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Psyc 391 ch8.docx

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PSYC 391
Kim Bartholomew

Psyc 391- Ch8 (Sexual motivation, arousal and attraction) • Sexual interest involves more than the desire for genital stimulation (possibly even more than the desire for physical stimulation) o Experience of personal pleasure, whether in form of physical stimulation or interpersonal gratification is essential to motivation for sexual expression  Sex may occur for reasons other than pleasure (but won’t last as long or be pursued with as much enthusiasm) • Sexual motivation: o Motivation as cause of all behaviour  Motivation= state of increased interest in a specific goal; accompanying this heightened interest is a process of initiating, energizing, maintaining and directing behaviour intended to attain the goal o In the case of sexuality goal is satisfaction from sexual behaviour/ fantasy, feelings, thoughts and rlnshps  Sexual desire, sex drive, libido all used to talk about parts of sexual motivation o Incentive theory of sexual motivation:  Dif ppl enjoy dif aspects of sexual experience (ie feeling valued by partner, making one feel better, feeling powerful, physical stimulation/excitement) • Incentives= particular aspects of sexual experience that provide pleasure • For ppl to engage in such behaviour they have to think they have a chance of being successful at obtaining pleasure  Combination of incentives and processes w/in person • Propose that an accurate and complete understanding of the causes of sexual behaviour must take into account factors both w/internal and external to indiv • Incentive-motivation models incorporate both types of factors o Interaction of internal and external factors o Internal factors= energizing component (of motivation) as well as directing component  These aspects thought to provide force that pushes indiv toward specific aspect of environment that will bring pleasure/gratification  Other internal factors are structures/processes in brain and NS, also complex psychological motives such as desire for intimacy or thrill/excitement o External factors= incentives also referred to as situational aspect of motivation  Pull indivs towards them and cause indivs to engage in behaviour that allows them to experiences such incentives  Sexual motivation involves interest in attaining a general Class of incentives, not just one specific one • Incentives encompass range of experiences that provide sexual pleasure • Ie emotional intimacy and tenderness in sexual interaction, or stimulation from physical contact o Intrinsic incentives= outcomes of behaviors that produce pleasure thru the act of engaging in them (so behaviours engaged in to achieve pleasure)  Specific kind of pleasure relatively distinctive to sexual intimacy (intrinsic to sexual interaction)  8 types= physical pleasure/stimulation/excitement, reproduction, feeling valued by partner, expressing value for partner, stress relief, providing partner w/relief, exerting power over partner, experiencing power of partner o Extrinsic incentives= participating in sexual interaction w/partner w/o sense of duty/obligation b/c involvement in romantic rlnshp  Out of obligation not attraction?  If indiv doesn’t engage in sexual behavior primarily to experience sexual pleasure then the incentive for sexual behaviour is Extrinsic to sexuality o Internal factors may involve physiological changes in brain or NS, or thoughts/fantasies that lead to sexual excitement  Heightened attn/awareness to aspects of environment that will give u what u want o Sequence models of sexual behaviour:  Sexual behaviour sequence= sexual motivation proposed to energize sexual system (NS, body and psychological processes) and activation may even result in overt behaviour • Byrne model= doesn’t explicitly include concept of sexual motivation (tho it’s an important concept b/c involves directing function) • Directing function guides behaviour purposefully toward very specific goals and outcomes o So sexual behaviour not aimless/mindless o Byrne does allude to factors that produce arousal as motivational factors tho • Sexual behaviour sequence strength is that it provides highly detailed, well organized understanding of the many factors involved in determining sexual behaviour o Also includes variables that are essential to sexual motivation n(esp emotions and feelings) • Phase 1= Sexual arousal: o Heightened activation that provides the impetus for sexual behaviour in general rather than for specific types of sexual behaviour  Sexual arousal= energizing/activating of sexual system  Assumption of Byrne’s model is that likelihood of overt sexual behaviour increases w/increasing levels of arousal (action tendency) • Degree to which sexual system is energized is determined by attractiveness of stimulus, ability of psychological system to inhibit interfering cognitions/feelings  This model says increasing sexual arousal produces growing awareness of sexual desire after arousal intensity exceeds min level • Sexual desire= conscious feeling that one is sexually aroused • Heightened sexual action tendencies activate Motor systems (NS and body parts that produce movement/responding including muscle contraction, blood flow increase)  Byrne says arousal is determined by external stimuli, imagination and physiological activation o External stimulus events: aspects of the environment that serve as incentives  Unconditioned stimuli, conditioned stimuli and observing the sexual behaviour of others  Unconditioned stimuli: produce response w/o any prior training, automatic unconditioned response • Most basic unconditioned stimulus response associates are those that result from biologically based reflexes (ie food and salivation) • Even sexually inexperienced ppl can respond sexually to certain stimuli (ie direct touching) • Not always purely reflexive though, higher level cognitive and emotional processes are involved in understanding the stimulation • Other UCS may be sexual pheromones (chemical substances produced by body that activate physiological sexual arousal) • More influential for ppl- visual cues esp features associated w/attractiveness  Conditioned stimuli= aspects of environment that come to elicit specific response only after training or experience • Pairing of neutral stimulus with something that elicits sexual arousal • Fetish= obsession w/single feature to exclusion of all other features, one that is required to be present for an indiv to experience sexual arousal  Observing the sexual behaviour of others: • w/o being directly involved in others’ sexual behaviour or directly stimulating one’s own body • Vicarious arousal? • Erotica= art, photos, videos, audio, writing that produces sexual arousal • Ppl more likely to engage in normal (own preferred) sexual behaviour in response instead of trying to copy what they’re viewing • When viewing erotica decreased anonymity leads to increased pressure to conform to gender expectations and younger age to elicit gender differences o No support for evolutionary psych predictions, lack of gender dif in visual stimuli and gender difs more affected by social situation (specifically presence of fewer vs more ppl)  Stimulus factors affecting the amount of arousal: characteristics of external stimuli that increase arousal are stimulus attractiveness, stimulus novelty, extent to which stimulus focuses on engaged in overt erotic behaviour • Simply imagining partner doesn’t do much, but imagining you’re doing something with the partner elicits greater sexual arousal o Imagination: involves images and experiences generated w/in cognitive and emotional systems of the person  Fantasies, day dreams, night-time dreams  Imaginative processes= cognitive and emotional activities that produce fantasies and dreams  Imaginative cues may stimulate sexual arousal  4 types of cognitive activities: • Imaginative play: creation of erotic ideas/imgs/scenarios that serve as stimuli to increase sexual arousal o Content a combo of memories and imagined situations o Can occur in actual sexual episodes or randomly as daydreams o Men and women both fantasize (related to more sexual arousal) o Used to be thought that fantasizing was b/c you weren’t satisfied enough but it’s actually associated w/better satisfaction o Dif content b/w genders (men active, dominant and w/multiple partners, female recipients) o Both types likely serve same purpose affirming sexual power and expressing desire for irresponsibility o Homo vs hetero fantasies similar just dif gendered partners o Consistent w/Byrne’s sexual behaviour sequence, conditioning from earlier experiences appears to greatly affect fantasy content • Anticipatory fantasy= imagining what experience of sexual behaviours will be like before they’ve happened o Motivation to dev sexual identity, tho other ppl who have experience still likely to fantasize about stuff they haven’t done • Memories= recollections of past experiences, and recall a huge source of stim for sexual arousal o Imagery to direct and regulate arousal • Dreams= images/stories th
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