P S Y C H 3 A C 3 : H u m a n S e x u a l i t y - P a g e | 1
Introduction - Defining Sex
Date: Monday January 7th, 2013
Why is Sex Interesting?
o It is the basic driving force in human evolution
o We are who we are because of sex - basis of our species
What is Sex?
o Sex is taboo - described by society as unacceptable or improper
o Dr. Kellogg: was a prude that was against sex and said you shouldn't enjoy it. So he gave treatment such
as placing carboxylic acid on the clit for females and doing circumcisions on males without anesthetics.
It's believed that he made Corn Flakes because he thought that the carbohydrates will stop
people's sex drive
o Dr. Freud: was seen as a pervert and did "glove therapy". He was right about how we need to have sex
to function and restriction can cause frustration.
o Dr. Kinsey: agreed with Freud and made many books on sex, however he used people that were
comfortable with sex in his studies -- still good science
o William Proximire - was a senator that thought it was a waste of money and time to spend research on
things such as sex. The first person he targeted was Dr. Hatfield. She struggled to do any research on the
top of sex.
Date: Tuesday, January 8th, 2013
o Bill Clinton has "oral sex" with Monica, and didn't think it was sex but others thought it was sex
This is a problem when it comes to healthcare because when a doctor asks if the patient is
sexually active - no one really knows what this mean - can have a STI and not know
Would You Say You "Had Sex" If...?
o Sanders & Reinish had a questionnaire if they would consider _______ as sex
o This survey was done in the UK, Canada (slightly younger sample) and USA
o The Canadian study added orgasms, who you consider as a "sex partner" and how you identify sexual
infidelity (unfaithfulness) into the survey
o Stuff Almost No-One considers "Sex":
French Kissing: on average men and women in all three countries thought this was not sex
Contact with Breasts: The highest average of people thinking this is sex was about 10% - not sex
o Manual Stimulation of Genitals:
Without Orgasm: about 12% of people said it was sex - not majority
With Orgasm/Canadian Study: about 12% said it was sex - not majority
o Oral Stimulation of Genitals:
Without Orgasm: about 40% of people said it was sex! However this is still not majority. P S Y C H 3 A C 3 : H u m a n S e x u a l i t y - P a g e | 2
With Orgasm/Canadian Study: a
significant amount of men considered
this as sex compared to the "no orgasm"
however women stayed the same. -- still
not sex on the whole
o Anal Intercourse:
About 80% of people said it is sex
o Vaginal Intercourse:
Almost 100% of people said it is sex
So, What is Sex?
o Depends (a bit) on who you are
No big significant difference in some behaviours, but men tend to think that "smaller" things are
sex e.g. Oral sex
Probably because men want to increase their # and women want to lower their number
Men tend to exaggerate their numbers and women tend to decrease their numbers
You would think that orgasms played a bigger role according to the evolutionary perspective,
because it is essential for men to reproduce, BUT getting orgasms did not make a significant
o All in all, sex is when there is penetration between a penis and anus/genitals
Thursday, January 10th, 2013
Canadian Study - Sex Partners:
o Having "sex" may not be considered as your sex partner
o In the graph it is evident that more people consider
smaller things as their "sex partners" but still don't think
the act is "sex"
o This creates a PROBLEM! Sex partner is a broader
definition. So when you are doing studies you need to
ensure operalization - carefully define your variables
Canadian Study - What about Cheating?:
o Seems to be that almost everyone thinks EVERYTHING is
o This might be a mindset that kissing may lead to more in
Sex: Anal & vaginal is sex to most people. No
gender differences for calling something sex. P S Y C H 3 A C 3 : H u m a n S e x u a l i t y - P a g e | 3
Sex Drive: Why do we choose to have sex? - Measuring this is difficult but important!
Measuring Sex Drive:
o Kinsey's Behavioural Measure - "Total sexual outlet"
He measure the # of orgasms you must achieve per given unit time
Positives to his study were:
He did not ask about how many times you have sex
He did not simple just ask "how many times do you have sex" because people
compromise all the time by being forced to or being turned down. By saying "you must
achieve" it disregards the compromising conflict
One major flaw to his study:
Women do not have orgasms as often as men, so this study undermines their sex drive.
This means that his study is only accurate for males.
o Attitudinal Measures: Sexual Desire Inventory:
This is intent or wish for sexual activity
e.g. During the last month how often did you want sexual activity such as touching each
E.g. In your everyday life how desirable is your sex drive when you see an attractive
E.g. Masturbation - How important is it to reach your sexual desire by yourself
These questions get away from gender differences of orgasms
o Dr. Ostovich's Measure: TOS Plus:
Mix of both Kinsey's and Attitudinal Measures
There are four items --> Not perfect but pretty good
1) How often do you experience sexual desire? (Att.)
2) How often do you orgasm in the average month? (Beh.)
3) How often do you masturbate in the average month? (Beh.)
4) How would you compare your level of sex drive with that of the average person of your
gender and age? (Att.)
Correlates of Sex Drive:
o Gender: Can predict their gender
Men appear to be more sexually driven
o Attitudes About Casual Sex: Social Sexual Orientation
Measures to extent with how willing you are to have casual sex
If you have a high sexual drive, you technically should be willing to have a lot of casual sex -->
After the surveys this had a high correlation, so this statement is correct P S Y C H 3 A C 3 : H u m a n S e x u a l i t y - P a g e | 4
o Sexual Behaviours:
Timing of First Sexual Experience: The higher your sex drive, the younger you were when you
first had a sexual experience
Lifetime Number of Sex Partners: People willing to have casual sex have more sex partners,
which can be also associated with sex drive. So you need to have high sex drive AND willing to
have casual sex to have a high # of lifetime partners.
Frequency of Sexual Intercourse: Higher sex drive means that they are having more sex
o Timing of Puberty:
Kinsey found that in men, the younger you were when you hit puberty, the higher your sex
drive. We are not sure why, but this is the case for MEN ONLY!
o Timing of First Experience of Sexual Arousal:
For both men and women, the younger you were when you had your first experience, the higher
your sex drive
o Sexual Orientation:
High sex drive is associated with gay and bisexual timing of puberty which is associated with
sexual orientation. Lesbian and bisexual women on average got puberty 1 and 1/2 years before
heterosexual women. They also had their first experience of sexual arousal 1 and 1/2 years
before heterosexual women.
Baumeister's Erotic Plasticity Hypothesis
Monday, January 14th, 2013
o Malleable: easily influences, able to be pressured permanently out of shape
o Erotic Plasticity: women sexuality is more malleable to situations, culture, etc. Women tend to be able
to switch their interests of their sexuality more easily than men.
Feminist & Evolutionists tried to explain this idea in their own different ways, at first they were
against this idea, but after the amount of proof they made their hypothesis.
Sexual Revolution - women's sex behaviours changed a lot, men stayed pretty neutral
o Women's sexuality is more malleable than men's
o High EP = more malleable to situational/cultural values
o Three Predictions
1) Over history, women's values and behaviours should shift more than men
2) Women should have larger responses to socio-cultural responses than men e.g. Sexual
Revolution, Religion, Education
3) Women's attitudes towards things should not correlate with their behaviours e.g. Against anal
sex, but has anal sex
o Erotic Plasticity: Women are different than men! --> This can be seen as offensive to people because it
seems like it's saying women are "less" than men, but this isn't true P S Y C H 3 A C 3 : H u m a n S e x u a l i t y - P a g e | 5
1) Prediction - Intra-individual Variability:
o Kinsey et al. (1953): Gender difference in total sexual outlet over time
Found that for women the orgasms they needed a week was changing: they masturbated a lot
one month, and didn't for a few weeks. However, men were consistent with the number of
orgasms they needed
Also found that men always masturbated to compensate for a loss of a partner (e.g. death or
break up). However with women it varied, they might compensa