Human Sexuality - Final study guide.docx

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University of Guelph
Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 2100

Senses and Sexual Arousal - Sight o Men appear more responsive to visual stimuli then women o Women try to look more attractive during ovulation; men’s “mate-retention” efforts increase then as well  Women dressed in red seem more attractive/sexually desirable to males – nut not more kind, intelligent or likeable - Smell o Pheromones  Othrless chemicals that are secreted externally and many animals detect through a 6 sense – the vomeronasal organ (VNO) o Menstrual synchrony  Exposure to other females sweat/secretions can alter menstrual cycles so they are similar (dorm-room studies) o Body odors and sexual orientation  Gays and lesbians may produce axillary odors distinguishable from heterosexuals  Heterosexual males, females and lesbians preferred heterosexual male over gay males  Gay males preferred axillary odors from other gay males  Heterosexuals and lesbians preferred axillary odors taken from lesbians over gays Aphrodisiacs, Anaphrodisiacs, and Psychoactive Drugs - Placebo effect o Perception that consumption of a substance (e.g. medicatioin) results in an effect (e.g. relief of a headache) even though the substance does not contain properties (e.g. active ingredients that reduce pain) that cause the effect to occur - Anaphrodisiac o Drug or other agent whose effects are antagonistic to sexual arousal or sexual desire Sexual Response and the Brain - Cerebral cortex and limbic system play key roles in sexual functioning o Cells of cerebral cortex transmit messages when we experience sexual thoughts, images, wishes, and fantasies – and interpret these thoughts as turn-ons or offs o Cortex judges sexual behavior as proper/improper, moral/immoral, relaxing/anxiety o The limbic system;  Hypothalamus = courting & mounting  Hippocampus and septal nuclei = secretions produced Sex hormones and sexual behavior - Castrated men research and hypogonadism o Canadian researchers Barbaree and Blanchard showed that regardless of the reason for castration, men who are surgically or chemically castrated exhibit a gradual decrease in incidence of sexual fantasies and sexual desire. Also gradually lose capacity to attain erection and ejaculate – indicating testosterone is important in maintaining sexual functioning as well as drive in males o Hypogonadism; a condition marked by abnormally low levels of testosterone production.  Men often experience loss of sexual desire and a decline in sexual activity – but they can get an erection.  Research: testosterone injections = sex drive, fantasies, and activities return to their former levels - Female sex hormones o Estrogen and progesterone play prominent roles in promoting changes during puberty and regulating menstrual cycle  Do not appear to play direct role in determining sexual motivation or response o Some evidence that sexual response is influenced by androgens (male sex hormones) – produced by her adrenal glands o Ovariectomies – sometimes carried out when hysterectomies are performed – no longer produce sex hormones – but females continue to have same sex drives and interest  Loss of ovarian hormone estradiol = vaginal dryness = painful intercourse, but no reduction in desire  Loss of adrenal glands and ovaries = no longer produce androgens = gradually lose sexual desire  Research= sexual activity increases at points in menstrual cycle when androgens are high o Androgens play more prominent role than ovarian hormones in activating and maintaining women’s sex drives Models of Sexual Response - Masters and Johnston’s Four-Phase Sexual Response Cycle 1. Excitement Phase - Men: o Vasocongestion = penile erections as early as 3-8 seconds after stimulation begins o Scrotal skin thickens, testes increase in size - Women: o Vaginal lubrication 10-30 seconds after stimulation begins o Vasocongestion = swells the clitoris, flattens and spreads the labia majora apart, and increases the size of labia minora o Become a darker pink hue due to inflow of blood o Uterus engorged and elevated, breasts enlarge, blood vessels become more prominent - Both: o “Sex flush” – more pronounced in women than in men o Nipples erect o Both show myotonia (muscle tension), increased heart rate and BP 2. Plateau Phase  Arousal remains somewhat constant  Men: o Slight increase in circumference of coronal ridge of penis, glans turn a purplish hue (vasogongestion), testes further elevated o Cowper’s glands secrete a few droplets of fluid  Women: o Vasocongestion swells outer 1/3 of vagina, contracting the vaginal opening (preparing it to “Grasp” the penis) and building orgasmic platform o Uterus fully elevated, clitoris shortens and withdraws beneath clitoral hood o Labia minora turn red, become deep wine in women who’ve had children, and bright red in women who haven’t  Reddened skin known as “sex skin” o Further engorgement of areolas o Bartholin’s glands secrete a fluid that resembles mucus  Both: o Breathing becomes rapid, myotonia present, heart rate may increase to 100-160 beats per minute, BP continues to rise 3. Orgasmic Phase  Male: o Stage 1:  Series of muscle contractions  Collection of semen in urethral bulb produces feelings of ejaculatory inevitability – last for 2-3 seconds o Stage 2:  External sphincter of bladder relaxes, allowing passage of semen  Contractions of muscles propel ejaculate through urethra and out of the body o First 3-4 contractions most intense, occurring in 0.8-second intervals  Female: o 3-15 contractions of pelvic muscles that surround the vaginal barrel o 0.8-second intervals, uterus and anal sphincter contract rhythmically. Contractions occur in waves from top of cervix  Both: Muscles go into spasm, BP and heart rate peak, 180 BPM. Respiration may increase to 40 breaths per minute 4. Resolution Phase  Body returns to its pre-aroused state  Men: o Loss of erectile in 2 phases:  Within almost a minute, ½ volume lost as blood from corpora cavernosa empties into body  Second, testes and scrotum return to normal size o Refractory period, physiologically incapable of experiencing another orgasm or ejaculation  Can last minutes, to day (in older men 50+)  Women o Returning to normal size o Sex flush lightens rapidly o Labia minor turn lighter in 10-15 seconds o Can become quickly re-aroused to point of repeated orgasms Kaplan’s 3 Stages of Sexual Response - Convenient for clinicians to classify sexual dysfunctions - Noteworthy for designating desire as a separate phase of sexual response – lack of sexual interest/desire is one of the problems most commonly brought to sex therapists - Desire (e.g. low or absent desire) - Excitement (problems with erection in the male or lubrication in the female) - Orgasm (premature ejaculation in male or orgasmic dysfunction in female) Basson - Intimacy model of female sexual response o Specifically relevant for women in long-term relationships - Argues with Kaplan’s model that desire comes first for women, and suggests that feelings of intimacy with their partners are most important. o More motivated to respond to sexual stimuli if they feel that becoming sexual involved will increase intimacy - Women enter sexual encounter with nonsexual or neutral state of mind, once aroused for intimacy reasons, she’ll continue the experience for sexual reasons o Physically & emotionally satisfying = increased feeling of intimacy, motivating her to become sexually involved again - Idea that arousal may precede sexual desire, and that arousal may not lead to orgasm Sexuality and Disability - 5 factors for sexual wellness (Margaret Nosek and her colleagues) o A positive sexual self-concept (i.e., seeing oneself as valuable, both sexually and as a person) o Knowledge about sexuality o Positive, productive relationships o An ability to cope with social, environmental, physical, and emotional barriers to sexuality o Maintenance of good general sexual health, within personal limitations Attraction - Attraction similarity o Holds that people tend to develop romantic relationships with those whose levels of physical attractiveness and other traits are similar to their own.  Similar in terms of attitudes and cultural attributes  Race and ethnicity, age, level of education, and religion - Propinquity o Proximity. o Backgrounds similar to ours, as they are more likely to hold similar attitudes. o Women more likely to place greater weight on similar attitudes as a determinant of attraction, whereas men are likely to place more value on physical attractiveness  Tend to assume people we find attractive share our attitude - Physical attractiveness o “What’s beautiful is good” effect  Assumption that attractive people have more socially desirable personalities and are likely to be happier and more successful o African peoples:  Long necks and round, disc-shaped lips are signs of feminine beauty o Nama women:  Persistently tug at their labia majora to make them beautiful – that is, prominent and elongated o Worldwide:  Taller men more attractive, suggests dominance, status, access to resources, positive heritable trait  Undergraduate north American women like 15cm taller than themselves  Undergraduate men prefer women 11cm shorter than themselves o “Thin is in” o Lesbians preferred “heavy” women with 0.7 waist-to-hip ratio and large breasts as first choice – might be a way of rejecting what they might view as societal emphasis on excessive thinness - Non physical traits and attractiveness o Gender-role expectations may affect perceptions of attractiveness  Women more likely attracted to socially dominant men than men are to be attracted to socially dominant women  Video study:  Women found men who acted outgoing and self-expressive as appealing, whereas men were put off by women who acted outgoing and self-expressive - Evolutionary perspective o Certain preferred traits offer reproductive advantages o Humans are genetically motivated to reproduce – and certain physical features are markers of reproductive potential. o Women: “biological clock,” want smooth skin, firm muscle tone, lustrous hair o Men: how well he can provide for his family than on his age or physical appeal Love - 4 concepts of Greek love o Storge; loving attachment and nonsexual affection.  Parents & children o Agape; selfless love  Generosity and caring o Philia; love between friends  Liking and respect, rather than desire o Eros; closest to our modern-day concept of passion - Infatuation vs. love o Infatuation is a state of intense absorption in or focus on another person, usually accompanied by sexual desire, elation, and general physiological arousal or excitement.  Also referred to as passion - Styles of love (6 – Hendrick & Hendrick) o Romantic love (eros)  “My lover and I were attracted to one another immediately” o Game-playing low (ludus)  “My lover up in the air about my commitment” o Friendship (storge, philia)  “The best love grows out of friendship” o Logical love (pragma)  “I consider whether my lover will be a good parent” o Possessive, excited love (mania)  “When my lover ignores me, I get sick over it” o Selfless love (agape)  “I’d do anything I could to help my lover” o Overall:  Men more likely to develop game-playing and romantic love styles, university women more apt to develop friendly, logical and possessive love styles - Sternberg’s triangular theory o Match vs. mismatch  Matched: if they possess corresponding levels of passion, intimacy, and commitment.  Dismatched: major differences between the partners on all three components  Likely to fizzle out. o What are the points  Intimacy  The experience of warmth toward another person that arises from feelings of closeness, bondedness, and connectedness, including the desire to give and receive emotional support and to share one’s innermost thoughts  Passion  An intense romantic or sexual desire for another person, accompanied by physiological arousal  Commitment  Dedication to maintaining the relationship through good times and bad ABCDE’s of romantic relationship - Attraction o 2 people become aware of and find the other person appealing or enticing - Building o Building a relationship follows initial attraction o Factors that motivate us to build a relationship include similarity in level of physical attraction, similar attitudes/interests, general positive evaluation of the partner. o Factors that deter: lack of physical appeal, dissimilarity in attitudes, mutually negative evaluation - Continuation o Established patterns of interaction remain relatively stable o Relationship matures and evolves as time passes and circumstances change - Deterioration o A relationship will begin to deteriorate when it becomes less rewarding than it was  Active response includes doing something that may enhance the relationship (seeking professional help, improving communication)  Passive response includes merely waiting for something to happen, improve on its own (occasionally, it does), or wait for it to deteriorate to the point where it ends - Ending o Happens when partners find little satisfaction in the affiliation, when barriers to leave are low, and especially when alternative partners are available. Dating in the era of new communication technologies - Guelph study: technology is acceptable to get to know partner, but asking out on dates is done over the phone or in person - Traditional roles still in place; i.e. male pays bill, female wears sexy underwear - Now considered part of the dating script, and allows women more freedom in terms of initiation and planning dates with a new partner, traditionally have been males place. Self-disclosure - Research suggests we should refrain from giving out certain information too soon if we want to make a good impression - However, disclosure seems to be normal when meeting people in cyberspace o Internet, because of anonymity, facilitates self-disclosure o Research has found that women are only slightly more revealing about themselves than men are - Sex differences o Masculine typed (assertive, aggressive) are less willing to disclose their feelings o Feminine typed (expressive, nurturing) more likely to be empathetic and to listen to other people’s troubles than masculine-typed individuals, regardless of sex. o Research is ? – one study said women disclose slightly more info, another one determined no gender differnces - Key factor between partners disclosing info is whether their partner also disclosed. Sexual initiation - Men initiated sex 2x as often as women did – the men also considered initiating sex without actually doing so more often than the women. o However, men refused to have sex proportionally as often as women, and women accepted sexual invitations as often as men - Indirect; “I love you” Direct; “I want you right now” Mutual cyclical growth - The view that your need for your partner promotes commitment, which promotes acts that enhance the relationship, and that these acts build trust, increasing your partner’s commitment to the relationship - Five stages: o Feeling that you need your partner promotes your commitment to and dependence on the relationship o Commitment to the relationship encourages you to do things that are good for the relationship o Your partner sees your pro-relationship acts o Your partner’s perception of your pro-relationship acts enhances his or her trust in you and in the relationship o Your partner’s feelings of trust increase his or her willingness to depend on the relationship Heterosexual and LGB relationships - Few differences in factors that satisfy heterosexual and non-heterosexual couples o Gays and lesbians tend to distribute household chores evenly, and not in terms of gender-role stereotyping - Similarities: o Sexual satisfaction is tied to satisfaction with the relationship  More satisfied when they receive social support from their partners, share power, fight fairly, and perceive their partners are committed to the relationship  However, heterosexual couples are more likely to have support of their families, and less likely to be stigmatized by society o Issues
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