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Chapter 11

Human Sexuality Chapter 11

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Psychology 2075
William Fisher

Chapter 11 – Sexuality and the Life Cycle: Adulthood Sex and the Single Person Sexual Development -heterosexism: belief that heterosexuality is the best and expected way of living, felt in society -many people deal with struggles with sexual orientation into adulthood, deal with society’s heterosexism -struggles over same-sex sexuality is often harder for men because heterosexuality is such an important cornerstone for male roles in society -we must also learn our sexual likes and dislikes, often through experiences, must also learn how to communicate them to a partner -2 other issues that are important in achieving sexual maturity:  Becoming responsible about sex: being careful about contraception and STIs, being responsible for yourself and partner  Developing a capacity for intimacy: deep emotional sharing between two people, beyond casual sex or manipulative sex The Never-Married -refers to adults who have never been legally married – those who intend to marry someday, those who decide to remain single, living in a long-term common law relationship -people are waiting longer to get married -up to 95% of adults in Canada do marry -the typical person who married spends several adult years in the never married category -some spend entire time in relationship but delay marriage, others have patterns serial monogamy, having two or more sexually intimate partners prior to marriage -living apart together: choose to live in difference residence than their partners, otherwise known as LAT Relationship -among other factors, more LAT relationships can be due to increase in long distance relationships -people in long distance relationships tend to be lonelier, report depression and lower relationship satisfaction What factors predict whether long distance relationships will survive?  People have more trust and faith in partner’s commitment  Expect more support from their partner  More optimistic about the future of the relationships  See the relationship in an idealized rather than in a realistic way -many long distance relationships tend to end when partners start living in the same place Chaste: abstaining from sexual intercourse; sexually celibate 3 types of involuntary celibates:  Virgins: never had intercourse, had rarely dated , and often had not engaged in any partnered sexual intimacy  Singles: had sexual experience but often reported it was not satisfying, unable to find and maintain long-term relationships  Partnered: persons in sexless relationships, typically had included sex in the past by frequency declined over time -according to online survey, 61% of women and 66% of men who were not in a relationship wished that they were -“won’t marry” groups (those who do not want to) are more likely to be single parents, have lower incomes, and have less education -they view love, marriage, and family as less important Being Single -there is also a single scene, many institutions such as single apartment complexes and single bars -speed dating: dating event involving 15 to 25 other singles, speak to others for short and fixed period of time, at the end of the evening you identify your interests in seeing each other again -can also meet people through singles ads, most commonly through the Internet and online dating -cybersex: online sexually-oriented communication, activities, or exchanges with a partner -can involve masturbation, webcams, etc. -internet daters are more likely to be male, single, divorced, employed, urban, and have higher incomes Cohabitation -living together is an important turning point, not only represents commitment but is also a public declaration of a sexual relationship -42% of Canadians have lived with non-marital partner at some point in their lives, even higher among people under 40 years -increasingly, middle aged and older individuals are living common law -common law relationship: two people who have lived together as a couple for 12 continuous months but are not legally married to each other -in 2006, number of common law relationships grew five times faster than number of married couples -rate of cohabitation in Canada is twice of that in USA -cohabitation is often seen as a relationship step proceeding marriage -common law relationships are more likely to break up than marriages -marriages that are preceded by cohabitation are more likely to end in separation than those that do not -couples who lived together before engagement had more negative interactions, lower commitment, and lower relationship quality - another study showed that men in pre-engagement cohabitation were less committed to partner -study showed that cohabiting couples reported more sex than those involved in marriage Marriage -In 2000, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that for the most part, same-sex couples have the same rights as heterosexual couples -more than half same sex married spouses are men -3 most important reasons given for getting married  Signifies their commitment  Is consistent with their moral values and beliefs  It reflects their belief that children should have married parents Other reason include  Legal protection  Further cementing their relationship  Political fight for equality and public acknowledgement of same-sex relationship  Importance of being able to use the language of marriage Frequency of Intercourse -sex in marriage is one of the commonest forms of sexual expression for adults -frequency of marital sex has remained about the same from the 1940s to the 2000s -frequency of intercourse generally decreases with age -2 general explanations of age-related sex decline:  Biological aging – decrease in vaginal lubrication, likelihood of poor health  Habituation to sex with the partner - lose interest in sex as partner becomes more and more familiar -study showed that sexual inactivity was associated with unhappiness with the marriage, lack of shared activity, the presence of children, increased age, and poor health Sexual Techniques -New Brunswick found that, on average, sexual encounters lasted about 20 minutes -increased popularity in mouth-genital techniques is one of the most dramatic changes in marital sex to have occurred in the past 50 years -according to Kinsey’s data, about half of married women had engaged in oral sex -younger respondents more likely to include oral sex in their sexual repertoires Negotiating Sex -there is a stereotypical “mating dance” between partners -some may just come out and say it – ex. “let’s make love tonight”, most common -some sexual scripts are behavioral, will have an action that will trigger it (ex. thrusting when spooning, lets partner know you want to have sex) -some involves preliminary negotiations which are phased indirectly (ex. “I think I’ll go take a nap”, “I will join you” or “I’m not really tired” in response) – can spare hard feelings -some will kiss more passionately to inform partner - second most common -others will have a specific time (ex. Thursday night is our night) Masturbation -according to a British study, 73% of men and 37% of women reported masturbating in the last 4 weeks -most common among younger individuals -many individuals continue to masturbate even though they are married and have ready access to sexual activity with a partner -masturbation can serve legitimate sexual needs in a long term relationship -can provide sexual gratification while allowing the partner to remain faithful when they are separated or cannot have sex for some reason Sexual Satisfaction -sexual satisfaction is the overall feeling we are left with after considering the positive and negative aspects of our sexual relationship -criteria for sexual satisfaction can differ between people (ex. some people like sex more frequently, less frequently) Interpersonal Exchange Model of Sexual Satisfaction -4 distinct aspects of relationships that influence sexual satisfaction: 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 with the non-sexual aspects of the relationship -we are also more sexually satisfied if out partner also experiences high sexual rewards and low sexual costs -sexual satisfaction can be a contributor to marital quality -good communication is essential to a satisfying relationship Sexual Patterns -sexual patterns can change during the course of a marriage -on stereotype is that it becomes more dull, which is sometimes the case -a boring sexual relationship can be spiced up by telling each other what you really want to do then doing it, consulting a how-to manual or watching videos, or by acting out fantasies -having a baby can impact the sexual relationship of a couple -for weeks after the baby is born, sex is uncomfortable for the women -low estrogen levels, which lasts longer during breast-feeding, causes the vagina to not lubricate well -exhaustion from having a newborn is also a factor Sex and the Two-Career Family -according to a study, there is no difference in frequency of sexual intercourse, sexual satisfaction, or sexual desire based on how many hours the women worked outside of the house -the quality of wo
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