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Human Sex Notes 1-6.docx

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Psychology 2075
Corey Isaacs

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Chapter One: Sexuality in Perspective Sex & Gender Sex: - Is a very ambiguous word - In this book refers to sexual autonomy & sexual behaviour - Different definitions of sex (ex. Kinsey – “sex”- behaviour that leads to an organism), this is not correct but it shows that not all definitions of sex relate to reproduction - So, for this book, “sexual behaviour” – behaviour that produces arousal & increases the chance of organism Gender: - State of being male or female - Gender influences how people act sexually * Sex & Gender are conceptually different, but not independent of each other Influences on Sexuality Religion - Powerful influence on sexuality - Each religion has different views on what’s right and wrong - Examples: o Greek: openly acknowledges both heterosexuality & homosexuality and explains it with myths about people being doubled creatures with a hetero or homo side o 15 Century Christians thought that “wet dreams” were from intercourse with tiny spiritual creatures = “incubi” – these were put in “The Malleus” book; wet dreams, sexual dysfunction & sexual lust were seen as witchcraft o Muslims think sex is one of the finest pleasures of life; regarded mainly for pleasure and then for reproduction - People of different religions have different understandings of sex - Canadians vary on notions like abortion, same-sex marriage and homosexuality o Some Canadians feel like these arguments are not based on religion but more do to homophobia Science - Study of sex began in the 19 century - Leeuwenhoek discovered swimming sperm - Hertwig observed fertilization Main Influencers: - Sigmund Freud (chapter 2) - Clelia Mosher, conducted a small sex survey on women, her results provide an alternative description of female sexuality during this period (late 1800s) - Henry Ellis, collected a lot of sex info including medical & anthropological findings -“Studies in the Psychology of Sex” o He also believed that men AND women were sexual creatures o Believed in modern sex research (didn’t judge if people slept around) - Richard Von Kraft-Ebing, interest was “pathological” sexuality (sadism, masochism, pedophilia & even hetero, homo were terms used) - “ Psychopathia Sexualis” - Magnus Hirschfeld, founded the first sexual institute and did a large-scale survey, but most info was destroyed by Nazis o Also established first sex journal, a marriage counseling, worked on legal reforms and gave advice on contraceptives/sex problems o Special interest with homosexuality - Alfred Kinsey, William Masters & Virginia Johnson, investigated sexual disorders & physiology of sexual response • Refer to page 7 for a time-line of history of scientific research on sex • There has never been a major national survey of the sexual behaviour of Canadians, but Stats Canada tries to add some questions about it sometimes – there have been a number of small surveys done • The study of sexuality has not emerged as a separate, it is interdisciplinary The Media - Sex on TV has increased from 23% to 35% per week - Prevention reference to pregnancy & STDs are rare (only 2% of sexual scenes show precaution) but safety is increasing - Many (47%), but not most Canadians think there is too much sexually explicit programming on TV - Media influences Canadian views more than scientific findings - Media can have 3 types of influences o Cultivation: notion that people begin to think that what they see on TV and in other media really represents the mainstream of what happens in out culture o Agenda-setting: new reporters select what to report and what to ignore & within the stories they report, what to emphasize o Social Learning: (chapter 2) – characters in the media become models even though we don’t realize it - Internet: newest & maybe most powerful mass media influence o 2009, 80% Canadians online for non-business reasons o Many individuals exchange sexually activity online  Watching & sharing sexual activity online o Has negative & positive effects on sexual health Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Sexuality - Culture: traditional ideas & values transmitted to members of the group by symbols (like language) - Ethnocentrism: tends to influence people’s understanding of human sexual behaviour o Most people have experience with sexuality in only one culture - Anthropologists have discovered there are variations in sexual behaviours & attitudes from one culture to the next - there are even significant differences between the U.S & Canada (Canadians more tolerant/permissive than Americans) - The major generalization that emerges cross-cultural studies is that all societies regulate sexual behaviour in some way o No society has seen fit to leave sexuality totally unregulated, maybe because fear of social disruption o Example – incest taboos are nearly universal: sex is regulated in that intercourse between blood relatives is prohibited o Most societies also condemn forced sexual relations such as rape o Beyond these generalizations (like incest & rape), regulations vary greatly in different societies Variations in Sexual Techniques - Kissing is one of the most common sexual techniques in our culture and others, but in some cultures kissing is unknown o A variety of kissing (ex. Transferring saliva and sucking lips & tongue) - Inflicting pain on a partner is also another sexual technique in some societies - Frequency of married intercourse varies considerably from culture to culture o Lowest frequency among Irish natives (only once or twice a month) o Mangaians have sex several times a night (when they are young) o Canadians are about in the middle of frequency - Very few societies encourage people to engage in sex at particular times o But almost every society has a “postpartum sex taboo” – no sex after birth for some time (few days to 1 year) Masturbation - Masturbation (self-stimulation of the genitals) widely ranges across cultures - Some societies tolerate & some encourage maturation during childhood while others condemn it - Almost all human societies express some disapproval (mild to severe punishment) of adult masturbation - Female masturbation varies, some women (if caught) will be beaten and other cultures encourage women to Premarital & Extramartial Sex - Societies differ in their rules regarding premarital sex o Some encourage sex before puberty while others have their clits remove to decrease potential for sex - Extramartial Sex is more complex & conflicted for most cultures o Most strictly prohibit this type of sexual contact o If it does happen, the most common pattern of restriction is to allow extramarital sex for the husbands only Sex with Same-Sex Partners - Wide range of attitudes toward same-sex - At one extreme are societies that strongly disapprove - Some cultures tolerate the behaviour for children but disapprove of it in adults - Some cultures actively encourage all their male members to engage in some same-sex sexual behaviour - A few societies gave a formalized role for the adult gay man that gives him status & dignity - While there is wide variation in attitudes toward homosexuality, 3 general rules emerge o No matter how a particular society views homosexuality, the behaviour always occurs in at least some individuals (same-sex interest is found universal) o Males are more likely to engage in same-sex sexual activity than females o Same-sex sexual activity is never the predominant form of sexual behaviour for adults in any societies - In Canada & other Western cultures we hold a unquestioned assumption that people have a sexual identity (gay, lesbian, bi or hetero) o Yet, sexual identity as an unvarying characteristic of self is unknown or rare in some cultures – instead a person is defined in relation to others & behaviours Standards of Attractiveness - Physical characteristics are important in determining whom one chooses as a sex partner - What is considered attractive varies o One standard does not seem to be a general rule, but a poor complexion is considered to be unattractive in them majority of human societies Regional & Cultural Variation in Sexuality - Since the Canadian population is composed of many cultural & ethnic groups, there are both differences & similarities among these groups in sexual behaviour o Some of these subcultural variations can be classified as social-class differences & some as ethnic differences Social Class & Sex - Page 14 - Same amount of people engage in sex in each social class - Lower social classes engage in sex faster (15 & younger) & had one or more sexually transmitted infections - Manual workers engage in both sexual intercourse & oral-genital sex more frequently than those with office jobs Regional Differences in Sexuality - Self-reports, may not be that accurate - The results of various surveys do not show consistent differences from one province to the next, but with one exception; Francophones often are more liberal in many of their attitudes & behaviours - Page 14 – Differences between Franchophones & Anglophones - Quebec women less likely to breastfeed - Quebec lower pregnancy rate - Quebec, Ontario & Atlantic Provinces has lower rates of STIs o Thus, Quebecers do NOT engage in more safe sex than the rest of Canada Comparing Canada & the U.S - Canada & the U.S very different with attitudes & behaviours toward sex - Page 15 for differences - Canadians are more liberal o Accept of premarital sex, abortion, homosexuality, same-sex & extramarital sex - Canada lower rates of adolescent pregnancies, STIs & higher rate of breastfeeding Aboriginal Peoples & Sexuality - First nations were considered more permissive toward sex (sex considered a magical gift) - Media over the last century has depicted natives to be exotic & erotic - Men were viewed masculine, handsome, virile; yet tender & vulnerable - Women less visible in the media (but now viewed as princesses or squaws – total opposites) - Sexual behaviour & attitudes have been influenced by Judeo-Christian tradition (abusive experiences, crowds) - Traditional groups have strict premarital regulations - Have had few studies on reserves - AIDS is considered “gay white man disease” – so not many condoms are used on reserves Ethnocultural Communities in Canada & Sexuality - Canadian population becoming more diverse due to more immigration - AIDS organization did a sexually study on 6 different ethnic communities o Results showed that the group’s origin influenced their sexual behaviours & attitudes o Men & women had roles (men = head of family; women = caregivers) o Men were experienced o Women inexperienced, suppose to please the man o Women sometimes don’t have the right to refuse sex or can’t insist on a condom o Extramarital affairs done only by men o Homosexuality considered abnormal & shameful o Virginity at marriage is highly valued in women but not expected of men - Young people do not always conform to these expectations, they are adopting some aspects of the dominant culture due to friends & the media (this often creates conflict between youth & parents) - Note: that not all of these ethnic cultures have the exact same sexual behaviours, these are just some general points The Significance of Cross-Cultural Studies - Two reasons for cross-cultural data o Gives us a notion of the enormous variation that exists in human sexual behaviour & helps us put our own standards in perspective o Provide impressive evidence concerning the importance of culture & learning in the shaping of our sexual behaviour & show us that human sexual behaviour is not completely determined by biology, drives or instincts - The point of studying sexuality in different cultures is to remind ourselves that each group has its own culture & this culture influences sexual expression greatly Cross-Species Perspectives on Sexuality - Humans are just one of the many animals who display sexual behaviour - Some people classify sexual behaviours as “natural” & “unnatural” depending on whether other species perform the same acts – this is sometimes why we study this topic Masturbation - Humans not the only species that masturbates (mammals, particularly primates) o Monkeys rub their genitals & can even give themselves oral o Male red deer rub their antlers against vegetation to masturbate o Female porcupines vibrate a stick on their genitals Same-Sex Sexual Behaviour - Same-sex behaviour is found in other species as well - Observations of other species indicate that basic mammalian heritage is bisexual (heterosexual & homosexual) - Males of many species will mount other males & anal intercourse has been observed in some male primates - Females do the same - Sheep also show this tendency In What Ways Are Humans Unique - Lower species (like, fish or rodents) seem to be driven hormonally while higher species (like, primates) are driven by learning & social content - Environment influences humans and higher species more than lower species o Pfaus proved that male rats could be conditioned to like females with a certain odour o If put a rat in isolation, still has same sexual behaviours, but put a monkey in isolation, it messes up their sexual behaviours - Most female animals are strongly controlled by hormones (horny during “heat” & on menstrual cycle) - Female humans might be the only ones who organism – but recent studies show female monkeys might too - Overall, little uniqueness in humans, except for elaborate cultural influences The Non-Sexual Uses of Sexual Behaviour - Commonly signals the end of a fight o Victor mounts the loser o Dominant animals mount the subordinate ones - Squirrel monkeys use their penises as an aggressive display “phallic aggression” - Bonobo apes use sex for peacemaking in anxious situations - Humans also use sexual behaviour for non-sexual purposes o Rapist: expression of aggression to power over victim o Exhibitionist: display erect penis to frighten women o Prostitutes: economical purpose o There are other less severe cases too – make-up sex to end hostility The Sexual Health Perspective - Sexual Health: a state of physical, emotional, mental & social well-being related to sexuality o An important concept as well as a social & political movement that is gaining momentum worldwide o Requires a positive & respectful approach to sexuality o Also the possibility of having pleasurable & safe sexual experiences, free of coercion & violence o For S.H to be attained & maintained, the sexual rights must be respected, protected & fulfilled - Sexual rights: referred to in WHO, all humans have the rights regarding sexuality that stem from basic human rights (Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms) – right to self-determination/sexual self-expression & several other rights - Many Western cultures have these rights but not all, & women is many cultures do not have sexual rights * The concepts of sexual health& sexual rights provide yet another broad perspective on sexuality Chapter Two: Theoretical Perspectives on Sexuality Evolutionary Perspectives - These perspectives use principles from evolutionary biology to explain why certain patterns of social behaviour & psychological mechanisms have evolved in animals - Sociobiology: the application of evolutionary biology to understand the social behaviour of animals, including humans  Argue that certain sexual behaviours evolved because they gave our ancestors an evolutionary advantage  Also argue that many of the characteristics we evaluate in judging attractiveness (physique & complexion) and from this they determine if they will be reproductively successful  Thus, physical attractiveness could be a product of evolution & natural selection • Why do you think men are attracted to large breasts? o Evolution: a theory that all living things have acquired their present forms through gradual changes in their genetic endowment over successive generations o Evolution occurs via - Natural Selection: a process in nature resulting in greater rates of survival of those plants & animals that are adapted to their environment - From this viewpoint, hanging out, dating, getting engaged – this courtship is similar in other species too o Ex. Falcons & eagles have a flying courtship as an opportunity for each member of the prospective couple to assess the other’s fitness - Sociobiologists also believe they can explain why the family structure (a man, a woman & offspring) is found in every society - Once a male & female mate, there are several obstacles to reproductive success (infant vulnerability & maternal death) o Two mechanisms that facilitate these conditions are a pair-bond between mother & father and attachment between infant & parent o Thus, if parents have a more emotional connection, this increases the offspring’s chances of survival - According to this theory, parent are most interested in the survival & reproductive success of their genetic offspring o Parental Investment: the behaviour & resources invested in offspring to achieve this end o With divorce & remarriage in Canada, this theory predicts that men will invest more in their genetic children than their step-children  Research has shown that men spend more money on their genetic children of their current union than from a past relationship  But they spend an equal amount of time on their genetic children & stepchildren of their current union (perhaps to cement their current relationship) - Research has shown that men are only sexually aroused to their preferred sexual partner while women show arousal to stimuli depicting their preferred & non-preferred sexual partner, this could be due to natural selection as if a women is not lubricated during sex, injuries can occur o So there is an automatic response to a range of sexual stimuli - In addition to Darwin’s natural selection theory, he also proposed a mechanism called sexual selection o S.S: is selection that results from differences in traits affecting access to mates o Consists of 2 processes:  Competition among members of one gender (usually males) for mating access to members of the other gender  Preferential choice by members of one gender (usually females) for certain members of the other gender o Research has tested some of these predictions, ex. Men tend to compete by displaying material resources - Criticism toward sociobiologists o Rest on an outmoded version of evolutionary theory (focus too much on the individual’s struggle for survival & efforts to reproduce) o They assume that the main function of sex is to reproduce but this may not be true anymore o Have a difficult time explaining homosexuality o Some of their research has not been supported, ex. The 0.7 waist-to-hip ratio has not been proven as some research shows that 0.7 is most common in societies where women are dependent on men Evolutionary Psychology - E.P: focuses on how natural selection has shaped psychological mechanisms & processes rather than how it has shaped sexual behaviours directly - One line of research has concentrated on sexual strategies o This theory states that males & females face different adaptive problems in short-term mating & long-term mating & reproduction  In short-term, females may choose a partner who offers her immediate resources (ex. Food)  In long-term, females may choose a partner who appears able to provide resources for the indefinite future  Based on research men tend to lower their standards when seeking a short-term partner, whereas women do not tend to lower their standards when looking for a short-term partner - Buss & others have reported data that support a number of specific predictions based on this theory but other research has shown some confounding effects - found that men & women are similar in their mating preferences (both genders prefer long-term mating strategies than short-term o Like evolutionary psychology, sexual strategies theory is based on assumptions about ancestral environment so we can only study it indirectly through very traditional societies (from this found that male sexual strategies change in response to personal characteristics & environmental contingencies) Psychological Theories - 4 major theories are relevant to sexuality (psychoanalytic, learning, social exchange & cognitive) Psychoanalytic Theory - Freud’s theory saw sex as one of the key forces of life, termed the sex drive “libido” as one of the two major forces of human behaviour (the other being death instinct “thanatos”) - P. Theory: contains a basic assumption that part of the human personality is unconscious Id, Ego & Superego - Personality divided into 3 different parts o ID: basic part, present at birth, reservoir of psychic energy “libido”, operates “pleasure principle” o EGO: operates “reality principle”, keeps id in line, realistic & rational reactions o SUPEREGO: conscience, contains values & ideas of society, operates “idealism”, inhibits id & persuades ego to strive for moral goals rather than realistic ones - The id, ego & superego develop sequentially (id at birth, ego few years later, superego last) Erogenous Zones - Freud thought libido was in certain regions of the body - E. Zones: part of the skin or mucous membrane that is sensitive to stimulation to produce pleasure - Lips/mouth, genitals, rectum & anus Stages of Psychosexual Development - Freud thought that each child past through different stages of development o In each stage, a different erogenous zone  1 stage: oral (birth – 1 year old)  2 stage: anal (2 years old) rd  3 stage: phallic (3-6 years old) • In this stage, the Oedipus Complex develops – boy desires mother, hates father & hate turns into fear of his father castrating him “castration anxiety”, this anxiety grows & desire for the mother decreases (both a male & female complex) – females suffer from “penis envy” • But, since anxiety doesn’t cure the female’s complex, it is never completely gone (thus, a female superego is not as developed as a male) th  4 stage: latency (after Oedipus Complex & lasts till adolescence) – sexual impulses are repressed  5 stage: genital (puberty) – sexual urges become more genital specific (oral, anal & genital fuse) o Freud states how humans don’t always mature from one stage to the next but remained fixed at one stage, but most people have traces of the earlier stages Evaluation of Psychoanalytic Theory - Problem with this theory is that most of the concepts cannot be evaluated to see if they are accurate - Freud said that most of personality is unconscious; advanced imaging has opened the possibility to test his ideas now - He also believed that dreams bring out the id personality (reducing ego & superego), o Research in neuropsychoanalysis show that the prefrontal constrains and that is generated by the limbic & postcortical regions - Another criticism was that Freud only used data from patients he analyzed - Feminists also criticize Freud’s theory because it is very male-oriented o Freud said that since a woman doesn’t have a penis, they are considered inferior, so Karen Horney coined the concept “womb envy” which means men envy a woman’s reproductive capacity – which is just as easy to criticize o Freud’s organism theories are also not proven - Freud was criticized but he also made important contributions o Libido being an important part of personality, humans going through stages in their psych development, he also took sex out of the closet - The psychoanalytic theory has evolved since Freud as he overemphasized the biological determinants of behaviour & instincts & didn’t recognize environment & learning o New addition: object-relations theories Learning Theory - Although psychoanalytic & sociobiological theories of human sexuality are based on biology, it also is controlled by learning - Some of the best evidence of learning is looking at different societies Classical Conditioning - Ivan Pavlov - C.C: an unconscious stimulus reflexively elicits an unconditioned response, happens when a new stimulus & a conditioned are repeatedly paired - Ex. Being sexual aroused since by a stranger because they are wearing the same cologne as your boyfriend - Sexual classical conditioning is found in males & females - C.C also helps explain fetishes Operant Conditioning - B.F Skinner - O.C: a person performs a certain behaviour (the operant), that behaviour is followed by either a reward (+ve reinforcement) or a punishment o If a reward happens, the behaviour is likely to occur again o If a punishment occurs, the behaviour will be eliminated or become less frequent - Some rewards can be considered “primary reinforcers”, like food or sex - Ex. If a female feels pain during sex, she will likely have it less often or not at all - The longer the delay after the behaviour, the less effective the reinforcers become - Punishments are less effective than rewards, sometimes it just causes the person to be sneaky about their behaviour - The one main difference between psychoanalytic theories and learning theories are that psychoanalysts believe that the determinants of human sexuality occurs in early childhood while learning theorists believe sexuality is learned & changes throughout one’s lifetime Behaviour Therapy - B.T: involves a set of techniques, based on principles of classical or operant conditioning, that are used to change behaviour - Often used to modify problematic sexual behaviours (organism problems or compulsive sexual behaviour) - Behaviour therapy differs from more traditional methods as behavioural therapists don’t go in-depth with their analysis, just focus on the behaviour & how they will modify it but tend to combine cognitive approaches = cognitive behaviour therapy Social Learning - Bandura & Walter - S.L: more complex form of learning theory, based on principles of operant conditioning but also recognizes that people learn by observing others (observational learning) - This type of learning involves 2 other processes o Imitation o Identification  These two processes help explain development of gender identity - After imitating a behaviour, the likelihood of the behaviour occurring again depends on the consequences - Successful experiences with an activity over time creates a sense of competence or “self efficacy” at performing the activity - Social learning also explains phenomenona such as birth rates o Many adults want to have children “fertility intention”  Women are influenced by the birth & survival experiences of women around them Social Exchange Theory - An important process based on the principle of reinforcement is social exchange - S.E Theory has emerged out of social learning theory & uses the concept of reinforcement to explain satisfaction, stability, change in relationships among people & explains sexual relationships - This theory states that we are “hedonistic”: we try to maximize rewards & minimize costs when we act o People engage in relationships only if they find it provides profitable outcomes o In relationships, people look at the level of expected outcomes “comparison level” & even compare people to alternatives “comparison level for alternatives” o People are more likely to stay in relationships when the rewards are high & the costs are low - Social Exchange Theory also predicts the conditions under which people try to change their relationships o Central concept is equity or equality  The state of equity exists when people in a relationship believe that the rewards they receive from it are proportional to the costs they bear  Equality exists when both partners experience the same balance of rewards to costs • If anyone is unbalance, the relationship is not stable which can lead to cheating - S.E Theory also has been used to explain various other aspects of sexuality in close relationships such as partner selection, sexual frequency & sexual satisfaction - S.E theories have been criticized for applying the ideas of rewards & costs to romantic relationships o Also downplay other motivations in a relationship as the emphasis is on rewards & costs Cognitive Theory - In 1980s & 90s “cognitive revolution” swept through psychology Cognition & Sexuality - Cognitive psychologists believe that how we perceive & evaluate a sexual event makes all the difference - Ex. People see things differently; if a guy doesn’t get a boner, some might think that it is a temporary erection problem while other people might labeled it impotence & evaluate it as being a horrible experience Gender Schema Theory - Sandra Bem proposed this theory to explain gender-role development & the impact of gender on people’s daily lives & thinking - Schema: is a general knowledge framework that a person has about a particular topic o A schema organizes & guides perception; it helps us remember but sometimes distorts our memory - Bem believes that we all possess a gender schema: a cognitive structure comprised of the set of attributes that we associate with males & females o This schema is learned through the distinctions between women & men, which are learned at an early age Sociological Perspectives - Sociologists approach sexuality with 2 basic assumptions 1. Every society regulates the sexuality of its members 2. Basic institutions of society affect the rules of governing sexuality in that society 3. The appropriateness or inappropriateness of a particular sexual behaviour depends on the culture in which it occurs - Sociologists view societal influences on human sexuality as a whole & the subcultural level at which one’s social class or ethnic group may have an impact on one’s sexuality Social Institutions - At the macro level, religion, the family, economy, etc., influence our sexuality Religion - Christian religion is abstinence - The tradition has been, till recently, has been oriented towards procreation (having children) - These ideologies are changing in Canada as Canada has a mix of beliefs The Economy - Before the industrial revolution, more men were at home but now after it, men work away more and are under less surveillance, thus, extramarital affairs are more common now - Economic conditions have lead to an increase in prostitutes - In a capitalist economy, like Canada, sexual images & sexual gratification can be sold The Family - Another institution that influences sexuality, During the industrial revolution, there was an increase emphasis on the quality of interpersonal relationships in the family - In 1970s, some people argued that sex outside of marriage was permissible as was same-sex sex – relational ideology Medicine - Doctors tell us what is healthy & what isn’t - In the 1800s, physicians warned that masturbation causes pathologies - Today, doctors tell us sexual expression is healthy - People trust medical professionals, for instance, most births are done in hospitals now instead of at home o Thus, pronouncements of medical establishment based on therapeutic ideology has an enormous impact on sexuality - The domination of contemporary theory & research by biomedical model is referred to as the medicalization of sexuality o Medicalization has 2 components:  Certain behaviours or conditions are defined in terms of health & illness  Problematic experiences or practices are given medical treatment o Medicalization of male sexuality is being hastened by the development of drugs for erectile dysfunction & physicians want to discover a “pill” for women with dysfunctions The Law - The legal system is another institution influencing sexuality at the macro level - The law influences sexual behaviour in a lot of ways o Laws help determine the norms  In Canada, consensual sexual behaviours are considered private (Trudeau), while in the U.S adultery, same-sex sex & fornication are technically illegal o Laws are the basis for the mechanisms of social control  People must be punished for certain acts, like sexual abuse  Or something more simple, like no public nudity o Law reflects the interests of the powerful, dominant groups within a society  Same-sex couples have laws against them – heterosexuals (dominant group) don’t have the same laws  Polygyny is illegal in Canada, no one has been prosecuted yet though Symbolic Interaction Theory - It’s premise is that human nature & the social order are products of symbolic communication among people - A person’s behaviour is constructed through his or her interactions with others - The theory views people as proactive & goal-seeking - Achieving goals requires the cooperation of other, especially true on many forms of sexual expression - Partners must develop a definition of the situation – must fit their actions together to achieve agreement - Central to social interaction is the process of role taking, in which a person imagines how he or she looks from the other person’s point of view o We take this viewpoint & adapt to meet their standards to achieve our goal - Criticism of this theory – it emphasizes rational, conscious thought whereas in the realm of sexuality, emotions are very important in many interactions o Also, the theory portrays humans as other-directed individuals, concerned mainly about meeting other’s standards o And the last criticism is that we don’t always consciously role-take & communicate in an effort to achieve agreement Sexual Scripts - S.S: the idea that sexual behaviour is a result of extensive prior learning that teaches us sexual etiquette & how to interpret specific situations - According to this concept, we have all learned an elaborate script that tells us the who, what, when, where & why of sexual behaviour o Ex. First date script: get ready, go out, make-out, go home - Have scripts for many things, they are guidelines each couple will enact The Social Importance of Sexuality - Reiss proposed a sociological theory of human sexuality - He defined sexuality as “erotic & genital responses produced by the cultural scripts of the society” - All societies put an important emphasis on sex, but sometimes for different reasons - Reiss’ explanation for the universal importance of sexuality point to 2 components: 1. Sexuality is associated with great physical pleasure 2. Sexual interactions are associated with personal self-disclosure, not only of one’s body but thoughts & feelings as well - According to Reiss, sexuality is linked to social structure in 3 areas: 1. Sexuality is a source of reproduction, it is always linked to kinship and all societies seek to maintain stable kinship systems (explains jealousy) 2. Sexuality is always linked to the power structure of a society; powerful groups in any society seek to control the sexuality of the less powerful (men are usually the more powerful ones in most societies) 3. Sexuality is closely linked to the ideologies: fundamental assumptions about human nature of a culture; societies carefully define what is normal & what is abnormal & which is right or wrong Theoretical Perspective Revisited - There is at least some truth in all the theories, but one theory might apply best in a particular situation while another theory might play a role at a certain time in a person’s life but not at another stage - There is no theory that explains all of human sexuality, it is too complex Chapter Three: Sex Research Issues in Sex Research Sampling - Must identify the appropriate population of people to be studied - Scientists are unable to get data from all the people in a population, so they take a sample - If the sample is large & representative of the population, results can be generalized - One way to obtain a representative sample is by using probability sampling – the simplest form is random sampling and other form is stratified random sampling - Typically, sampling proceeds in 3 phases o The population is defined o A method for obtaining a sample is adopted o The people in the sample are contacted & asked to participate  If any of the people refuse to participate, then the great probability sample is ruined = problem of refusal (or non-response) – that’s why people sample with volunteers but then the results may contain a volunteer bias  The problem with using volunteers with sex research is that they tend to be more sexually open and women tend to participant less - A convenience sample is sometimes used, it is a sample chosen in a haphazard manner relative to the population of interest – not a random or probability sample (do not give a good picture of what’s going on) Accuracy of Self-Reports of Sexual Behaviour - Most sex research is not directly observed - Have to rely on self-reports Purposeful Distortion - Some respondents in sex research distort reality intentionally - These distortions may be in either direction; people exaggerate their sexual activity (tendency toward enlargement) and people minimize their sexual activity (concealment) - People also distort their responses to seem more acceptable = social desirability - To minimize distortion, participants must be impressed with the fact that the study will be used for scientific purposes and their reports must be accurate - Even if people are truthful, 3 factors still cause their self-reports to be inaccurate (memory, difficulty with estimates and interpreting the question in a different way than researchers intended) Memory - Some questions require participants to recall past sexual behaviours o Some researchers use diaries so they can recall for a day or two instead of right away Difficulties with Estimates - Ex. Both genders estimating how long foreplay is, both estimates were different - Hence, people cannot estimate that accurately Interpreting the Question - Participants sometimes interpret the question differently than it was intended - Ex. What people term as “having sex”, just vaginal or oral too? Evidence on the Reliability of Self-Reports - Scientists have developed several methods for assessing how reliable or accurate people’s reports are o Test-retest reliability – ask participants questions & then ask them the same questions again & take the correlation between the two, if identical, will be 1.0 o Another method for assessing reliability involved obtaining independent reports from 2 different people who share sexual activity such as husbands or wives Interviews vs. Questionnaires - In the large-scale sex surveys, 3 methods of collecting data have been used: face-to-face interview, phone interview & written questionnaire - The advantage of the interview method, particularly the face-to-face, is that the interviewer can establish rapport with the respondents to convince them to be honest - A interviewer can also vary the sequence of the questions depending on the person’s response o Hard to get that flexibility with a printed survey - But phone & especially written surveys sometimes get more honest answers as the people feel anonymous - Many experts say to combine a face-to-face interview with a questionnaire - A recent innovation is the computer-assisted self-interview method (CASI), which can be combined with an audio component, this offers the privacy od a written questionnaire while accommodating poor readers o Produces more honest responses Web-Based Surveys - It is now possible to do questionnaires over the internet - Advantages: o Larger & broader samples o Studying special populations defined by their sexual behaviours o Eliminate extraneous influences on responding o Also are similar to diaries, they respond over a few days to avoid memory problems - Disadvantages: o Still rely on self-reports, which can be inaccurate o Some bias, not everyone has internet o Individuals might respond several times Self-Reports vs. Direct Observations - Already discussed how self-reports can be inaccurate - Direct observations are accurate, thus, are more advantageous o Disadvantageous: Are expensive & time-consuming, harder to find a sample who are willing to have sex in front of people Extraneous Factors - Could be gender, race or age of the interviewer may influence the outcome of sex research - Questionnaires do not get around these problems, even wording a question differently can change everything, you don’t want these to influence the results Ethical Issues - These issues are particularly difficult in sex research as people feel like their privacy is being invaded - The cardinal ethical principle is respect for human dignity; this led to several ethical principles, like free & informed consent & protection from harm Free & Informed Consent - Participants have the right to be told, before they participate, what the purpose of the research is & what they will be asked to do - They can choose not to participate and can withdrawal at any point in time Protection from Harm - Investigators should minimize the amount of physical & psychological stress to people in their research Justice - Justice principle in research ethics holds that the risks of participating in research & benefits of the results of the research should be distributed fairly across groups in society - Ex. Birth control pill was tested on poor Puerto Rico women, thus the distribution was not fair - Researchers have an obligation to make sure that they conduct their research in a way that benefits a wide range of people Balancing Harms & Benefits - Researchers must do a harm-benefits analysis - If participants benefit from the research, then the harm-benefit analysis shows that the study was ethical - Benefits should always outweigh the harm Some Statistical Concepts Average - Mean: calculated by adding up all the scores & dividing by the number of people - Median: the score that splits the sample in half, with half the respondents scoring below that number & half scoring above - Mode: the score with the greatest number of responses Variability - Looking at how much variability is between the responses - There is great variability in virtually all sexual behaviour Average vs. Normal - Don’t want to confuse “average” & “normal” when looking at sex - Ex. Like frequency of intercourse a week varies but average is 2/week, but more or less is not abnormal Incidence vs. Frequency - Incidence: refers to the percentage of people who have engaged in a certain behaviour - Frequency: refers to how often people do something o Ex. Say the incidence of masturbation among males is 92% (92% of all males masturbate at least once in their lives), while the average frequency of masturbation among males is 16-20/week - Closely related topic is cumulative incidence, which refers to the percentage of people who have engaged in that behaviour before a certain age Correlation - Correlation is a number that measures the relationship between 2 variables - Can be positive (high scores with high scores, low scores with low scores) or negative (variables are opposite) o Ex. Negative correlation between sex & length of a relationship - Correlations range between +1.0 to -1.0 The Major Sex Surveys - In major surveys, the data is collected from a large sample of people by means of questionnaires or interviews - Kinsey study was done in the late 1930s & 1940s in the U.S The Kinsey Report The Sample - Interviewed women & men - They did not use probability sampling because they were afraid of a low response o Because of this, we have no information on how adequate the sample is o One might say that his sample was haphazard but not random - Generally people that are students, high-educators are overrepresented while labourers & ethnic groups are underrepresented The Interviews - Although Kinsey’s sampling method has some dismay, his face-to-face interviewing techniques are highly regarded - 50% of the interviews were done by Kinsey - Questions were worded to encourage people to report anything they had done - Ensured responses were anonymous - Interviewing techniques were very successful in minimizing purposeful distortion, but other problems like memory & inability to estimate some of the numbers requested occurred How Accurate Were the Kinsey Statistics? - The interviews were excellent but the problem was his failure to use probability sampling - It is impossible to say how accurate Kinsey’s stats were Sexual Behaviour in the United States - U.S researchers did a national survey (NHSLS) on sexuality, lead by Edward Laumann - Used probability sampling, good rate of response, excluded certain groups, like prisoners - Used face-to-face interviews & brief questionnaire - Researchers reported training the interviewers extensively, but the extent of concealment or underreporting remains unknown - Most controversial stat in this study is the same as the Kinsey’s research – homosexuality (were too high or too low) Sexual Behaviour in Britain & Australia - Another major sex survey (NATSAL) in Great Britain, led by Anne Johnson - 14% of men & 7% of women has multiple sex partners in the last 12 months, similar to the U.S survey - But, those between 16-27 had more sex partners within those 12 months than those in the U.S - More recently, another major sex survey (ASHR) in Australia, led by Rissel - Used computer telephone interviews, good response rate (comparable to the U.S survey) - Findings indicated that age at first sex has declined over the last decades, same trend in North America - Those who did have sex before the age of 16 (25%), a fair amount of them did not use any contraceptive * NOTE: both the U.S and Britain studies were conducted to deal with the AIDS crisis Sexual Behaviour in Canada - There have been no large-scale surveys in Canada, with exception of a few questions asked by the National Population Health Survey - Canada is likely similar to the U.S as France & Britain are similar to the U.S, but still there will be differences The Canada Youth, Sexual Health & HIV/AIDS Study - Researchers from four Canadian Universities conducted a study on youth sexuality & sexual health & HIV/AIDS, also known as CYSHHAS for short - Used excellent sampling methods in all 10 provinces, may have volunteer bias, also some schools refused - Showed that the percentage of students having sex has NOT increased compared to the study conducted in 1987, but those who are engaging do it more frequently - The students in the 2002 survey had less accurate sex knowledge than kids in the 1987 study - Do not know the difference between Francophones and Anglophones as they did not assess cultural background Magazine Surveys - Some large-scale sex surveys have been conducted through magazines - Sampling is just out of control, even though many can respond, the response rate is still unknown Studies of Special Populations - Many studies on special populations have been done - The Ontario First Nations AIDS and Healthy Lifestyle Survey is one, led by Tim Myers - Used random sampling, face-to-face interviews - Found that many participants had engaged in high-risk sexual behaviours (60% didn’t use a condom) - The researchers adapted to the First Nations’ community to make them comfortable (spoke their language, used slang terms, only interviewed those of the same sex) - Thus, cultural sex surveys require more work as you have to be respectful and adapt to their culture Media Content Analysis - Use content analysis (a set of procedures used to make valid inferences about text) to analyze how the media portray women today & how they portrayed women in the past, as people have different opinions and cannot agree sometimes - Ex. How to achieve “great sex” in popular magzines, the steps of an analysis o Define population o
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