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Chapter 10

psyc 320 Chapter 10.docx

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University of British Columbia
PSYC 320
Sunaina Assanand

Chapter 10: Sexuality Abstinence: being taught that sexual activity should be an exclusive part of marriage. This is taught because they believe that providing information about sexuality encourages questions and fantasies that push kids towards sexual activity Others think that teaching about only abstinence leaves young people unprepared for the world that is filled with sex Parents want schools to teach about sex; 75% agree that schools should do so, but parents want the schools to teach only the information they endorse, and parents disagree on what that information should be Teaching about abstinence isn’t the only controversy about sexuality. Others include: sexual orientation, childhood sexuality and abuse, and gender differences in sexuality Survey methods are most commonly used when studying sexuality which allows for limitations: people may lie, refuse to participate in the sex surveys, and may not be willing to answer all the questions (aka there may be a response bias). Self-selection of participants poses a problem because participants are the ones who choose to complete the survey which means there may not be a representative sample People often do not want to participate in observational research so these studies are most often done on animals, which make the results difficult to generalize The Kinsey Surveys: Alfred Kinsey was a teacher in sex education. He created an interview which encompassed 9 areas: social and economic background, marital history, sex education, physical characteristics and physiology, nocturnal sex dreams, masturbation, heterosexual history, history of same sex sexual activity, and sexual contact with animals. Each of these areas had subdivisions. Kinsey and colleagues interviewed 17,500 people who were greatly comprised of people from the university he worked at and the surrounding community. His sample consisted mainly of white well educated and protestant persons making his sample non representative. At the time when he published his work the results contradicted the common beliefs held about sex The results showed that women enjoyed sex; that a substantial percentage of men had participated in male-male sexual behaviour; that children experienced sexual excitement and activity; and that masturbation, premarital sex, and extramarital sex were common for both women and men He found that 37% of men reported same sex sexual experiences and 28% of women reported same sex sexual partners. The results regarding male-male sexual experiences was biased because Kinsey himself frequently has sexual experiences with men and chose to interview a disproportional amount of gay men in order to make his behaviour seem normal Hunt's Playboy Foundation Survey: The Playboy Foundation commissioned a survey about sexual behaviour done by Hunt to try and replicate Kinseys findings. The sample still may not have been representative because many people contacted refused to participate; however the final sample matched characteristics of the population in ethnic background, education, age, and marital status The participants completed a questionnaire about their sexual behaviour This survey confirmed the prevalence of masturbation Hunt found a lower percentage and pattern of same-sex sexual activity: most of this activity occurring in early adolescence as experimentation Hunt found that more unmarried people engaged in intercourse than Kinsey found which showed an increase in intercourse and a decrease in the double standard It was also found that there was an increase in other types of genital stimulation: Fellatio (stimulation of the male genitals orally), and Cunnilingus (oral stimulation of female genitals) The National Health and Social Life Survey: Relied on random sampling other than volunteers and therefore was able to get a representative sample The results showed that people had more liberal sexual standards. Around 30% of people expressed the traditional views that sex outside of marriage is wrong. A low percent of people reported attraction to and practice of a variety of sexual behaviours. It was shown that vaginal intercourse was the most frequent form of sexual activity as well as being the most appealing to both men and women. One large gender difference found was related to the experience of intercourse: 28% of women and only 8% of men said they did not want to have intercourse at the time, but either did so out of affection for their partners or were forced to do so. Men were more likely to masturbate, but women were more likely to report feeling guilty about masturbating The most common category for frequency of intercourse was a few times a month with only about 7% reporting having sex four or more times a week. Around two thirds of both men and women said they had only one sex partner within the past year with results showing little differences across ethnic groups Gender Differences in Sexual Attitudes and Behaviour: Meta analysis show gender differences in incidence of masturbation and attitudes toward causal premarital sex (both of those being higher for males) Gender differences in attitudes towards sex may be higher than shown in the meta analysis because all of the studies employed self-report measures which draw on explicit attitudes (conscious attitudes and beliefs) A study on implicit attitudes showed that women held more negative implicit attitudes than men Gender differences have decreased over time Bogus Pipeline: used to try and decrease the participant’s desirability bias by leading them to believe that their responses are being monitored by a polygraph. A study employing the Bogus Pipeline showed very small variations in women and men’s responses to questions about sexual behaviour Masters and Johnson's Approach: 276 married couples and single men and women volunteered to participate in sexual activity in a research lab Masters and Johnson noted that this sample would not be representative due to their strict requirements and the monetary rewards given to people for their participation The fact that it wasn't representative mattered little to Masters and Johnson as they thought that the physiological sexual responses differed very little from person to person In addition to collecting information by measuring genital activity during sex; they also gathered physiological measures such as heart rate, muscle contraction, and dilation of the blood vessels Their findings suggest that there are 4 stages of sexual excitement: excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution They failed to find anything which supports Freud's hypothesis that women experience 2 types of orgasms (clitoral and vaginal); they showed that women only have one type of orgasm: clitoral Childhood sexuality: Exploration and Abuse Sexuality begins before puberty Preschool aged children masturbate and parent’s responses to this convey either positive or negative messages about sexuality By 4 most kids have their concept of gender. They know that women have babies and men don’t; however they don’t understand pregnancy and birth and often parents are too embarrassed to tell their kids Sexual explorations during preschool years are rarely harmful but when parents punish their kids it gives them the impression that this behaviour is wrong 10-15% of college students remember having sexual experience with their siblings and the majority felt that it did not harm them in any way Exploration: when the children are close to the same age Exploitation or sexual abuse: when child has sexual contact with an adut or adolescent at least 5 years older than them. In Kinsey's study 25% of girls, 10% of boys experiences sexual abuse. Most abusers are known to the children whom they target Knowing the actual amount of childhood sexual abuse which happens is hard because children often learn that the relationship they have with a certain adult is special and that they are not being harmed Girls are sexually abused more often than boys with men being the instigators more frequently than women Preadolescent years are when children are at the highest risk for sexual abuse; girls from 10-11 and boys from 11-12 White people are more likely to be imprisoned for these offences than African Americans and Hispanic Americans Step fathers or mom's boyfriends are more often the instigators when compared to biological fathers Short term effects of sexual abuse: fear, anxiety, depression, anger, sexually innapropriate behaviour, academic problems Long term effects: PTSD, depression, suicide and suicide attempts, sexual adjustment problems, substance abuse disorders, problems in their marriages Childhood sexuality s more active than most parents imagine; it begins during infancy when children explore and manipulate their own genitals and then progresses to curiosity about and exploration of others genitals Heterosexuality: Most people develop sexual interest that result in attraction to people of the other sex Most people develop heterosexual rather than homosexual (same sex) sexual attraction Children's exploration can be aimed towards same or other sex kids; thus kids’ sexuality is often not clearly heterosexual During late childhood kids seek the company of same sex children and avoid the other sex During adolescence: The time with which children most explore sexuality Girls receive more messages to beware of sex than boys do but abstinence-oriented sex education contains strong fear messages aimed at both boys and girls These programs often include information about STI's and pregnancy, guilt in participants to frighten them about premarital sex Rather than creating frightening images of the consequences of premarital sex, sexuality education is more successful when the program includes more info about sexual health and birth control Girls repeatedly mention the reluctance of their family to acknowledge their sexuality and the frequent reminders of the dangers that sex could bring, especially pregnancy. The image of self-centered sexuality was acceptable-- even expected--for boys but not for girls who feel that they have to choose between sexual desire or safety kinsey's survey showed that the majority of young men had intercourse before marriage with a substantially smaller percentage of young women having intercourse before marriage showcasing the double standard; however this double standard has substantially decreased Age of first intercourse for young women declined from 19 years of age to 15 For young men the age for first intercourse has declined from 18 to 15 The reason boys and girls have sex often differs. For boys, having sex is a means for both pleasure and social prestige. Boys feel pressure to have sex in order to share their stories as a way to gain admiration. Boys may have sex to prove a point. Girls may refuse sex to prove a point Girls who readily consent to having sex are at risk for being defined as promiscuous; that consequence may influence the decision to say no more than a lack of desire This double standard for sex has become smaller but it is still present Date rape: forces sexual activity between people who are dating or otherwise acquainted. The majority of rapes and other acts involving forced sex occur between acquaintances Women are less likely to report the rape if they know their perpetrator Men and women view flirting differently, men seeing it as more sexual; thus expecting the sexual activity more than females Men's expectancies for sex were set early in an encounter and were resistant to change, regardless of protests from the women involved Blaming the situation rather than the perpetrator for rape minimizes the seriousness of rape and justifies it by believing that the victim had intended to have sex. Bo
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