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Chapter 11

Psychology 2075 Chapter 11: Chapter 11 textbok

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Psychology 2075
Stephen Ferguson

Chapter 11 – Sexuality and Life Cycle: Adulthood Sex and Single Person Sexual Unfolding Development • Heterosexism: belief that heterosexuality is only legitimate, acceptable and healthy way for people to be; homosexuality is denigrated • Struggles over sexual orientation more difficult for men than for women b/c heterosexuality is such an important cornerstone of male role in many societies The Never-Married • Refers to adults who have never been legally married – includes those who intend to marry someday and those who have decided to remain single, living in long-term common-law relationship • People are waiting longer to get married • 2006 census, 93% ages 20-24 and 70% ages 25-29 were never married VS. 1971 census, 56% ages 20-24 and 21% ages 25-29 were never married o approx. 20% in common-law relationship o 91% expect to have children • most adults in Canada (up to 95%) do marry o average age of first marriage in 2003 was 28.5 years for women and 30.6 years for men • Canadians are older at age of first marriage now than in past o b/c most live together first and delay getting married • NHSLS – among married persons 20-29 years old – 46% men and 65% of women spend entire time in one relationship that eventually leads to marriage • Young adults continue pattern of serial monogamy, which characterizes adolescent intimate relationships; involved in two or more sexually intimate relationships before marriage o NHSLS – among married persons 20-29 years old – 40% men and 28% women had two or more sexual partners before they were married • People in long-distance romantic relationships report greater depression and lower relationship satisfaction o However, relationships are not necessarily less stable than other dating relationships • Research: long-distance relationships less likely to end if o People have more trust and faith in their partner’s commitment o Expect more support from their partner o More optimistic about future of relationship • Long distance relationships more stable when partners see relationship in idealized rather than in realistic way o More likely to maintain idealized notions about relationship if they see each other less frequently • Research using questionnaire posted on internet identified three types of involuntary celibates: o Virgins ▪ Never had intercourse ▪ Rarely dated ▪ Often had not engaged in any partnered sexual intimacy o Singles ▪ Had sexual experiences but often reported that it was not satisfying ▪ Unable to find and maintain long-term relationships ▪ Both their residential and work arrangements made it difficult for persons in either group to meet potential partners o Partnered ▪ Sexless relationships ▪ Relationship had included sex in past but frequency gradually declined over time • Survey of 3600 Canadian adolescents: only 88% expect to marry • Online survey: 61% straight women and 66% straight men not in relationship wished they were in one o Search for spouse affects some people w/ increasing desperations as years go by, fuelled by singleism – stigmatizing and stereotyping of people who are not in socially recognized couple relationship • The “won’t marry” group more likely to be single parents, have lower incomes, and have less education o View love, marriage and family as less important Being Single • Researchers in Ontario: most women prefer to be approached in nonsexual manner • Cybersex: online sexually oriented communication, activities or exchanges w/ partner • Survey of 769 Canadian university students: 18% men and 10% women had used online dating site in previous 12 months • Research in Ontario: compared w/ internet users who are not online daters, internet daters more likely to be male, single, divorced, employed, urban and have higher incomes, not socially isolated, belonged to clubs, socialized w/ family and friends, and saw themselves as self-confident • National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB) online survey – US – single o 18-24 year olds, 10% men and 13% women reported having vaginal intercourse two or more times per week o 18-24 year olds, 57% men and 51% women did not have vaginal intercourse in previous year o 30-39 year olds, 41% men and 4% women reported vaginal intercourse two or more times per week o 30-39 year olds – single men more likely to experience intercourse than their younger counterparts, but ¾ of single women had not had intercourse in past year • Bibby (2006) – 42% of single Canadians engage in sexual intercourse on weekly basis or more often Cohabitation • 42% of Canadians have lived w/ non-marital partner at some point in their lives, percentage being higher for people under 40 years old • increasingly, middle-aged and older individuals are living common law • increasingly common alternative to marriage, especially in Quebec • most Canadians (93%) accept people living together w/out being married • 2011 Canadian census – number of common-law couples had grown 4x as fast as number of married couple since 2006 • common-law relationship: when two people live together as a couple for 12 continuous months but are not legally married to each other; federal law o entitled to most, but not all, of rights of people who are married o most common among people ages 20-24 • 2011 Canadian census – 17% living in common-law relationships, up from 6% in 1981 • rate of cohabitation higher among same-sex couples – 67% of same sex couples were common law • rate highest in Quebec and in territories – 25%-33% of couples are common law • rate of cohabitation in Canada 2x rate of cohabitation in US o more than 50% eventually marry – percentage lower in Quebec ▪ 2/3 marry w/in two years of starting to live together o most of Canada cohabitation seen as relationship stage preceding marriage ▪ In Quebec, cohabitation seen as replacing marriage rather than as stage preceding marriage and as an appropriate relationship w/in which to have and raise children • common law relationships break up more than marriages do o approx. 60% of people who end common law relationships do so before age of 30 – no children o end on average after 4 years vs. marriages that end on average after 14 years • higher rate of common-law relationships in place of marriage in Quebec has to do w/ stronger acceptance of egalitarian roles for men and women in Quebec than elsewhere in Canada o keeping w/ more liberal attitudes toward sexuality held by Quebecers • marriages that are preceded by cohabitation are more likely to end in separation than marriages that are not preceded by cohabitation • longitudinal study – compared couples who cohabited before they were engaged, couples who cohabited after engagement/before marriage, and couples who did not live together until after marriage – assessed twice, following engagement and after 10 months of marriage o at both times, couples who lived together before engagement had more negative interactions (criticizing their partner), lower commitment, and lower relationship quality o men in pre-engagement cohabiting relationships were less committed to partner than those who were not cohabitating • cohabitation has little effect on divorce rates after taking personal and cultural characteristics of individuals into account • living together does not cause divorce, even though rate of divorce is higher for couples who have lived together before marriage • ½ of common law couples have children living in home • Canadians whose first marriage has dissolved often choose common-law over marriage o Accounts for more than 25% of common law relationships in Canada o Especially true of people in their 30s and 40s • Bibby (1995) – 60% married persons reported having sexual intercourse once a week or more vs. 71% cohabitating persons had sexual intercourse once a week or more • Analysis of data from large representative sample of adults in US – married persons reported having intercourse 8-11 times/month vs. cohabiters reported having intercourse 11-13/month • NHHSB – partnered men and women reported more frequent sex than did married men o On average, cohabiting couples have sex more often than married couples • Most individuals in same-sex relationships report being sexually satisfied o Sexual exclusiveness or monogamy tends to be norm for lesbians whereas many gay men are in relationships that are, by agreement, sexually open Marriage • 2000, Supreme Court of Canada ruled that same-sex couples (and heterosexual common-law couples) have same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual married couples (except Quebec) • 2005, federal government passed legislation that ensured that all Canadians have right to marry, regardless of sexual orientation o 2001 census – 21,015 same-sex married couples in Canada, 3x more than 2006 census o 53.7% of same-sex married spouses are men • three most important reasons heterosexual Canadians give for getting married: o signifies their commitment o is consistent w/ their moral values and beliefs o reflects their belief that children should have married parents • important reasons same-sex Canadian couples give for getting married: o signifies their commitment o legal protection that marriage provides o further cementing of relationship o political fight for equality and public acknowledgment of same-sex relationships o importance of being able to use language marriage (spouse, wife, husband, daughter-in-law) Frequency of Intercourse • 2006 census – 90% ages 50-69 are or have been legally married • expected that only 73% men and 78% women ages 30-39 will marry • approx. 1/3 of first marriages end in divorce; rate is somewhat higher for remarriages o those who divorce: 70% men and 58% women remarry • research in US – Marital Coitus: Frequency/Week, 1938-1949 (Kinsey), 1970 (Westoff), 2003 (Smith) o average married heterosexual couple has coitus 2-3x/week when they are in their 20s, w/ frequency gradually declining as they get older o frequency of marital sex remained about same from 1940-2000 o in each survey, people in their 20s reported having intercourse about every 3 days o frequency of intercourse declines w/ age; however, in 2003, among couples in their 50s, frequency was still once per week ▪ survey of 19,307 Australians reported similar results • social characteristics such as race, social status and religion are generally not related to marital sexual frequency • two explanations for age-related decline in frequency: o biological aging ▪ physical factors may be associated w/ age that affect sexual frequency, such as decrease in vaginal lubrication in women or increased likelihood of poor health o habituation to sex w/ partner ▪ we lost interest in sex as partner becomes more and more familiar • recent data: sharp decline in frequency after first year and slow, steady decline thereafter o assumed that decline in frequency reflects loss of interest in sex – a decline in quality ▪ however, alternative possibility: learning about your partner’s sexual desires, preferences and habits may result in increased marital sexual quality, if not frequency • analysis of data on satisfaction w/ marital sexual relationship from NHSLS found significant decline w/ length of marriage, controlling for age, consistent w/ habituation hypothesis • Smith (2003) o 2% couples in their 20s report not engaging in intercourse at all o 6% married couples had not had sex in 12 months before interview • Research sample of 6029 married couples: sexual inactivity was associated w/ unhappiness w/ marriage, lack of shared activity, presence of children, increased age, poor health Sexual Techniques • NHSLS – asked respondents to estimate duration of their last sexual interaction o 16% married reported sex lasted 15 minutes or less o 9% reported it lasted one hour or more • Maclean’s/CTV poll (1994) – reported on average length of their sexual encounters o 12% lasted 15 minutes or less o 25% lasted more than an hour • New Brunswick study: on average, sexual encounters lasted about 20 minutes • Mouth-genital techniques very common in long-term relationships o NHSLS: 74% women reported their partners stimulated their genitals orally, and 70% women had stimulated their partner orally o Montreal study: 80% married and cohabiting respondents had stimulated partner’s genitals rally and that on average occurred once a week ▪ 90% ages 18-34 had stimulated partner orally ▪ 40% 55+ had stimulated partner orally • people w/ higher levels of education and incomes were more likely to report engaging in oral sex, showing that there are some social-class differences • NHSLS – 27% married men and 21% married women reported having engaged in anal intercourse Negotiating Sex • New Brunswick study: people most frequently use direct verbal statement to initiate sex • Second most frequent strategy is more ambiguous – kissing passionately w/out saying anything • Study examined stereotype that men are more interested in sex than women; had people in long-term mixed-sex relationships keep track of sexual initiations by man and my woman over one-week period o Men initiated sex almost twice as often as women did – twice/week for men and once/week for women o Men and women equally likely to respond positively to initiation – approx. 75% o Women initiated sex regularly (in some couples were usual initiators) and were interested in engaging in sex when partner suggested it o Men not always interested in same and equally likely to refuse partner’s initiation Masturbation • NSSHB: 41%-61% married men and 44%-55% married women ages 18-49 reported solo masturbation in preceding 90 days • NHSLS: married people more likely to report they masturbated than were single people Sexual Satisfaction • Sexual satisfaction is overall feeling we are left w/ after considering positive and negative aspects (or sexual rewards and costs) of our relationship • New Brunswick study: for men in long-term relationships, most frequently identified sexual rewards were feeling comfortable w/ partner, feeling good about themselves during and after sex, and having fun during sexual activity • New Brunswick study: for women in long-term relationships, most frequent rewards were being treated well by partner during sex, feeling comfortable w/ partner and having sex in content of long-term relationship • Lawrance and Byers, 1995 – interpersonal exchange model of sexual satisfaction, which identified four distinct aspects of relationships that influence sexual satisfaction; we are more sexually satisfied if 1. We perceive ourselves to be getting many sexual rewards and few sexual costs 2. We perceive that we are getting more rewards and fewer costs than we expect to get 3. We perceive our own and our partner’s rewards and costs to be relatively equal 4. We are happy w/ non-sexual aspects of relationship • We are more sexually satisfied if our partner also experiences high sexual rewards and low sexual costs • Study: married men and women significantly more satisfied than cohabiting or single men and women in a continuing relationship o Stronger emotional commitment and sexual exclusivity associated w/ marriage result in higher sexual satisfaction • Sexual satisfaction is important contributor to marital quality and stability o Sex and relational educational programs that increase sexual satisfaction for both partners have potential to lower divorce rate • In-depth interviews w/ 52 people, ages 12-69, straight, gay, lesbian, and bisexual, identified four factors that differentiate people who are happy with their sex lives: 1. There is sense of calm about, and acceptance of, their sexuality 2. Happy people delight in giving their partners sexual pleasure 3. These people listen to their partners and are aware of partner’s habits, moods, likes, and dislikes 4. They talk, both in and out of bed, even though often difficult Sexual Patterns • Study: 24 married couples obtained daily ratings of relationships affect (positive or negative), relationship status (closeness, equality of power), and lust from each partner; researchers identified 4 patterns in ratings of desire: 1. Stable and low 2. Slight fluctuations (1 point on 1-5 scale) and low 3. Moderate fluctuations 4. Highly fluctuating o When positive affect toward spouse was high, lust was high o When negative affect was high, lust was low o When high closeness to spouse, link between positive (negative) affect and lust was stronger o Significant positive association b/w one lust and partner’s lust each day • Stereotype that sex becomes duller as marriage goes on o Survey US adults: 23% sexually active men and women reported that their sexual relationship was often or always routine; 38% said it was never or hardly ever routine • Having a baby – transition to parenthood – has impact on sexual relationship of couple o Pregnancy influences couple’s sexual relationships, especially in last few months o First few weeks after baby is born, intercourse typically uncomfortable for women ▪ While estrogen levels are low – which lasts longer when breastfeeding – vagina does not lubricate well • Follow-up study of parents 6 months and 4 years after birth of first child found that sexual frequency did not change significantly, but remained low • 2001 General Social Survey – Canadian women o 26% ages 30-34 do not have children ▪ delaying childbearing while they complete their education and established their careers o 20% ages 30-34 do not have children but intend too • average age of first childbirth was 28 years in 2006 vs. 24 years in 1960s o risk: fertility declines w/ age • GSS – 5% women do not expect to have children Sex and Two-Career Family • Longitudinal study – followed 570 women and 550 of their husbands for one year following birth of baby; women categorized according to number of hours worked per week – homemakers, employed part time (6-31 hours/week), employed full time (32-44 hours) and employed high full time (45+ hours) o No significant differences among four groups in frequency of sexual intercourse, sexual satisfaction, or sexual desire o It was not number of hours of work outside home, but rather quality of work that was associated w/ sexual outcomes ▪ Women and men who had satisfying jobs reported that sex was better compared w/ people who expressed dissatisfaction w/ their jobs o Women, fatigue associated w/ decreased sexual satisfaction, but that was true for both homemakers and employed women ▪ Homemakers reported same level of fatigue as employed women • National Survey of Families and Households – analyzed relationship b/w hours/week spend in housework, hours/week spent in paid work, and frequency of sexual intercourse – 6877 married men and women o More hours of housework and paid work/week, more frequently person reported sexual activity o Presence of young children did not change relationship b/w work and sex Maintaining Long-Term Relationship • In Canada, approx. 40% of marriages end in divorce o rate is considerably lower than in US o rate of breakup even higher for common-law relationships • Differences researchers found b/w non-distressed (happy) couples and distressed (unhappy) couples: 1. Non-distressed couples have good listening and communication skills. 2. Non-distressed couples have effective problem-solving skills. In contrast, distressed couples may discuss problems, but they rarely resolve them. As a result, same problems tend to come up repeatedly. 3. Non-distressed couples have many positive interactions and few negative interactions. Gottman (1994) found that non-distressed couples have 5x as much positive interaction as negative interaction 4. Non-distressed couples tend to have realistic expectations about what relationships should be like. In contrast, distressed couples may believe that disagreements are destructive, that one must be perfect sexual partner always, or that people who are in love feel intensively passionate about their partner always. None of these expectations are realistic 5. Non-distressed couples tend to interpret partner’s behavior and causes of that behavior positively. A distressed partner is more likely to see behaviors negatively. 6. Non-distressed couples more likely to share common view of roles and responsibilities w/in relationship. Unhappy couples may disagree on how relationship should work. • Study of 355 Canadians in same-sex and mixed-sex relationships asked about their use of 19 different mate-retention tactics o Men in mixed-sex: greater use of resources (giving her money) o Women in mixed-sex: more frequent use of monopolizing their partner’s time, punishing threats of infidelity, saying derogatory things about competitors, providing sexual inducements, and enhancing their appearance or attractiveness o Men in same-sex: tended to use resource display more frequently than did heterosexual men o Women in same-sex: tended to use tactics that were more similar to those of heterosexual men than to those of heterosexual women Non-monogamous Relationships • Decline in marriage, incline in infidelity o 1/3 of people dating, cohabiting and in marriages report one or more instances of having sex w/ someone other than partner while in relationship • secret nonmonogamy – sexual activity involving person in committed relationship w/ third person w/out knowledge of partner o adultery o internet infidelity • open nonmonogamy – sexual activity involving person in committed relationship w/ third (or multiple) person w/ consent of partner o negotiated nonmonogamy o swinging o polyamory • extradyadic sex: sexual activity b/w person in committed relationship and someone other than that person’s partner • extramarital sex: sexual activity b/w married person and someone other than person’s spouse • extradyadic sex can occur under different circumstances: o accidental: unintended, and not characteristic of person ▪ begin w/out partner’s knowledge, and may remain secret o romantic infidelity: when two people fall in love and consider or establish long- term relationship ▪ destructive to partner’s, children and careers ▪ begin w/out partner’s knowledge, and may remain secret o Philanderers: repeatedly engage in sexual liaisons outside their committed relationship ▪ Desire for sexual gratification does not motivate these men and women; they are searching for self-affirmation • Study of 107 couples married less than one year asked each partner how likely he/she was to be unfaithful in next year; asked likelihood he/she would flirt, kiss passionately, and have romantic date, one-night stand, brief affair, or serious affair w/ someone of opposite sex: o 37% men and 38% women predicted they would flirt o 5% men and 7% women said they would kiss o 2% men and women predicted one-night stand o less than 1% men and women thought they would have serious affair • mate-retention tactics: our awareness of possibility of extradyadic sexual activity leads us to engage in behaviors designed to preserve relationship • individuals in dating relationships also engage in extradyadic sexual behavior o men more likely to do so than women • study of university students: o 65% men and 49% women experienced extradyadic kissing and fondling o 49% men and 31% women experienced extradyadic sexual intercourse How Many People Engage in Extradyadic Sex? • Not as common as many people believe • US NHSLS – 25% married men and 15% married women reported having engaged in extradyadic sex at least one o Maclean’s/CTV (1995) – 14% married men and 7% married women reported having engaged in extradyadic sex at least once • NSFG – 8% married men and 6% married women ages 15-44 report more than one sexual partner in preceding 12 months o Australia – 5% married men and 3% married women • Kinsey – online survey about infidelity in couples – 918 respondents from Canada and US heterosexual and in committed relationships o Married: 26% men and 23% women reported engaging in sexual interactions w/ someone other than primary partner that could harm relationship o Not-married (single and cohabiting): 19% men and 16% women o Men and women who reported cheating had higher scores on sexual excitation and lower scores on sexual inhibition o Women who cheated reported lower happiness in their relationships • Rate of extradyadic sexual activity highest in Quebec • Canadian survey: 40% of respondents who had extramarital sex had done so w/ only one partner Attitudes Toward Extradyadic Sex • Bibby (1975) – 50% Canadian adults felt that it is always wrong to have sex w/ someone other than spouse o 1995 – 60% • COMPAS (2005) – most Canadians feel that extradyadic sexual activity by partner would probably (27%) or definitely (41%) mean end of relationship • Person who approves of extramarital sex is no more likely to engage in extramarital sex than person who disapproves of it • Factors related to attitudes toward sex outside primary relationship: gender, education, and social class-men, people w/ more education, and people who are upper-middle- class are more tolerant of it Internet Infidelity • Cyber affair: romantic or sexual relationship initiated by online contact and maintained primarily via online communication • Online survey about seeking of online sex from 15,246 men and women w/ average age of 38 who varied in marital status and sexual identity o No differences in percentage of men and women who had accessed personals site o More LGB individuals than straight individuals had accessed personals site o Divorced individuals more likely to go on personal sites than were never married or married individuals o Of those who had accessed online site, most in all groups went on to post profile ▪ Straight individuals and married individuals least likely to have posted profile o Married individuals who had accessed site, 36% had sent one email and 27% had sent 2+ emails ▪ Similar % had met one or more contacts in person o Married individuals 5x as likely to
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