PSYC 3480 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Sexual Orientation, Sexual Identity, Heterosexuality

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13 Oct 2016
PSYC 3480
Chapter 6
October 13,2016
- Mostly androcentric and bias to the male sexuality. The literate is heterosexist
biased. The belief that sexuality is equal amongst male and female. The biological
framework is also biased by pairing it to our biological makeup and ignores a
psychological difference. The essentialist perspective.
- Socialist perspective-- looks at the norms that influence behaviours and attitudes
about sexuality. More so the psychological components. Preconceives societal norms
influence our beliefs around sexuality.
Sexual anatomy and sexual response
Our attitudes and beliefs are termed Sexual Scripts /our thoughts or attitudes about
sexuality. A cognitive construct or pattern of thinking that underlines our attitudes and
These scripts develop throughout childhood, there are formed early we know this from
interviews with children e.g. how do people get babies.
The social norms are developing continuously and there is controversy around changing
the curriculum to suit these.
External female sexual anatomy
Mons pubis
Labia majora
Labia minora
Sexual anatomy and sexual response
The sexual response cycle: the physiological responses of women and men to sexual
stimulation from any source.
These phases are the same for males and females lacking subjective appraisal for
individual anatomy and experiences.
Excitement phase
Plateau phase
Orgasmic phase
Resolution phase
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- Sexual desire is definitely missing from this response cycle. It is natural for males to
have this but not females. Sexual desire has been related to males and hormonal
changes. The belief is that this aspect of study has been influenced by social and
cultural structure. preceding that this is how it works for males and females.
Research has supported this theory that its more hormonal for males and not
- It would be immoral for women to think about sexual desire so it is immediately
shut off. The romantic factor is the biggest influence on women way of experiencing
their own sexuality and even defining it. Novels tend to reinforce this but we a still
exposed to cultural influences. Women’s first sexual experience is not positive so
what they read tends to recuperate for the previous. The notion of love and romance
is more desired.
- Sexual desire there are many gender differences with men being more aggressive
and women passive. E.g compared to women men think about sex more frequently,
initiate more frequently, masturbate and prefer a greater number of sexual
- Women seem to accept this type of behaviour because of the notion that there are
gender differences  yeah he’s a man so …
Multiple orgasms
One or two kinds of orgasms?
If individuals have a sexual disorder, then something is wrong psychologically there is
either and emotional problem that influences sexual functionality. Males and females go
through the same cycle but males get orgasm faster than females.
Acceptability of the double standard of sexual behavior- accepting that men are more
permissive than women in talking about sexual experiences and desires.
Females are socialized to be sexual inhibitors.
Sexual attitudes
The sexual double standard
Gender differences in attitudes
Women generally have less permissive attitudes toward sexual behavior than
men (Petersen & Hyde, 2010)
No gender differences in attitudes toward masturbation, experimental sex,
and premarital sex when couples are committed
Gender differences narrow as people get older
Attitudes toward women with disabilities
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Assumption of asexuality (Nosek, 2010)
Women with disabilities less satisfied with sex lives than able-bodied women
(Mestel, 2000)
Most individuals with disabilities have the same sexual desires as able-
bodied persons.
- Men have more permissive attitudes to sexuality than women because they are
more open to talking about it and were more expected to. The female aspect of
functioning is more private.
- The gender differences tend to get smaller and the attitudes change towards midlife.
- People with disabilities have the same biological capacity for sexuality , more
cognitive disability than physical.
- Women the influence has been love and romance as for males it is influenced by
norms, the understanding is that you are a male and the hormones are raging this is
whats going to happen and should be accepted as such.
Sexual behaviors
National Health and Social Life Survey
Frequency of sexual relations declines gradually with age
Sexual activity peaks in the ’s
Having good health and a partner were related to higher levels of sexual
activity for both sexes
Sexual behaviors: Gender differences
Men have higher incidence of intercourse and oral sex, more frequent
intercourse, greater number of partners, younger age at first intercourse, and
more extra-marital sex than women (Petersen & Hyde, 2010)
Men more interested in sex than women (Peplau, 2002)
Assertiveness and dominance more linked to male than female sexuality
(Peplau, 2002)
Women have greater sexual plasticity than men (Diamond, 2007)
Sexual behaviors: Interpreting gender differences
There is tremendous variation in sexual expression based on age, marital status,
religion, educational level, race
Limitations of research
Volunteer bias
Results based on self-report
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