Psy Beh 121 - Review Sheet for Midterm 2.doc

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Psychology and Social Behavior
Joanne Zinger

REVIEW SHEET FOR MIDTERM #2 P118D - Human Sexuality - Winter 2013 CHAPTER 10: SEXUALITY AND THE LIFE CYCLE ~ ADULTHOOD I. Independent Reading A. Sex and the Single Person (pages 241-244) 1. Early adulthood is a time of maturing and defining sexual identity. Learning to communicate, navigating intimacy, and taking responsibility are part of the maturation process. 2. Most adults eventually marry, but opportunities are limited after age 25 due to changes in social structures. Some singles seek partners in clubs, singles’ apartments, and through online services, while others remain either voluntarily or involuntarily celibate. B. Cohabitation (page 244) 1. Living together is often viewed as a step toward marriage, in which partners publicly announce their relationship and “try out” marriage. 2. Approximately 40 percent of cohabiting couples have children. Cohabitors report a slightly increased frequency of sex compared to married couples. C. Sexual Patterns in Marriage (pages 248-249) 1. As with other groups, married couples report higher rates of oral-genital contact over the past 50 years. 2. About one quarter of married persons in the NHSLS reported engaging in anal sex. D. Postmarital sex (pages 255-256) 1. There are few restrictions on postmarital sex, as it involves people who once had a socially acceptable outlet of sexual expression that is no longer available. 2. Widows, even when accounting for age, are less likely to engage in postmarital sex than divorcees, probably in part due to an increased likelihood of financial security. E. Sex and Seniors (pages 256-262) 1. Female changes with aging include decreased levels of estrogen, thinning of the vaginal walls, and shrinkage of the vagina and labia majora. Genital atrophy is less pronounced in women who are sexually active. 2. Menopause refers to the cessation of menstruation that occurs between the ages of 40 and 60. 3. The climacteric is a 15- to 20-year period of transition during which the female body adjusts to the inability to reproduce as the functioning of the ovaries and other tissues declines. 4. Menopause may be marked by “hot flashes,” headaches, and possibly osteoporosis. 5. Hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) - May be helpful for the relief of physical discomfort (hot flashes) and some sexual problems (lack of vaginal lubrication) - Treatment often includes both estrogen and progesterone, and testosterone may also be added - Somewhat controversial; protects from osteoporosis but increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer - Risk of breast cancer reduced somewhat in women who only use estrogen - Risk for women taking combined HRT doesn’t increase significantly until after 7 years, and then is small - Risk of ovarian cancer increases after 5 years; primarily to women who have had a hysterectomy buth with intact ovaries (8% of HRT users) - Evidence indicates a cardioprotective effect when begun near menopause, in an early “therapeutic window” - If begun several or more years after menopause, it may increase cardiovascular risk - Oral administrations double risk of thromboembolism; risk not demonstrated with other routes of administration 6. Menopause is associated with some decline in sexual functioning, due in part to vaginal dryness; however, most women continue to engage in and enjoy sexual activity after menopause. 7. Obviously, men do not cease menstruating, but they do experience declining levels of androgens, a period sometimes referred to as andropause. 8. Enlargement of the prostate gland is a common physical problem for males as they age. 9. The “male midlife crisis” - 10. Changes for men - Testosterone production declines gradually and the refractory period lengthens over the years - Vascular diseases such as hardening of the arteries are increasingly common with age in men - Erections occur more slowly - Signs of sexual excitement (sex flush, muscle tension) diminish - Volume of ejaculate gradually decreases and the force of ejaculation lessens - Middle-aged and elderly men have better control over orgasm than young men; can prolong coitus - General satisfaction was related negatively to erectile problems and positively to sexual information and marital adjustment (accurate information is important to maintain realistic expectations) - Prostatectomy (removal of the prostate) decreases the volume of ejaculate and can cause damage to the nerves supplying the penis, creating erectile problems; sometimes retrograde ejaculation may result 11. In general, attitudes toward sexual expression by the elderly are rather negative in the United States, but not in other countries, as such perceptions are culturally defined. These attitudes may stem from a youth-oriented culture and the persistent notion of sex for reproduction. 12. Masters and Johnson note that good physical and mental health and regularity of sexual expression are keys to maintaining sexual capacity. 13. Institutional settings impede sexual expression, whether by self-stimulation or with a partner. 14. Many couples report satisfying sex lives well into their sixties and beyond. When a couple stops engaging in sexual behaviors, the husband is the most frequently reported cause. II. Marital Relationships A. Frequency of Marital Intercourse 1. About 92% of all people aged 54 or younger are or have been married; of those who divorce, 80% remarry 2. The average American married couple - 2-3 times/ week in their 20s, then less due to biological aging and habituation to sex with the partner - The impact of having a baby: intercourse is uncomfortable for the woman, exhaustion for both parents B. The NHSLS asked respondents to estimate the duration of their last sexual interaction 1. 16% of the married people reported that it lasted 15 minutes or less 2. 9% reported that it lasted 1 hour or more 3. I-Clicker Question – what about us? 4. (Incidently, 1/3 of the never-married couples said 1 hour or more) C. A survey of married couples 1. The traditional gender typing of initiation patterns may be related to how people deal with a refusal - A survey of married couples for that for 33% of them, the husband and wife are about equally likely to initiate sex - For 51% the husband is more likely to be the initiator, and in only 16% of the couples is the wife usually the initiator 2. If the man initiates and the woman refuses: That’s how women are 3. If the woman initiates and the man refuses: He’s not interested in me D. Masturbation in Marriage 1. The NHSLS found that 63% of married men and 42% of married women reported masturbating in the last year 2. 17% of the married men and 5% of the married women in the NHSLS survey masturbate at least once a week E. Satisfaction with Marital Sex: In the NHSLS, longitudinal data from 283 married couples, in depth interviews - About half very satisfied; married folks significantly more satisfied than cohabitating/ single people - Sexual satisfaction is an important contributor to marital quality; they both predict marital stability - Factors differentiating the happy vs. not o Sense of calm and acceptance of their sexuality o Happy people are generous o They LISTEN to their partners o They TALK, both in bed and out of bed F. Sex and the Two-Career Family 1. A study followed 550 couples for one year following the birth of a baby 2. Problems may occur at the extremes - Two-profession couples who work 60-80 hours/ week don’t have time for sex - Issue is that they are workaholics III. Extramarital sex, or adultery, refers to sexual activity between a married person and someone other than that person’s spouse A. How Many People Engage in Extramarital Sex? About 25% of married men and 15% of married women B. Attitudes toward Extramarital Sex: 1. In 1998, according to nation-wide survey, 78% of adult Americans believe extramarital sex is always wrong 2. Attitudes toward extramarital sex are not very good predictors of extramarital sexual behavior C. Who engages in extramarital affairs? 1. More common among people with low incomes, and those who rarely or never attend religious services 2. Men who reported participation in affairs were older and more sexually dissatisfied 3. A study asked each partners how likely he or she was to be unfaithful in the next year - High scorers on narcissism and impulsiveness - Conflict (sexualizing, withholding, alcohol) - Dissatisfaction with marriage, marital sex D. Swinging & Polyamory - Swinging = Exchange partners or add third person o Closed swinging: the couples meet and exchange partners, and each pair goes off separately to a private place to have sex o Open swinging: the pairs get back together for sex in the same room for at least part of the time o Demographics of swingers:  Majority are upper or middle class, above average in education and income, and employed in the professions and in management  Most white; African Americans and other minorities rare among swingers  At least 2/3 were raised in a religious home, but as adults they didn’t attend services and were not affiliated o (Possibly outdated) estimate: 1-2% - Polyamory o The “nonpossessive and honest philosophy and practice of loving multiple people simultaneous” o Those not involved react negatively o “Liberating and frightening” CHAPTER 11: ATTRACTION, LOVE, AND COMMUNICATION I. Independent Reading: A. Explaining our Preferences (pages 268-270) 1. Reinforcement Theory: Byrne’s Law of Attraction - We like people who are frequently nice to us and seldom nasty - We prefer people who are similar because interaction with them is rewarding - People similar in age, race, and education are likely to have similar outlooks on life, prefer similar activities, and like the same kinds of people - Shared values and beliefs provide the basis for smooth and rewarding interaction - We prefer good looking partners because we’re aware of the high value placed on that in society, and we believe others will have a higher opinion of us if we have an attractive partner - We prefer someone with high social status/ earning potential because all the material things that people find rewarding cost money - Practical implications: provide partner with positive reinforcement; make sure you have some good times together so that you associate each other with rewards - A variation of this view states that we’re attracted to people similar to us because they activate our positive views of ourselves 2. Sociobiology: Sexual Strategies Theory - Men and women face different adaptive problems in their efforts to reproduce - Men need to identify reproductively valuable women; all things being equal, younger women are more likely to be fertile, so men choose young women (homophily) - Men want to be certain of the paternity, so they want a woman who will be sexually faithful - Women must make a greater investment than men in order to reproduce; they want to select as mates men who are reproductively valuable (leading to a preference for good looking mates) and are able and willing to invest resources in them and their children - Among young people, women will prefer men with greater education and higher occupational aspirations - In contemporary society, where more women work, wealthier women would prefer physical attractiveness over financial prospects B. Love in Action (page 273) Sternberg argues that each of the three components of love must be translated into action 1. The intimacy component is expressed in actions such as communicating personal feelings and information 2. The passion component is expressed in actions such as kissing, touching, and making love 3. The decision or commitment component is demonstrated by actions such as saying, "I love you" C. Jealousy (pages 276-277) 1. Intense cases of jealousy may result in violence 2. Jealousy is a cognitive, emotional, and behavioral response to a threat to an interpersonal relationship 3. Two types of jealousy: emotional jealousy and sexual jealousy 4. The evolutionary perspective hypothesizes that there is a gender difference in jealousy 5. Research did not confirm this hypothesis; both men and women are more concerned with emotional jealousy 6. Two situations activate jealousy: threat to our self-esteem and threat to the relationship 7. Stages of the jealousy response - Cognitive: make an initial appraisal of the situation and find that there’s a threat to our self-esteem or to the relationship - Emotional: o Jealous flash: rapid stress response (physiological component) o Reappraisal of the situation and deciding how to cope with it (may shift from seeing the situation as a threat to seeing it as a challenge); initial intense emotions quiet down and may be replaced by moodiness 8. Behavioral coping responses to jealousy - Constructive: effective communication with the partner - Destructive: threat to self-esteem may lead to depression, substance abuse, or suicide; aggression may result in physical or sexual abuse or even murder 9. Attachment style and jealousy - Secure style: expressed anger to the partner and maintained the relationship - Anxious style: reported the most intense anger, but were most likely to say they did not express anger - Avoidant style: more likely to direct anger toward the third person D. Research on Love (pages 279-283) 1. Hatfield and Sprecher developed a paper-and-pencil measurement of passionate love - Passionate Love Scale - Statements intended to measure the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral components of passionate love - Respondent rates each statement on a scale from 1 (not true at all) to 9 (definitely true) - Results indicated that scores on the PLS were correlated positively with other measures of love and with measures of commitment to and satisfaction with the relationship; valid 2. Love and adrenaline are the components of the Two-Component Theory of Love - Passionate love occurs when two conditions exist simultaneously: o The person is in a state of intense physiological arousal o The situation is such that the person applies a particular label – “love” – to the sensations 3. Cross-cultural research identifies two dimensions on which cultures vary: - Individualism-collectivism (goals and interests) - Independence-interdependence (relating to others in the group) E. Communication (pages 283-291): - Communication and relationships o Distressed couples tend to have communication deficiencies o Distressed couples don’t differ from nondistressed couples in their communication skills/ ability o Some distressed couples use their communication skills as weapons, to send negative messages o Four destructive patterns of interaction:  Criticism: attacking a partner’s personality or character  Contempt: intentionally insulting or orally abusing the other person  Defensiveness: denying responsibility, making excuses, replying with a complaint of one’s own, and making other self-protective responses instead of addressing the problem  Withdrawal: responding to the complaint with silence, turning on the TV, walking out of the room in anger, etc. - Being an effective communicator o Intent (what you mean) and Impact (what the other person thinks you mean) should match o Plan your strategy: it allows you to make sure the timing is good, to avoid speaking out of anger or when your partner is tired/ preoccupied o Complain rather than criticize: using “I” language to focus on what you know best – your own thoughts and feelings o Don’t engage in mind reading (making assumptions about what the partner is thinking) o Documenting: give specific examples of the issue o Leveling: telling your partner what you are feeling by stating your thoughts clearly, simply, and honestly o Editing: censoring things that would be deliberately hurtful to your partner or that would be irrelevant o Non-defensive listening: focus on what your partner is saying and feeling, and don’t immediately become defensive or counterattack with complaints of your own o Nonverbal communication: tone of voice, facial expression, position of the body, and whether you touch the other person are all important in conveying the message o Validating: telling your partner that, given their point of view, you can see why they think a certain way o Drawing your partner out: use open-ended questions o Accentuate the positive: important to communicate positive things about sex (positive reinforcement)  Magic ratio of positive to negative communication: in stable marriages, there is five times as much positive interaction as there is negative; they are also more likely to respond to a negative communication with something positive - Fighting fair o Don’t make sarcastic/ insulting comments about your partner’s sexual adequacy o Don’t bring up names of former spouses, lovers, or boyfriends/ girlfriends to illustrate how all these problems didn’t happen with them o Don’t play amateur psychologist o Don’t threaten to tell your parents or run home o If you have children, don’t bring them into the argument o Don’t engage in dumping (storing up gripes and then dumping them on your partner all at once) o Don’t hit and run (bring up a serious issue when there’s no opportunity to continue the discussion) o Don’t focus on who’s to blame - Checking out sexy signals o In studies of tactics used to promote sexual encounters, college students reported good hygiene, good grooming, and dressing nicely as the actions they most frequently used o Ambiguous messages can lead to hurt and rejection, or to unnecessary anger and complaints to third parties o As recipients of ambiguous messages, we need to make an effort to clear them up o Don’t make any assumptions about the meanings of ambiguous messages F. Gender Differences in Communication (page 285) 1. Are there substantial gender differences in communication styles? - Yes but differences, overall, are small 2. Research results on women's vs. men's tendencies/abilities - Women are more skilled at reading nonverbal cues - Women are more likely to inquire about upsetting situations that another person is in, and to use comforting messages that acknowledge and legitimize the feelings of others - In same-gender pairs, men are more likely to discuss sports, careers, and politics; women are more likely to talk about feelings and relationships - Men interrupt more than women 3. In same gender pairs, women disclose more; but when talking to women, men do disclose 4. Men and women have different goals when they speak - Women use speech to establish and maintain relationships - Men use speech to exert control, preserve independence, and enhance their status 5. Gender differences are small; research does not support the notes that men and women are from different cultures 6. We should not be led astray by flashy claims that men and women have totally different communication styles 7. Good communication is essential for satisfying, mutually pleasurable sex G. How Solid is Your Relationship (page 290): Survey to assess your level of love and respect in a relationship H. Independent Reading Article: Kline et al. (2008): Communicating Love: Comparisons between American and East Asian University Students II. Attraction A. The Girl Next Door - Among those who work in the same place or take the same class, we tend to be more attracted to people with whom we have had some contact several times than we are to people with whom we have had little contact - This is the mere-exposure effect: Repeated exposure to any stimulus, including a person, leads to greater liking for that stimulus B. Birds of a Feather 1. We are attracted to people who are approximately the same as we are 2. We are attracted to people whose attitudes are opinions are similar to ours; reinforcement theory 3. The saying “Birds of a feather flock together” contains some truth C. Physical attractiveness 1. Given a choice of more than one potential partner, individuals prefer the one who is more physically attractive 2. Physical attractiveness is more important to men evaluating women than it is to women evaluating men 3. Our perception is influenced by their intelligence, liking, and respect and by our own objective attractiveness D. Interpersonal Marketplace 1. Whom we are attracted to and pair of with depends a lot on how much we think we have to offer and how much we think we can “buy” with it 2. High school yearbook pictures study - One study rated high school yearbook pictures for attractiveness and then
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