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Psychology 2075
William Fisher

Chapter 1 Why study sex? - People are curious - It’s an important force in our lives - Experience concerns about our own sexual behaviour (ex. How to function better) Sex: refers to sexual behaviour and anatomy Gender: refers to the state of being male or female Sexual Behaviour: behaviour that produces arousal and increases the chance of orgasm Influences of Sexuality ~Religion - A source of values and ethics regarding sexuality and has a powerful influence on sexual attitudes and behaviour of many individuals - Provided most of the info people has about sexuality - Different religions hold different understandings of human sexuality (Greeks vs Christians vs Muslims) ~Science - Scientific study rose due to religious aspects of sexuality - Biological discoveries such as sperm swimming in semen under a microscope and fertilization of the egg - Many important sex researchers  Sigmund Freud – psychoanalysis  Henry Havelock Ellis – “Studies in the Psychology of Sex”  Richard von Krafft-Ebing – “pathological” sexuality  Magnus Herschfeld – first sex research institute, homo th - 20 century science focussed on sexual disorders and sexual response ~Media - More and more sexual references in the media  Cultivation: exposure to mass media makes people think that what they see represents the mainstream of what really occurs  Agenda-setting: the media define what is important and what is not by which stories they cover  Social learning: the media provide role models whom we imitate - The internet is now the most powerful source of mass media influence - Many individuals engage in sexual activity online - Internet has both positive (sex health) and negative (porn) influences Cross-Cultural Perspective on Sexuality Culture: traditional ideas and values passed down from generation to generation within a group and transmitted by symbols (language) Ethnocentrism: tendency to regard one’s own ethnic group/culture as superior to others and to believe that its customs and way of life are the standards by which other cultures should be judged Incest Taboos: a regulation prohibiting sexual interaction between close relatives - Every society has some form of regulations with regards to sexual activity - Different cultures have different views on sex Variations in Sexual Techniques - Sexual techniques differ from culture to culture Ex. Kissing is weird for the Thonga of Africa, some societies believe in inflicting pain on partners - Frequency of intercourse differs Ex. Inis Beag vs Mangaians - Different societies have different sexual taboos Ex. Postpartum sex ~Masturbation - Self-stimulation of the genitals to produce sexual arousal - Some societies tolerate masturbation (Lesu)
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