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Lecture 2

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Psychology 2075
Leslie Janes

Human Sexuality – Class 2 Chapter 2 – sex research • The study of sexuality o Purpose is to describe, predict and control sexual behavior o Sex surveys often want to find out how often you have sex, when you have sex, at what age was your first sexual experience o Description is a big part of sex research in order to understand o Research can also help predict o All of the previous are why we do sex research • Variables: o Operational definition – sexual satisfaction in marriage  asking how often one has an orgasm in sex o Incidence vs. frequency – whether or not something happens (incidence) and how often something happens (frequency) Non-experimental Research Methods Naturalistic Observation • Study of behavior in natural settings o Observing sexual behavior in a bar • Advantages: its more natural, less artificial. Behavior can be observed where it typically occurs o There have been some interesting naturalistic observations done focusing on attraction. o When men and women stare into each other eyes vs. holding hands  a stronger attraction comes from the couple staring at each other then holding hands • Disadvantages: cannot establish cause/effect; costly and difficult Case studies • Single subject or a small group o The focus is on abnormal or unusual behavior o This is also used to look at people that are sex offenders  You want to find out what would lead people to behave this way, by asking question of their past • Advantages: o Unique in-depth information about atypical cases or behavior o Looking at possible solutions to help solve the problem • Disadvantages: o Hard to generalize o Often based on self report o Lack of objectivity • Survey Studies: most common o Populations vs. samples: surveying a few members part of that group (so if you want to know about teenage sex, you poll teens) o Face-to-face interviews of questionnaires o Reliability increases with  Random sampling  Representative sample (targeting a certain number of teens from each grade) • Stratified random sample o Advantages: questionnaires – anonymity may improve honesty, cheaper  Easy to collect a lot of data o Interviews: more flexible, may improve clarity and understanding o Disadvantages:  Volunteer bias: people are willing to partake in sex research, are significantly different then those who are being examined  Faulty estimation: when people fill out a survey they are asked to estimate.  Social desirability bias: people may have grown up with parents that made them feel like sex was a shameful thing • Exaggeration: 14 year old boys would be asked if they have had intercourse yet and they would say ‘yes’ • Denial: bigger problem then exaggeration (someone might be asked if they have sexual attraction to a child, they may have these feelings but will not say anything because they know its not acceptable  Meanings of terms: there is no interview so people may be confused about the question or terms in the questions  No cause/effect: Kinsey report: • Large survey study o 5300 men, 5940 women o Broad sampling, non-representative • Surveyed sexual practices o Masturbation, oral sex, extramarital sex, sexual satisfaction, frequency of sex, gay sex… • National Health and Social Life Survey • Laboratory – observation studies (rare) o Small to moderate samples of people  what going on physiologically o Advantages: use of objective measures o Disadvantages: self-selection, reactivity, expense  People who are willing to be in a lab may be different from people in the rest of the population  Reactivity: people being observed may not be behaving properly because they are being observed and watched  Expense: very expensive Master and Johnson (1966) • Physiology of human sexual response • 312 men, 382 women aged 18-80 o Almost 700 people were involved in this lab • Non-representa
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