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PSYC 391 (23)
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Psyc 391 7.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 391
Professor
Kim Bartholomew

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Psyc 391- Ch 7 The sexual self and sexual identity • Ppl not always aware of own motivations or tendencies when strong social sanctions condemn/prohibit certain types of sexual rlnshps- here introspection and self evaluation don’t provide very good understand of self o On the “down low” gay men who avoid incorporating aspects of sexual interest and behaviour into awareness of themselves o Self= The system of beliefs that a person possesses about their characteristics, goals, needs, and abilities  Affects behaviour  Another name for sense of self is Identity  The sexual self and Sexual identity relating to sexual characteristics and behaviour of self conceptions  Historical confusion w/sexual identity, gender identity and gender role identity • They are all interrelated but Sexual identity is a distinct concept in terms of what one is like sexually (desires, wishes, fantasies, attitudes, traits, behaviour patterns) • The social nature of the self: o Self is largely a product of interactions w/others and the feedback we receive from them  Knowledge of selves is provided thru 4 primary means, 3 of which are social • 1- Introspection= thinking about what we are like and assessing our own thoughts and feelings (not very interpersonal) o We’re not very good at seeing the influence of environment/others on us • 2- Self perception= obser ving how we behave and then inferring what we are like and what our motives are (can monitor our overt actions) • 3- Reflected appraisal= observing others’ reactions to us as we engage in behaviour and interact with them o Looking glass self (like a mirror to show us how we’re behaving)- can directly monitor how ppl respond to our actions/statements and gives us info about our characteristics • 4- Social comparison= process of evaluating our beavior, attributes, abilities, beliefs and feelings in terms of how they compare w/those of others o Especially likely to occur when we’re unsure of how to react to a situation o Ppl likely to focus on aspects of selves that are unique/distinguish them (distinctiveness effect) o Development of self conceptions about sexuality: process thru which indiv’s arrive upon an understaning of their sexual feelings, desires, and behaviours is likely to be somewhat dif from other aspects from self  Dev of sexual self conceptions may be less direct, ltd in substance to a greater extent or more prone to distortion (b/c ltd direct sexual contact or negative a ttitudes about sexuality)  Sexuality very private so very few ppl have interaction w/others in sexual way (limits process of Reflected appraisal) • Self perception also constrained by ltd opportunity to obtain info in interaction w/others • Also ltd dev of sexual self concept b/c of anxiety/negative beliefs/ guilt that’s associated w/sexuality in many western cultures o So ltd introspection o Sexual self schemas and self-conceptions:  According to Andersen/Cyranowski:  Self conceptions are meaningfully organized w/in conceptual networks of related ideas  Self schema= especially strongly related features/groupings of info about self organized w/in a network • Schema= network of realted knowledge, beliefs, feelings about specific aspect of the world that’s developed thru experience • Self schema deals w/info about self • If well developed allow us to react quickly to situations and w/minimal effort (esp if familiar) • Schematic= indiv who has well developed self schema for given attribute o Vs Aschematic= not highly developed self schema  A model of sexual self schemas: • Self schemas realting to sexuality= Sexual self schemas (dev thru experience • 2 dimensional model for sexual self schemas w/2 indep dimensions o High in both dimensions= Co-schematic o Aschematic= not developed very strongly along either positive or negative dimensions (little sense of oneself as sexual at all) o Positive dimension relating to being passionate and romantic, open and direct about sexuality, negative dimension related to traits of embarrassment and conservatism toward sexuality o Women w/largely positive self schemas more likely to report greater passion and desire for greater emotional intimacy  Negative self schema lower passion, love, greater sexual anxiety, avoidant persp on rlnshps, also fewer rlnshps o Co-schematic (both positive and negative)- greater desire and arousal, passionate love, desire for emotional intimacy, and rlnshp satisfa tion, yet greater insecurity about abandonment o Aschematic- similar to negative schema ppl, low desire and arousal, anxious about sex • men on 3 dimensions w/some similarities to women but also some big difs o Passionate-loving, powerful-aggressive, openmineded- liberal  Passionate loving similar to Romantic/passionate for women  Open minded/liberal also similar to negative dimension for women (but in direction opposite of conservatism/embarrassment)  Men who view selves as more open minded tend to engage in greater emotional involvement in rlnshps, openminded/liberal for women more related to lack of anxiety  Being strong/independent central in male personality (related to motivation or interest in sexual activity) • Proposal that ppl’s sexual self schema’s develop as a result of early infant attachment o Secure positive attachment lead to intimacy and good romantic involvement, but if poor parenting then insecurity, anxiety, etc...  A model of sexual self conceptiosn: • Alternative view by Garcia 6 dimensions necessary to adequately characterize self conceptions about sexuality o Extent of sexual experience, sexual deviance, sexual attitudes (liberal, permissive), sexual attractiveness, sexual responsiveness and romanticism  Men viewed selves as more sexually experienced and more sexually deviant and responsive than women reported  Women more likely to see selves as sexually attractive and romantic?  Ppl also appeared to assimilate stereotypes into their self views  Sexual behaviour reports also found to correlate w/6 dimensions • To the extent to which indiv’s engage in certain type of behaviour they will come to perceive themselves as possessing characteristics related to that behavior • Strength of indiv’s certainty about their sexual self conceptions additionaly shown to correlate w/ratings of extensiveness of sexual behaviour (ppl become more certain they possess characteristics when they engage in behaviour frequently) • Certainty about self conceptiosn shown to relate to tendency to seek feedback from others (esp for support of already established self conceptions- Self verification) • Extremity of sexual self conceptions related to greater certainty of one’s self view • Adolescent sexual self conceptions= dif for males and females o Socio emotional component (romantic, passionate, sensitive, eroticism, faithfulness) o Rlnshp component (unwilling to have premarital sex or engage in sexual experimentation, faithfulness, uninterested in sex or seducing others or exploitation of other sex)  Conservativism o 2 major conclusions= young women incorporate element of assertiveness in self conceptiosn in addition to interest in sexual expression  So ptl for women to be sexually open and adventurous involves degree of assertiveness and initiative (not the same for men)  Difs seen in sexual self conceptiosn b/w M and F was in emotional intimacy, men more willing to engage in sexual behaviour w/o emotional attachment, toh more likely to view selves as experiencing great deal of emotional intimacy in rlnshps • Sexual identity: o Broad understanding that indiv has of all aspects of their sexuality (including sexual orientation identity- who you’re attracted to)  Sexual orientation= relatively stable tendency to experience emotional, romantic, sexual attraction to M, F or both  Research on causes of sexual identity, not role of it in society/life o A multidimensional model of sexual identity:  General model of sexual identity and it’s dev hasn’t been properly done yet • Several models of heterosexual identity • Sexual identity= the process by which indiv’s acknowledge and define their sexual needs, values, sexual orientation and preferences for sexual activies, modes of sexual expression and characteristics of sexual partners o Worthington said 2 components= Individual sexual identity (recognition and acceptance of one’s sexual needs, preferences, and tendencies) and Social sexual identity (includes membership in particular sexual orientation group, or class of ppl based on other aspects of sexuality, ie celibacy, nudist, S&M, etc..) o Indiv sexual identity= id of own needs, adoption of personal sexual values, awareness of preferred activities, awareness of preferred partner characteristics, awareness of preferred modes of sexual expression, recognition and identification w/sexual orientation o Sexual needs= largely biologically based feelings of desire and interest o Sexual values= beliefs about goodness, appropriateness and desirability of various sexual issues and behaviours o Sexual activities= ie fantasizing, touching, kissing, masturbating, etc..  Based on sexual attraction/arousal or desire for reproduction b/c Preferred sexual activities o Preferred modes of sexual expression- types of communication to define own sexuality ( ie flirting, eye contact, touching) o Sexual orientation identity= understanding of own sexual orientation  May be sexually
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