbehaved, and suspicions do
not fit the facts.
Who’s Prone to Jealousy?
Individual differences in susceptibility to jealousy are related to a combination of:
Dependence on a relationship - when people feel that they need their partners
(e.g., low avoidant attachment)
Feelings of inadequacy - when people feel that they aren’t good enough for
their partner (e.g., anxious attachment)
Responses to Jealousy
Securely attached people are more likely to express their concerns and try to repair
the relationship.
Avoidantly attached people tend to avoid the issue and to pretend that they don’t
care.
Women are more likely to react to jealousy by trying to improve the relationship.
Men are more likely to strive to protect their egos.
Jealousy and Facebook
Facebook
Extremely popular among Canadians, esp. young people
Changed the way we communicate about relationships and our access to information
Information seeking: “creeping”
Two Studies
Study 1 hypothesis
The more people spend time using Facebook, the more jealousy they will
experience.
Study 2 hypothesis
Exposure to jealousy triggers on Facebook will lead to more information
seeking.
Study 1
343 undergraduate Facebook users
On average, 385 FB friends; 45 minutes per day!
Majority were currently involved in dating relationships
Created a new measure of jealousy on Facebook
Facebook Jealousy Measure
How likely are you to become jealous after your partner has added an unknown
member of the opposite sex?
How likely are you to monitor your partner’s activities on Facebook?
Study 1 Results
Women spent significantly more time on Facebook than men
Time spent on Facebook predicted increased jealousy, even controlling for other
personal and relationship factors.
But only for women, not men
Study 1 Results
Study 2
160 psychology undergraduate students
Used simulated environment to expose participants to a picture of their “partner” on
FB
Partner was pictured with either: (a) a cousin, (b) friend, or (c) unknown
Measured jealousy and time spent searching
Study 2 Results
Participants were most jealous and spent the most time creeping when person was
unknown or a mutual friend as opposed to a cousin.
For women, the more jealousy they felt, the more time they spent creeping.
No link for men
“I would never look at her FB page . . . I would just rather not know.” (man)
“I’m sure if I looked at it every day, I would feel kind of jealous and bummed out. So I
never look at hers and she tells me she always looks at mine, and she asked me
questions about being in pictures with girls or whatever. But I’ll never look at her
Facebook.” (man)
“It’s just really easy access, like, if you have a question and you don’t trust the person,
you can just go on Facebook and find it. It’s just a really easy investigative tool. You
don’t really need blind trust anymore, you can just go on Facebook and keep tabs on
people.” (woman)
Implications
Facebook (social networking sites) give us new opportunities.
But it also creates new challenges.
We need to learn more about how we can maximize the potential rewards while also
dealing with the new challenges.
TopHat Question
What is your gender?
• Male
• Female
Do not identify/prefer not to say
TopHat Question
Think of a serious, committed romantic relationship. Imagine that you discover that
the person with whom you’ve been seriously involved became interested in someone
else.
What would distress or upset you more:
A. Imagining your partner forming a deep emotional attachment to that person.
B. Imagining your partner having passionate sexual intercourse with that
person.
Jealousy and Infidelity
From an evolutionary perspective, men should be more threatened by sexual infidelity
because of paternity uncertainty.
Women should be more threatened by withdrawal of protective resources so they
should be especially threatened by emotional infidelity.
60% of the men said the sex would be more troubling, but only 17% of the women
did.
% Reporting More Distress to Sexual Infidelity
Jealousy and Infidelity
In fact, men and women do appear to be differentially sensitive to the two types of
threat.
Evolution, Jealousy and Infidelity
Is this sex difference the result of evolutionary pressures?
Both sexes hate both types of infidelity.
Men and women are more similar than they are different.
Two Types of Love
Passionate love
Feelings of intense longing with physiological arousal; when it is reciprocated,
we feel fulfillment and ecstasy, and when it is not, we feel despair
Companionate love
Feelings of intimacy and affection we feel for another person about whom we
care deeply
Companionate Love Lasts
Hundreds of couples married 15 years or longer asked why their marriages lasted
Two most important reasons
“My spouse is my best friend.”1.
2. “I like my spouse as a person.”
Predicaments of Passion
People often marry out of passionate love, but then long-term commitment is based
on a state which CHANGES.
Passionate love trumps intimacy and commitment, which may lead people to do
things they regret (infidelity).
Expectations about infidelity
97-100% say infidelity is unacceptable
US marriages: 98-99% expect exclusivity
Yet only 52% of dating couples have an explicit agreement.
Do you expect monogamy in your romantic relationships?
A. Yes
B. No
C. I’m not sure
Have you made an explicit monogamy agreement in your current (or previous)
romantic relationship?
A. Yes
B. No
Prevalence of infidelity
15-25% of married couples
Lifetime occurrence in oldest cohort: 19% of women and 37% of men
25-60% of dating relationships
Among divorced couples: 40% of men and 44% of women
Why study infidelity
Extramarital affairs are 2nd leading cause of divorce for women and 3rd leading cause
for men
1st: Emotional problems
2nd for men: difficulties in sexual relationship
Therapists report as 3rd most difficult issue to treat
1st: Lack of loving feelings
2nd: Alcoholism
Cause or consequences?
Does infidelity increase the risk of divorce?
Or is infidelity merely a symptom of a marriage that has already come apart?
Its bidirectional
17-year longitudinal study of more than 1,000 married couples in U.S.
Evidence for bidirectionality
Commitment =/= Monogamy
Commitment = intention to maintain the relationship over the long-term
Monogamy = one romantic/sexual partner only
Consensual Non-Monogamy
Relationships in which all parties agree that it is acceptable to have additional
romantic or sexual partners.
~5.3% population
21% involved in CNM at some point in their lives
Three Categories of CNM
Open relationships: partners can pursue additional sexual relationships
Swinging: partners can have sex outside of the relationship, usually in context of
specific events
Polyamory: partners can engage in romantic relationships with more than one person
“In our marriage vows, we didn’t say ‘forsaking all others.’ The vow that we made was
that you will never hear that I did something after the fact . . . one spouse can say to
the other, ‘Look, I need to have sex with somebody. I’m not going to if you don’t
approve of it, but please approve of it.’”
- Will Smith
Consensual Non-Monogamy =/= Cheating
Consenting to a non-monogamous arrangement alters the definition of cheating.
Cheating is breaking whatever boundaries the couple has set up.
CNM and Well-Being
Stigma: Monogamous relationships consistently rated more positively than CNM
In reality: Similar relationship quality and psychological well-being
Dan Savage on “Monogamish”
CNM Mythbusters!
Myth #1: More Jealousy?
Myth #2: More Sexually Risky?
Myth #3: Detracts from Primary Relationship
Myth #1: More Jealousy?
• Busted:
Jealousy is actually more manageable in CNM relationships
In swingers, jealousy diminished over time
In poly relationships, partners can feel compersion
Myth #2: More Sexually Risky?
Busted: non-monogamy is healthier alternative to unfaithfulness
Monogamous people who have been unfaithful to their partner use less sexual
protection
Get tested for STI's less frequently
Are less likely to discuss sexual health with new partners
Myth #3: Detracts from Primary Relationship
• Busted
Need fulfillment with one partner was very slightly, negatively related to
satisfaction with another
But, not related to commitment to the other partner
Same-Sex CNM
Monogamy is viewed as more positive than CNM, just like for heterosexuals.
No differences b/t monogamous & CNM gay men on:
Sexual satisfaction, communication, or sexual frequency
Monogamous MORE sexually jealous
CNM: Summary
There is a lot of stigma toward people in CNM relationships.
But they seem to be doing just fine!
Week 7: Sexuality, Infidelity, & Non-monogamy
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
3:52 PM
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-3 of the document.
Unlock all 21 pages and 3 million more documents.

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Questions
Are people who have lots of sex happier?
How do you keep the spark alive in relationships?
Why do people cheat?
Can you love more than one person at the same time?
Plan for Today
Part 1: Sexuality
Part 2: Jealousy & Infidelity
Part 3: Non-Monogamy
Sexuality and well-being
Quality of sex life predicts relationship quality
Sex has physical health benefits
Sexual Frequency and Sexual Satisfaction
Sexual frequency is associated with increased sexual satisfaction
The link is bidirectional.
Consistent for men and women, for people living in Western vs. non Western
countries, for same-sex and mixed-sex couples.
Also benefits for satisfaction with life in general . . .
Satisfaction with life
30,645 participants
Sexual frequency only matters for well-being for people in relationships
Found a curcilinear effect of sexual frequency on life satisfaction
Sexuality and Well-Being
Sexuality and Well-Being
Sexual Conflicts of Interest
Romantic partners inevitable encounter situations in which their sexual interests
differ
One of top 3 most cited arguments, common reason to seek therapy
Difficult type of conflict to resolve
Maintaining Desire and Satisfaction
Self expansion1.
Sexual communication2.
Sexual goals3.
Sexual communal motivation4.
Self Expansion
In new relationships, people are rapidly expanding their sense of self.
We start to incorporate the other person into our sense of self (self-other overlap)
Declines in Self Expansion
We tend to get into routines with our romantic partners and do fewer novel and
exciting activities
To maintain satisfaction, we need to engage in activities that enable us to KEEP
expanding our sense of self
Self Expansion in Daily Life
118 couples filled out surveys for 28 days
Average age=32
Average relationship duration=5 years
Each day rated relationship satisfaction, sexual activity, and sexual desire
Measure of Self Expansion
How much did being with your partner expand your sense of the kinds of person you
are?
How much did being with your partner result in you having a new experience?
Results
More daily self expansion predicted:
Higher sexual desire
36% more likely to have sex
More satisfied with their relationship
Experimental Study
198 participants from amazons mechanical turk
Mean age=33, mean relationship duration=7 years
Randomly assigned them to one of three conditions:
Self-expanding activities
Comfortable activities
Control: no information
Weekend self expansion study
% Who Had Sex?
Maintaining Desire and Satisfaction
Self expansion1.
Sexual communication2.
Sexual goals3.
Sexual communal motivation4.
Communication
97% said they could talk to their partner about sex, but only 28% reported serious
discussion in past year.
Long-term couples understand 62% of behaviours that partner finds pleasing, 26% of
what find displeasing
Communication
Sexual communication is important for sexual satisfaction and sexual well-being.
Instrumental function
Expressive function
Sexual assertiveness (asking for and initiating what you want) is linked to satisfaction.
Couples with sexual problems have poorer sexual and non-sexual communication.
How and When To Communicate
Communicating nonverbally during sex is related to greater satisfaction.
Couples more satisfied from using sexual terms vs. technical terms
Charlotte, On Faking Orgasm
“…if you really like the guy what's one little moment of ooh-ooh versus spending the
whole night in bed alone?...And who's to say that one moment is any more important
than when he gets up and pours you a cup of coffee in the morning?”
- Charlotte York, Sex and the City
Faking It?
70% of women do not experience orgasm as a result of intercourse
Men (25%) and women (50%) report faking orgasm
Want sex to end, orgasm unlikely, want to avoid hurting partner
Women may fake orgasm in an attempt to retain mate
Maintaining Desire and Satisfaction
Self expansion1.
Sexual communication2.
Sexual goals3.
Sexual communal motivation4.
Sexual Goals
Approach goals: pursuing positive sexual outcomes
Avoidance goals: trying to avoid negative sexual outcomes
methods
Sexual Goals Measure
Study 1: daily results
Study 1: longitudinal results
Study 2: daily results
Study 2: longitudinal results
Maintaining Desire and Satisfaction
1. Self expansion
Sexual communication2.
3. Sexual goals
4. Sexual communal motivation
Sexual Communal Motivation
The motivation to meet a partner’s sexual needs
How high a priority is it for you to meet your partner’s sexual needs?
How far would you be willing to go to meet your partner’s sexual needs?
Sexual Communal Motivation
Have partners with higher sexual and relationship satisfaction
But they are also higher in sexual and relationship satisfaction too!
Maintain higher sexual desire over time
Maintaining desire over time
Remember approach goals?
21-Day Dyadic Daily Experience Study
• Participants:
101 established couples ages 18-53 years, together 6 months-22 years
Intake session: sexual communal motivation
Daily diary: engaged in sex? Sexual desire. Sexual satisfaction
Desire Discrepancies
Partners reported sexual desire each day
Desire discrepancies on 69% of days
Tested desire discrepancy as a moderator
Goal: demonstrate effects of communal motivation even on days when people
had lower desire than their partner
Unmitigated sexual communication
Communal motivation to meet a partners sexual needs that is unmitigated by agency
Involves neglecting ones own sexual needs
Sexual communal motivation
On days when people were higher in sexual communal motivation…
They reported higher relationship satisfaction
Both partners reported higher sexual satisfaction
Unmitigated sexual communication
On days when people were higher in unmitigated sexual communication…
They reported lower sexual and marginally lower relationship satisfaction
No effects for the partner
In Sum
Sexuality matters for well-being, but there are challenges to sexuality in long-term
relationships.
Many factors can promote desire and satisfaction
Self-expansion, sexual communication, sexual goals, sexual communal
motivation
Break
Plan for Today
Part 1: Sexuality
Part 2: Jealousy & Infidelity
Part 3: Non-Monogamy
TopHat Question
Have you ever been jealous of someone who has interacted with your romantic
partner?
A. Yes
B. No
TopHat Question
How did the situation make you feel?
A. mostly sad and hurt
B. mostly angry
C. mostly anxious
D. mix of all 3
Jealousy
A combination of hurt, anger, and fear
Occurs when people face the potential loss of a valued relationship to someone else
Reactive jealousy occurs in response to an actual threat.
Suspicious jealousy occurs when one’s partner hasn’t misbehaved, and suspicions do
not fit the facts.
Who’s Prone to Jealousy?
Individual differences in susceptibility to jealousy are related to a combination of:
Dependence on a relationship - when people feel that they need their partners
(e.g., low avoidant attachment)
Feelings of inadequacy - when people feel that they aren’t good enough for
their partner (e.g., anxious attachment)
Responses to Jealousy
Securely attached people are more likely to express their concerns and try to repair
the relationship.
Avoidantly attached people tend to avoid the issue and to pretend that they don’t
care.
Women are more likely to react to jealousy by trying to improve the relationship.
Men are more likely to strive to protect their egos.
Jealousy and Facebook
Facebook
Extremely popular among Canadians, esp. young people
Changed the way we communicate about relationships and our access to information
Information seeking: “creeping”
Two Studies
Study 1 hypothesis
The more people spend time using Facebook, the more jealousy they will
experience.
Study 2 hypothesis
Exposure to jealousy triggers on Facebook will lead to more information
seeking.
Study 1
343 undergraduate Facebook users
On average, 385 FB friends; 45 minutes per day!
Majority were currently involved in dating relationships
Created a new measure of jealousy on Facebook
Facebook Jealousy Measure
How likely are you to become jealous after your partner has added an unknown
member of the opposite sex?
How likely are you to monitor your partner’s activities on Facebook?
Study 1 Results
Women spent significantly more time on Facebook than men
Time spent on Facebook predicted increased jealousy, even controlling for other
personal and relationship factors.
But only for women, not men
Study 1 Results
Study 2
160 psychology undergraduate students
Used simulated environment to expose participants to a picture of their “partner” on
FB
Partner was pictured with either: (a) a cousin, (b) friend, or (c) unknown
Measured jealousy and time spent searching
Study 2 Results
Participants were most jealous and spent the most time creeping when person was
unknown or a mutual friend as opposed to a cousin.
For women, the more jealousy they felt, the more time they spent creeping.
No link for men
“I would never look at her FB page . . . I would just rather not know.” (man)
“I’m sure if I looked at it every day, I would feel kind of jealous and bummed out. So I
never look at hers and she tells me she always looks at mine, and she asked me
questions about being in pictures with girls or whatever. But I’ll never look at her
Facebook.” (man)
“It’s just really easy access, like, if you have a question and you don’t trust the person,
you can just go on Facebook and find it. It’s just a really easy investigative tool. You
don’t really need blind trust anymore, you can just go on Facebook and keep tabs on
people.” (woman)
Implications
Facebook (social networking sites) give us new opportunities.
But it also creates new challenges.
We need to learn more about how we can maximize the potential rewards while also
dealing with the new challenges.
TopHat Question
What is your gender?
• Male
• Female
Do not identify/prefer not to say
TopHat Question
Think of a serious, committed romantic relationship. Imagine that you discover that
the person with whom you’ve been seriously involved became interested in someone
else.
What would distress or upset you more:
A. Imagining your partner forming a deep emotional attachment to that person.
B. Imagining your partner having passionate sexual intercourse with that
person.
Jealousy and Infidelity
From an evolutionary perspective, men should be more threatened by sexual infidelity
because of paternity uncertainty.
Women should be more threatened by withdrawal of protective resources so they
should be especially threatened by emotional infidelity.
60% of the men said the sex would be more troubling, but only 17% of the women
did.
% Reporting More Distress to Sexual Infidelity
Jealousy and Infidelity
In fact, men and women do appear to be differentially sensitive to the two types of
threat.
Evolution, Jealousy and Infidelity
Is this sex difference the result of evolutionary pressures?
Both sexes hate both types of infidelity.
Men and women are more similar than they are different.
Two Types of Love
Passionate love
Feelings of intense longing with physiological arousal; when it is reciprocated,
we feel fulfillment and ecstasy, and when it is not, we feel despair
Companionate love
Feelings of intimacy and affection we feel for another person about whom we
care deeply
Companionate Love Lasts
Hundreds of couples married 15 years or longer asked why their marriages lasted
Two most important reasons
“My spouse is my best friend.”1.
2. “I like my spouse as a person.”
Predicaments of Passion
People often marry out of passionate love, but then long-term commitment is based
on a state which CHANGES.
Passionate love trumps intimacy and commitment, which may lead people to do
things they regret (infidelity).
Expectations about infidelity
97-100% say infidelity is unacceptable
US marriages: 98-99% expect exclusivity
Yet only 52% of dating couples have an explicit agreement.
Do you expect monogamy in your romantic relationships?
A. Yes
B. No
C. I’m not sure
Have you made an explicit monogamy agreement in your current (or previous)
romantic relationship?
A. Yes
B. No
Prevalence of infidelity
15-25% of married couples
Lifetime occurrence in oldest cohort: 19% of women and 37% of men
25-60% of dating relationships
Among divorced couples: 40% of men and 44% of women
Why study infidelity
Extramarital affairs are 2nd leading cause of divorce for women and 3rd leading cause
for men
1st: Emotional problems
2nd for men: difficulties in sexual relationship
Therapists report as 3rd most difficult issue to treat
1st: Lack of loving feelings
2nd: Alcoholism
Cause or consequences?
Does infidelity increase the risk of divorce?
Or is infidelity merely a symptom of a marriage that has already come apart?
Its bidirectional
17-year longitudinal study of more than 1,000 married couples in U.S.
Evidence for bidirectionality
Commitment =/= Monogamy
Commitment = intention to maintain the relationship over the long-term
Monogamy = one romantic/sexual partner only
Consensual Non-Monogamy
Relationships in which all parties agree that it is acceptable to have additional
romantic or sexual partners.
~5.3% population
21% involved in CNM at some point in their lives
Three Categories of CNM
Open relationships: partners can pursue additional sexual relationships
Swinging: partners can have sex outside of the relationship, usually in context of
specific events
Polyamory: partners can engage in romantic relationships with more than one person
“In our marriage vows, we didn’t say ‘forsaking all others.’ The vow that we made was
that you will never hear that I did something after the fact . . . one spouse can say to
the other, ‘Look, I need to have sex with somebody. I’m not going to if you don’t
approve of it, but please approve of it.’”
- Will Smith
Consensual Non-Monogamy =/= Cheating
Consenting to a non-monogamous arrangement alters the definition of cheating.
Cheating is breaking whatever boundaries the couple has set up.
CNM and Well-Being
Stigma: Monogamous relationships consistently rated more positively than CNM
In reality: Similar relationship quality and psychological well-being
Dan Savage on “Monogamish”
CNM Mythbusters!
Myth #1: More Jealousy?
Myth #2: More Sexually Risky?
Myth #3: Detracts from Primary Relationship
Myth #1: More Jealousy?
• Busted:
Jealousy is actually more manageable in CNM relationships
In swingers, jealousy diminished over time
In poly relationships, partners can feel compersion
Myth #2: More Sexually Risky?
Busted: non-monogamy is healthier alternative to unfaithfulness
Monogamous people who have been unfaithful to their partner use less sexual
protection
Get tested for STI's less frequently
Are less likely to discuss sexual health with new partners
Myth #3: Detracts from Primary Relationship
• Busted
Need fulfillment with one partner was very slightly, negatively related to
satisfaction with another
But, not related to commitment to the other partner
Same-Sex CNM
Monogamy is viewed as more positive than CNM, just like for heterosexuals.
No differences b/t monogamous & CNM gay men on:
Sexual satisfaction, communication, or sexual frequency
Monogamous MORE sexually jealous
CNM: Summary
There is a lot of stigma toward people in CNM relationships.
But they seem to be doing just fine!
Week 7: Sexuality, Infidelity, & Non-monogamy
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
3:52 PM
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-3 of the document.
Unlock all 21 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in
Questions
Are people who have lots of sex happier?
How do you keep the spark alive in relationships?
Why do people cheat?
Can you love more than one person at the same time?
Plan for Today
Part 1: Sexuality
Part 2: Jealousy & Infidelity
Part 3: Non-Monogamy
Sexuality and well-being
Quality of sex life predicts relationship quality
Sex has physical health benefits
Sexual Frequency and Sexual Satisfaction
Sexual frequency is associated with increased sexual satisfaction
The link is bidirectional.
Consistent for men and women, for people living in Western vs. non Western
countries, for same-sex and mixed-sex couples.
Also benefits for satisfaction with life in general . . .
Satisfaction with life
30,645 participants
Sexual frequency only matters for well-being for people in relationships
Found a curcilinear effect of sexual frequency on life satisfaction
Sexuality and Well-Being
Sexuality and Well-Being
Sexual Conflicts of Interest
Romantic partners inevitable encounter situations in which their sexual interests
differ
One of top 3 most cited arguments, common reason to seek therapy
Difficult type of conflict to resolve
Maintaining Desire and Satisfaction
Self expansion
1.
Sexual communication2.
Sexual goals3.
Sexual communal motivation4.
Self Expansion
In new relationships, people are rapidly expanding their sense of self.
We start to incorporate the other person into our sense of self (self-other overlap)
Declines in Self Expansion
We tend to get into routines with our romantic partners and do fewer novel and
exciting activities
To maintain satisfaction, we need to engage in activities that enable us to KEEP
expanding our sense of self
Self Expansion in Daily Life
118 couples filled out surveys for 28 days
Average age=32
Average relationship duration=5 years
Each day rated relationship satisfaction, sexual activity, and sexual desire
Measure of Self Expansion
How much did being with your partner expand your sense of the kinds of person you
are?
How much did being with your partner result in you having a new experience?
Results
More daily self expansion predicted:
Higher sexual desire
36% more likely to have sex
More satisfied with their relationship
Experimental Study
198 participants from amazons mechanical turk
Mean age=33, mean relationship duration=7 years
Randomly assigned them to one of three conditions:
Self-expanding activities
Comfortable activities
Control: no information
Weekend self expansion study
% Who Had Sex?
Maintaining Desire and Satisfaction
Self expansion1.
Sexual communication2.
Sexual goals3.
Sexual communal motivation4.
Communication
97% said they could talk to their partner about sex, but only 28% reported serious
discussion in past year.
Long-term couples understand 62% of behaviours that partner finds pleasing, 26% of
what find displeasing
Communication
Sexual communication is important for sexual satisfaction and sexual well-being.
Instrumental function
Expressive function
Sexual assertiveness (asking for and initiating what you want) is linked to satisfaction.
Couples with sexual problems have poorer sexual and non-sexual communication.
How and When To Communicate
Communicating nonverbally during sex is related to greater satisfaction.
Couples more satisfied from using sexual terms vs. technical terms
Charlotte, On Faking Orgasm
“…if you really like the guy what's one little moment of ooh-ooh versus spending the
whole night in bed alone?...And who's to say that one moment is any more important
than when he gets up and pours you a cup of coffee in the morning?”
- Charlotte York, Sex and the City
Faking It?
70% of women do not experience orgasm as a result of intercourse
Men (25%) and women (50%) report faking orgasm
Want sex to end, orgasm unlikely, want to avoid hurting partner
Women may fake orgasm in an attempt to retain mate
Maintaining Desire and Satisfaction
Self expansion1.
Sexual communication2.
Sexual goals3.
Sexual communal motivation4.
Sexual Goals
Approach goals: pursuing positive sexual outcomes
Avoidance goals: trying to avoid negative sexual outcomes
methods
Sexual Goals Measure
Study 1: daily results
Study 1: longitudinal results
Study 2: daily results
Study 2: longitudinal results
Maintaining Desire and Satisfaction
1. Self expansion
Sexual communication2.
3. Sexual goals
4. Sexual communal motivation
Sexual Communal Motivation
The motivation to meet a partner’s sexual needs
How high a priority is it for you to meet your partner’s sexual needs?
How far would you be willing to go to meet your partner’s sexual needs?
Sexual Communal Motivation
Have partners with higher sexual and relationship satisfaction
But they are also higher in sexual and relationship satisfaction too!
Maintain higher sexual desire over time
Maintaining desire over time
Remember approach goals?
21-Day Dyadic Daily Experience Study
• Participants:
101 established couples ages 18-53 years, together 6 months-22 years
Intake session: sexual communal motivation
Daily diary: engaged in sex? Sexual desire. Sexual satisfaction
Desire Discrepancies
Partners reported sexual desire each day
Desire discrepancies on 69% of days
Tested desire discrepancy as a moderator
Goal: demonstrate effects of communal motivation even on days when people
had lower desire than their partner
Unmitigated sexual communication
Communal motivation to meet a partners sexual needs that is unmitigated by agency
Involves neglecting ones own sexual needs
Sexual communal motivation
On days when people were higher in sexual communal motivation…
They reported higher relationship satisfaction
Both partners reported higher sexual satisfaction
Unmitigated sexual communication
On days when people were higher in unmitigated sexual communication…
They reported lower sexual and marginally lower relationship satisfaction
No effects for the partner
In Sum
Sexuality matters for well-being, but there are challenges to sexuality in long-term
relationships.
Many factors can promote desire and satisfaction
Self-expansion, sexual communication, sexual goals, sexual communal
motivation
Break
Plan for Today
Part 1: Sexuality
Part 2: Jealousy & Infidelity
Part 3: Non-Monogamy
TopHat Question
Have you ever been jealous of someone who has interacted with your romantic
partner?
A. Yes
B. No
TopHat Question
How did the situation make you feel?
A. mostly sad and hurt
B. mostly angry
C. mostly anxious
D. mix of all 3
Jealousy
A combination of hurt, anger, and fear
Occurs when people face the potential loss of a valued relationship to someone else
Reactive jealousy occurs in response to an actual threat.
Suspicious jealousy occurs when one’s partner hasn’t misbehaved, and suspicions do
not fit the facts.
Who’s Prone to Jealousy?
Individual differences in susceptibility to jealousy are related to a combination of:
Dependence on a relationship - when people feel that they need their partners
(e.g., low avoidant attachment)
Feelings of inadequacy - when people feel that they aren’t good enough for
their partner (e.g., anxious attachment)
Responses to Jealousy
Securely attached people are more likely to express their concerns and try to repair
the relationship.
Avoidantly attached people tend to avoid the issue and to pretend that they don’t
care.
Women are more likely to react to jealousy by trying to improve the relationship.
Men are more likely to strive to protect their egos.
Jealousy and Facebook
Facebook
Extremely popular among Canadians, esp. young people
Changed the way we communicate about relationships and our access to information
Information seeking: “creeping”
Two Studies
Study 1 hypothesis
The more people spend time using Facebook, the more jealousy they will
experience.
Study 2 hypothesis
Exposure to jealousy triggers on Facebook will lead to more information
seeking.
Study 1
343 undergraduate Facebook users
On average, 385 FB friends; 45 minutes per day!
Majority were currently involved in dating relationships
Created a new measure of jealousy on Facebook
Facebook Jealousy Measure
How likely are you to become jealous after your partner has added an unknown
member of the opposite sex?
How likely are you to monitor your partner’s activities on Facebook?
Study 1 Results
Women spent significantly more time on Facebook than men
Time spent on Facebook predicted increased jealousy, even controlling for other
personal and relationship factors.
But only for women, not men
Study 1 Results
Study 2
160 psychology undergraduate students
Used simulated environment to expose participants to a picture of their “partner” on
FB
Partner was pictured with either: (a) a cousin, (b) friend, or (c) unknown
Measured jealousy and time spent searching
Study 2 Results
Participants were most jealous and spent the most time creeping when person was
unknown or a mutual friend as opposed to a cousin.
For women, the more jealousy they felt, the more time they spent creeping.
No link for men
“I would never look at her FB page . . . I would just rather not know.” (man)
“I’m sure if I looked at it every day, I would feel kind of jealous and bummed out. So I
never look at hers and she tells me she always looks at mine, and she asked me
questions about being in pictures with girls or whatever. But I’ll never look at her
Facebook.” (man)
“It’s just really easy access, like, if you have a question and you don’t trust the person,
you can just go on Facebook and find it. It’s just a really easy investigative tool. You
don’t really need blind trust anymore, you can just go on Facebook and keep tabs on
people.” (woman)
Implications
Facebook (social networking sites) give us new opportunities.
But it also creates new challenges.
We need to learn more about how we can maximize the potential rewards while also
dealing with the new challenges.
TopHat Question
What is your gender?
• Male
• Female
Do not identify/prefer not to say
TopHat Question
Think of a serious, committed romantic relationship. Imagine that you discover that
the person with whom you’ve been seriously involved became interested in someone
else.
What would distress or upset you more:
A. Imagining your partner forming a deep emotional attachment to that person.
B. Imagining your partner having passionate sexual intercourse with that
person.
Jealousy and Infidelity
From an evolutionary perspective, men should be more threatened by sexual infidelity
because of paternity uncertainty.
Women should be more threatened by withdrawal of protective resources so they
should be especially threatened by emotional infidelity.
60% of the men said the sex would be more troubling, but only 17% of the women
did.
% Reporting More Distress to Sexual Infidelity
Jealousy and Infidelity
In fact, men and women do appear to be differentially sensitive to the two types of
threat.
Evolution, Jealousy and Infidelity
Is this sex difference the result of evolutionary pressures?
Both sexes hate both types of infidelity.
Men and women are more similar than they are different.
Two Types of Love
Passionate love
Feelings of intense longing with physiological arousal; when it is reciprocated,
we feel fulfillment and ecstasy, and when it is not, we feel despair
Companionate love
Feelings of intimacy and affection we feel for another person about whom we
care deeply
Companionate Love Lasts
Hundreds of couples married 15 years or longer asked why their marriages lasted
Two most important reasons
“My spouse is my best friend.”1.
2. “I like my spouse as a person.”
Predicaments of Passion
People often marry out of passionate love, but then long-term commitment is based
on a state which CHANGES.
Passionate love trumps intimacy and commitment, which may lead people to do
things they regret (infidelity).
Expectations about infidelity
97-100% say infidelity is unacceptable
US marriages: 98-99% expect exclusivity
Yet only 52% of dating couples have an explicit agreement.
Do you expect monogamy in your romantic relationships?
A. Yes
B. No
C. I’m not sure
Have you made an explicit monogamy agreement in your current (or previous)
romantic relationship?
A. Yes
B. No
Prevalence of infidelity
15-25% of married couples
Lifetime occurrence in oldest cohort: 19% of women and 37% of men
25-60% of dating relationships
Among divorced couples: 40% of men and 44% of women
Why study infidelity
Extramarital affairs are 2nd leading cause of divorce for women and 3rd leading cause
for men
1st: Emotional problems
2nd for men: difficulties in sexual relationship
Therapists report as 3rd most difficult issue to treat
1st: Lack of loving feelings
2nd: Alcoholism
Cause or consequences?
Does infidelity increase the risk of divorce?
Or is infidelity merely a symptom of a marriage that has already come apart?
Its bidirectional
17-year longitudinal study of more than 1,000 married couples in U.S.
Evidence for bidirectionality
Commitment =/= Monogamy
Commitment = intention to maintain the relationship over the long-term
Monogamy = one romantic/sexual partner only
Consensual Non-Monogamy
Relationships in which all parties agree that it is acceptable to have additional
romantic or sexual partners.
~5.3% population
21% involved in CNM at some point in their lives
Three Categories of CNM
Open relationships: partners can pursue additional sexual relationships
Swinging: partners can have sex outside of the relationship, usually in context of
specific events
Polyamory: partners can engage in romantic relationships with more than one person
“In our marriage vows, we didn’t say ‘forsaking all others.’ The vow that we made was
that you will never hear that I did something after the fact . . . one spouse can say to
the other, ‘Look, I need to have sex with somebody. I’m not going to if you don’t
approve of it, but please approve of it.’”
- Will Smith
Consensual Non-Monogamy =/= Cheating
Consenting to a non-monogamous arrangement alters the definition of cheating.
Cheating is breaking whatever boundaries the couple has set up.
CNM and Well-Being
Stigma: Monogamous relationships consistently rated more positively than CNM
In reality: Similar relationship quality and psychological well-being
Dan Savage on “Monogamish”
CNM Mythbusters!
Myth #1: More Jealousy?
Myth #2: More Sexually Risky?
Myth #3: Detracts from Primary Relationship
Myth #1: More Jealousy?
• Busted:
Jealousy is actually more manageable in CNM relationships
In swingers, jealousy diminished over time
In poly relationships, partners can feel compersion
Myth #2: More Sexually Risky?
Busted: non-monogamy is healthier alternative to unfaithfulness
Monogamous people who have been unfaithful to their partner use less sexual
protection
Get tested for STI's less frequently
Are less likely to discuss sexual health with new partners
Myth #3: Detracts from Primary Relationship
• Busted
Need fulfillment with one partner was very slightly, negatively related to
satisfaction with another
But, not related to commitment to the other partner
Same-Sex CNM
Monogamy is viewed as more positive than CNM, just like for heterosexuals.
No differences b/t monogamous & CNM gay men on:
Sexual satisfaction, communication, or sexual frequency
Monogamous MORE sexually jealous
CNM: Summary
There is a lot of stigma toward people in CNM relationships.
But they seem to be doing just fine!
Week 7: Sexuality, Infidelity, & Non-monogamy
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 3:52 PM
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