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Chapter 12

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Psychology 2075

Attraction, Love And Communication Human Sexuality – Chapter 12 Attraction  Gender is an important component of attraction- some are only attracted to men, some only to women, and some to both  Most research on attraction has been limited to male-female relationships The girl next door  We are more likely to be attracted to someone who we have had multiple interactions with  This is the mere-exposure effect: the tendency to like a person more if we have been exposed to him or her repeatedly  Hence, the girl next door Birds of a feather  We tend to like people who are similar to us  For example homophily: the tendency to have contact with people who are equal in social status  The greatest homophily is by race and ethnicity  Only 3.9 percent of couple are from mixed unions (different ethnicity’s)  54 percent of Canadian couples have the same level of education  46 percent of couples prefer a spouse who shares their religious views, and 34 percent prefer if their spouse shares the same ethnic background  Study: o Donn Byrne 1971 o Gave people questionnaires after they had filled one out o The person thought it was random, but the questionnaire was given and was either a lot like them or not at all o If the questionnaire was a lot like theirs, they rated them as more likeable  Research in Manitoba suggests that the more satisfied individuals were with their relationships, the more they assume the other person is similar to them  Matching phenomenon: the tendency for men and women to choose as partners people who match them, that is who are similar in attitudes, intelligence and attractiveness  Folk tale birds of a feather flock together has some truth  There is also some truth to opposites attract  Study: o Dominant (D) and submissive (S) were paired o Higher satisfaction when it was D + S o Lowe satisfaction with D + D and S + S  KEY- similarity in attitudes is important but similarity in personalities is not  Study: o Real married heterosexual couples showed that there values were similar (age, race and education) o But it showed that there personalities were no more similar than those who were randomly paired together o The average participant was 28 years old o Similarity on attachment styles was associated with indicators of martial satisfaction but similarity in attitudes was not o Revised folk tale “birds of a feather (attitudinal similar) may flock, but not stick together” 1 Physical attractiveness  People prefer partners who are physically attractive  Study: o Snapshots of university students were taken and then rated on their physical attractiveness o Women that were rater more physically attractive were also more popular (had more dates in the last year) o This was also shown with men but not as prominent  With a study involving African Americans they rated women more beautiful if they had a lighter skin tone  Physical attractiveness is rated one of the most important things (body size, and facial features)  Physical attractiveness is more important to males than females (…pigs.)  Perception of attractiveness is also influenced by their intelligence and liking and respect  Most people rate themselves a 6.7 out of ten (on average) but rate their partners on average an 8 out of ten  Study: o Asked women if they would prefer and extraordinary face with and ordinary body or and ordinary face with and extraordinary body o 57 percent of women said they prefer an ordinary body with and extraordinary face The interpersonal Marketplace  We tend to pair off with who we think we can “buy” the most with  Women’s worth is based off their beauty, and men’s worth is based of their success  Study: o Girls rated more attractive in high school were more likely to have husbands who had higher incomes  Study: o Women asked to rate men o The more attractive women though that middle class jobs for men were unacceptable, were as uglier women thought it was moderately acceptable From the laboratory to real life  Study: o To see if these results stated above would happen in real life o Administered an attitude and personality questionnaire to 420 university students o Then they formed 44 couples, for half of the couples, both people had made very similar responses, for the other half the two people made very different responses o The two people were then introduced and sent on a date o When returned the experimenter looked at how close they stood to one another when they got back o The participants also evaluated the dates o Results showed that if they had more in common on the questionnaire and were paired they were more attracted to the person o When the semester ended, those who were similar to them and physically attractive, they were more likely to remember there name  Agreeableness is shown to be important when first meeting someone 2 Attraction online  Four sources that lead to the increase in online dating o 1. Growing proportion of the population is single so more people are looking o 2. Career and time pressures lead to people to seek more efficient ways to look o 3. Single people are highly mobile, increasing the difficulty of meeting someone o 4. Workplace romance is less acceptable due to concerns about sexual harassment  There is no longer as stigma associated with online dating  Also makes it easier to meet someone if you are lesbian, gay or bisexual  Also allows discretion and the reduced feelings of rejection  Allows people who prefer things like bondage to find more people also interested in those things  Users say and advantage to this is that it makes people focus on their interests  It is found that people who meet online don’t have as much intimacy as those who have met face to face  Risks are that the person may not be honest on their profile  One quarter of Canadians using online dating admit to have misrepresent themselves  Now there are websites where they match you “scientifically” – eHarmony  Each site has there own matching strategy o eHarmony uses 436 questions to asses a broad range of attitudes o Chemistry.com uses 146 item survey questions to match hormones associated with calmness, popularity rationality and sympathy o Perfectmatch.com uses the duet system- based on 48 questions assessing 8 domains  Stats on how successful peoples relationships are, are on page 338 Explaining our preferences  Why do people prefer partners who are similar to them and who are more attractive  Reinforcement theory: Byrne’s Law of attraction o We tend to like people who give us reinforcements or rewards and to dislike people who give us punishments o Our attraction to another person is proportionate to the number of reinforcement that person gives us relative to the total number of reinforcements plus punishments the person gives us o So people date people like them to avoid hostility that could be caused by different interests o We prefer people that are attractive because they are better accepted by Canadian society o We like people who are high in society because we like the material things that people find rewarding and these things cost money  Sociobiology: sexual strategies theory o People choose mates so they can have the most successful offspring (reproduction) o Men need to identify reproductively valuable women o Also men want to be sure about the paternity of the child so they want to make sure that they are faithful o People who are more attractive are seen as more fertile hence why people seek attractive mates o Women want men that are reproductively valuable because they have a lot to invest in a child, they are pregnant for nine months and then must care for the baby o This is also why they want men with good income so that they can invest in their kids o This is not as true now a days because more and more women are becoming self sufficient (hells yes) 3 Intimacy Defining intimacy  Perlman and Fehr gave this definition of intimacy: “openness, honesty, mutual self-disclosure, caring, warmth, protecting, helping, being devoted to each other, mutually attentive, mutually committed, surrendering control, dropping defenses, becoming emotional, feeling distressed when separation occurs  Then Prager expanded on this by defining the difference between intimate interactions and intimate relationships  Intimate interactions include both intimate experiences and intimate behaviours  Intimate experiences: the meaning a person gives to their interactions with another person o Associated with positive emotions o Like meeting your partners family  Intimate behaviours are more concrete like eye contact and smiling  However the most common intimate behaviour is self disclosure to your partner  Intimate relationship: a relationship in which intimate interactions occur on a regular and predictable basis. Characterized by affection between partners, mutual trust and partner cohesiveness  Intimate interactions can occur outside of an intimate relationship  Intimacy: a quality of relationships characterized by commitment, feelings of closeness and trust and self disclosure  Intimacy must be reciprocated but not equally  Even though intimacy has a physical dimension, it does not need to be successful Intimacy and self-disclosure  Self disclosure: telling a person things about yourself  People should censor their thoughts that are deliberate and hurtful to their partner  Self disclosure usually leads to the partner reciprocating it  This happens because maybe you like or trust the person more, simple modeling or imitation could occur, or you try to maintain a sense of balance  Couples that practice more self disclosure are more satisfied  Same with people that disclose more of their sexual likes and dislikes are more satisfied  The greater self disclosure the more likely the relationship will continue  If the person does not accept what we self disclose, we can feel betrayed  Self disclosure also promotes intimacy in a relationship – however that does not mean that they increase consistently Measuring intimacy  Personal assessment of intimacy in relationships (PAIR)  Measures emotional intimacy with items like: “ my partner listens to me when I need someone to talk to”  Another scale includes: “ how often to you confide very personal info to him or her”  MORE EXAMPLES 343 4 Love  There is an obvious connection between love and sex  At one end there is hookups (love is really sex) and the other relationships (sex is non essential)  Toward the middle there is the sex is really love view- this is a relationship that balances the two Theories of love  The triangular theory of love o Robert Sternberg, says love has three fundamental components; intimacy, passion and commitment o Intimacy is the emotional component of love, involves mutual understanding, giving and receiving emotional support – this may be found between friends and parents o Passion is the motivational component of love, including physical attraction and the drive for sexual expression, arousal is important, this is what differentiates romantic love from other components of love o These two are often intertwined, and passion could come first in a relationship or intimacy o Commitment has two aspects: short term (one loves another) and long term (commitment to maintain that relationship) o This is what makes relationships last o If you have all three levels of this, then you have consummate love o Love in action: Sternberg also argues that each of the three components of love must be translated into action o Intimacy is expressed in actions like communicating personal thoughts o Passion is expressed in actions like kissing o Commitment is expressed in saying I love you o Evidence for Sternberg’s Triangular theory: he produces a questionnaire to measure the three components of love, he makes several predictions for how the scores will change over time; commitment scores increased when couples were married, behavioural intimacy decreased, and also found that intimacy was most related to sexual behaviour  The Attachment theory of love o Though that our early attachment experiences with out mothers effects the rest of our lives o Adults are characterized in their romantic relationships by one of four attachments styles: based on our perceptions of ourselves and how other respond to us o THE DIAGRAM OF THIS IS ON PAGE 345 FIGURE 12.5 hard to explain o Secure lovers have a sense of their own lovability and the expectation that other people are generally accepting and responsive o Preoccupied lovers have a sense of their own un-lovability but a positive evaluation of other people o Fearful lovers have a negative expectation of both themselves and other people 5 o Dismissing lovers feel themselves to be worthy of love but have negative views of other people o Dismissing and fearful- similar because they both avoid intimacy o Preoccupied and fearful lovers- similar because they both need acceptance from others to feel good about themselves o Most prominent in people is secure (49%) followed by fearful, dismissing and preoccupied o Separation from parents has nothing to do with attachment styles (divorce) o Your quality of relationships with your parents and peers growing up does have an effect on attachment styles o Securely attached kids at 12 months were rated more socially competent, which predicted better friendship at 16, and predicted more positive daily emotional experiences at age 20-23 o Shows us that adults bring to any particular romantic relationship their own past history o Also shows that conflict in relationships could be do to different attachments styles o Evidence shows that people who have poor attachment with family may have secure attachment in a relationship o This theory provides some explanation of jealousy: common among preoccupied lovers o Women who have insecure attachment styles engage in intercourse at a younger age and have more sexual partners than do women with secure attachment styles o Study:  Individuals with a secure attachment reported responding constructively to potentially destructive behaviour by the partner, for example with efforts to discuss and resolve the problem  Individuals with a avoidant attachment style enter into new relationships, they expect that their partner will not engage in behaviours that signify commitment – this leads them to think that the relationship will end  Participants with a secure attachment style did not change their feelings about the relationship  Participants with one of the insecure attachment styles reported lower levels of satisfaction and commitment over time o Quebec Study has shown that people in an avoidant attachment engage in sex less frequently – also been shown to have low sexual satisfaction  Love as a story o These stories shape our beliefs about love and relationships and our beliefs in turn influence our behaviour o There is more to love than interaction; what matters is how each partner interprets the interaction o A love story: is about what love should be like, including characters, a plot and a theme o Falling in love occurs when you meet someone with whom you can create a relationship that fits your love story o Further we are satisfied with relationships in which ou
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