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Chapter 15

CHAPTER 15- Variations in Sexual Behaviour

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Psychology 2075
William Fisher

Variations in Sexual Behaviour Chapter 15 When is sexual behaviour abnormal? defining abnormal - statistical definition: an abnormal sexual behaviour is one that is rare - sociological approach: problem of culture dependence is explicitly acknowledged, define a deviant sexual behaviour as a sexual behaviour that violates the norms of society ; this approach recognizes the importance of the individual's interaction with society and of the problems that people must face if their behaviour is labelled 'deviant' in the culture in which they live - psychological approach: Arnold Buss; 3 criteria of abnormality are: discomfort, inefficiency and bizarreness {bizarreness varies depending on culture} - medical approach: exemplified by the definitions included in the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-IV-TR); 8 specific paraphilias: fetishism, transvestic fetishism, sadism, masochism, voyeurism, froteurism, exhibitionism & pedophilia paraphilia: recurring, unconventional sexual behaviour that is obsessive and compulsive 'clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning' These definitions are used in determining who receives treatment Peggy Kleinplatz & Charles Moser: psychologist, argue that no agreed upon definition of healthy sexuality, argue that labelled as pathological due to sociopolitical and historical factors, negative assumptions not supported by research - most atypical sex behaviour are not against the law, pedophilia is because it involves exploitation and force; whereas other behaviours violate community standards of taste; laws against indecent exposure, voyeurism, indecent acts in public place, and public nudity indecent exposure: showing ones genitals in a public place to passers by; exhibitionism Gwen Jacobs: topless, Guelph 1991, 1996: Ontario court of appeal ruled women have a right to go topless as long as it is not for commercial gain or sexual purposes 72% of Canadians think it should illegal for women to go topless on city streets, 48% think should be illegal to go topless on a public beach; does not necessarily mean think it is abnormal, just think that they should not be topless The Normal Abnormal Continuum - lingerie example of the continuum from normal to abnormal sexual behaviour - university men: 42% engaged in voyeurism, 35% frottage/ sexual rubbing against a woman in a crowd continuum from normal to abnormal behaviour might be conceptualized using the scheme: mild preference ---- strong preference --- necessity(abnormal/ paraphilia) --- substitute for human partner (paraphilia) - obsessed with silk panties, man shoplifts them; his fetish has become a paraphilia ; if burglary or assault to get desired fetish object - sex behaviour abnormal end when it interferes with having healthy relationships or completing day to day activities/ causes harm to other people sexual addictions and compulsions Patrick Carnes: sexual variations addictive process much like alcoholism, pathological relationship with the mood altering substance, sex addiction pathological relationship to a sex event or process, substituting it for a healthy relationship with others. ; differences between chemical addictions that create a physiological dependency and behavioural addictions, if a person suddenly abstains from an addictive sexual behaviour no physiological withdrawal symptoms as there are from alcohol. ; criticism: term addiction become an excuse for illegal behaviour, experts recommend use the term compulsive sexual behaviour compulsive sexual behaviour: intrusive, driven, a disorder in which the person experiences intense sexually arousing fantasies, urges and associated sexual behaviour, repetitive, often incur social and legal sanctions, create health risks - nonparaphilic: conventional sex behaviours: compulsive masterbation, compulsive use of internet for sex purposes 5% more men suffer from compulsive sexual behaviour. Chief distinguishing feature of sex addictions or compulsions person has lost control over the behaviour. distortion of reality; justify their behaviour Carnes: each episode of the sexually compulsive behaviour proceeds through a 4-step cycle, which intensifies each time: preoccupation, rituals: a prelude, compulsive sexual behaviour: no control, despair follows Fetishism fetishism: a persons sexual fixation on some object other than another human being and attachment of great erotic significance to that object - inanimate object fetishes 2 subcategories: media fetish: a fetish whose object is anything made of a particular substance such as leather : the material, hard media fetish; hard substance (sadomasochism) form fetish: fetish whose object is a particular shape, such as high heeled shoes, ex. nylon stockings why do people develop a fetish? - learning theory; classical conditioning, learned association is built - second possible theoretical explanation: cognitive psychology ; feel driven to the sexual behaviour, arousal may actually be caused by feelings of guilt and self loathing. there is a chain: guilt produces arousal, as sexual arousal, fetish ritual, orgasm and temporary feelings of relief, evaluation of the event is negative, leading to feelings of guilt - third theory: sexual addiction - fetishism typically develops early in life Transvestism transvestism: the practice of deriving sexual gratification from dressing as a member of the other gender; tranvestic fetishism, cross dressing for erotic purposes drag queen: gay man who dresses in woman's clothing female impersonator: man who dresses up as a woman as part of a job in entertainment ex. tootsie - cross dressing may simply reflect exploration of his gender or sexuality - cross dressing is often done in private - almost exclusively a male sexual variation - woman's clothing is by design erotic vs. mens which is functional - phenomenon illustrates many sex variations are defined for, or practised almost exclusively by, members of one gender; parallel not deviant - sample in sweden asked whether she or he had ever dressed in clothing of the other gender and experienced sexual arousal: 3% of men and 0.4% of women reported at least one such experience - study placed ads in speciality newsletters and magazines & solicited participants at meetings and conventions: survey data cross dressing men (1000 ppl) 87% were heterosexual, 60% married, 65% had university education, 76% raised by both parents; 66% first cross dressing experience before age 10, orgasm when cross dressed reported by 40%: study indicated that men cross dress for variety of reasons; only 14% went out into public when cross dressed - U.S. mail sent questionnaire to members of cross dress organization: median age began to cross dress 8.5, 56% said never been caught cross dressed - one sample of 50 hetero. transvestites; 60% of the wives were accepting - problem when person's only source of erotic gratification from cross dressing or when cannot control and causes distress sadism and masochism sexual sadist: a person who derives sexual satisfaction from inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation on another person ; Marquis de Sade man lived French revolution; several woman died, he wrote novels about these practise sexual masochist: person who derives sexual satisfaction from experiencing pain; Leopold von Sacher-Masoch - definitions of these variations make specific their sexual nature bondage and discipline: physical or psychological restraint to enforce servitude, from which both participants derive sensual pleasure, may do without inducing physical pain dominance and submission: the use of power consensually given to control the sexual stimulation and behaviour of the other person - both B-D and D-S encompass a variety of specific interactions that range from atypical to paraphilic Sexual Sadomasochistic Behaviour - Kinsey found 1/4 of both males and females has experienced erotic response to being bitten during sexual activity - New Brunswick study: 65% of university students; sexual fantasies of being tied up and 62% have fantasies of tying someone up - questionnaires: ads placed in S-M magazines; 28% of the women preferred the dominant role; 41% of men preferred the submissive role; 32% of the women were versatile - men involved in S-M interested since childhood; women more likely to have been introduced to the subculture by someone else - 13-30% of the participants are women - develop a script of activities; pain is arousing only when part of a carefully scripted ritual - one group of researchers identified 29 individual sexual behaviours associated with S-M - Finnish S-M clubs; 4 themes: hyper masculinity, pain, physical restriction, humiliation - frequency continuum least to most intense: less intense the behaviour the higher the frequency (more rare for people to get real freaky) Causes of Sexual Sadomasochism - theo
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