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Chapter 15

Human Sexuality ch.15.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 2075
Professor
Prof
Semester
Winter

Description
Human Sexuality Chapter 15 Part One Introduction  Most people divide sexual behaviour into abnormal and normal, most of the things discussed in this chapter are abnormal, but first what is abnormal? When is sexual behaviour abnormal? Defining abnormal  The statistical definition of abnormal sexual behaviour is a behaviour that is rare, or not practiced by many people  This definition does not give us much insight into the psychological or social functioning of the person when engages in the behaviour  In the sociological approach the problem of culture dependence is explicitly acknowledged  A social psychologist may define a deviant sexual behaviour as a sexual behaviour that violates the norms of society  The psychological approach was stated by Arnold Buss, he stated that the three criteria for abnormal behaviour are o Discomfort o Inefficiency o Bizarreness  The problem with the last one, is can be culturally defined (what is found to be bizarre in one culture may not be in another)  The medical approach is exemplified by the definitions included in the diagnostic and statistical manual of medical disorders, it recognizes eight paraphernalia’s o Recurring, unconventional sexual behaviour that s obsessive and compulsive  These eight are; fetishism, transvestic fetishism, sexual sadism, sexual masochism, voyeurism, froteurism, exhibitionism, and pedophilia  There are additional diagnostic criteria for each disorder, these include: o 1. The fantasies urges or behaviours have occurred over a period of at least six months o 2. They cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social occupational, or other important areas of functioning  This remains controversial, Canadian psychologist Peggy Kleinplatz argues that there is no agreed upon definition of healthy sexuality  Most atypical sexual behaviours are not against the law, though some are  Indecent exposure: o Showing ones genitals in a public place to passersby; exhibitionism  An example of how community standards of taste can effect laws is when Gwen Jacobs walked topless, she was charged with committing an indecent act in a public place  Court appealed that women have the right to go topless as long is it is not for commercial gain or sexual purposes  72% of Canadians think that it should be illegal, and 48% of Canadians think it should be illegal for women to go topless on a beach The Normal-abnormal Continuum  It is hard to distinguish what is considered normal from abnormal  For example many people have mild fetishes like silk underwear  The continuum from normal to abnormal is found on the top of page 427  It could start with a mild preference for silk panties, until the man cant get off with out them  A behaviour is likely to be found abnormal if it interferes with having healthy relationships or completing day to day activities and or causes harm to other people Sexual Addictions and Compulsions  In the case of sexual addiction, the person has a pathological relationship to a sexual event or process substituting it for a healthy relationship with others  There are differences from sexual addiction and chemical addictions; one the person doesn’t experience withdrawal  Another criticism is the fact that the term addiction may effect perceptions of these behaviours and become an excuse for illegal destructive behaviour Compulsive Sexual Behaviour  Compulsive sexual behaviour: o A disorder in which the person experiences intense sexually arousing fantasies, urges and associated sexual behaviour  It can be paraphilic or non paraphilic  Approximately 5% of the population suffer from this  A distinguishing feature of sexual addiction or compulsions is that the person has lost control over the behaviour  The key to this is the compulsiveness, the lack of control, the obsession and the obliviousness to danger or harmful consequences  A person with a sexual compulsion/addiction may spend money that her or she doesn’t have, may neglect work or family to engage in the behaviour and may even risk arrest  Each episode of the sexually compulsive behaviour proceeds through a four step cycle, which intensifies each time it is repeated o 1. Preoccupation: the person can think of nothing other than the sexual act to which he or she’s addicted o 2. Rituals: the person enacts certain rituals that have become a prelude to the addictive act o 3. Compulsive sexual behaviour: the sexual behaviour is enacted and the person feels that he or she has no control over it o 4. Despair: rather than feeling good after the sexual act is completed, the addict falls into a feeling of hopelessness and despair  There is often a history of alcoholism in the family, or other addictive behaviour. There also may be a background of the disorder in the family Fetishism  Fetishism: o A persons sexual fixation on some object other than another human being an attachment of great erotic significance to that object  In extreme cases the person is incapable of becoming aroused and having an orgasm unless the fetish is present Media Fetishes and Form Fetishes  Media Fetish: o A fetish whose object is anything made of a particular substance, such as leather  There are two types, hard media fetish is made of something hard like leather, and soft media fetish is made of something soft like fur or silk  Form fetish o A fetish whose object is a particular shape, such as high heel shoes Why do people develop a fetish?  Learning theory: o Fetishes result from classical conditioning in which a learned association is built between the fetish object and sexua
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