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Chapter 13

Chapter 13

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Psychology 2035A/B
Doug Hazlewood

Chapter 13 Notes: Development and Expression of Sexuality - Sex research has some unique problems: rely mostly on interviews and questionnaires b/c direct observation is somewhat impossible, and people who are willing to volunteer information tend to be more liberal and sexually experienced than the general population, and some shade the truth b/c of embarrassment and wishful thinking so getting a representative sample is hard; baised towards white middle-classes volunteers Becoming a Sexual Person Key Aspects of Sexual Identity - Sexual Identity: the complex of personal qualities, self-perceptions, attitutudes, values, and preferences that guide ones sexual behaviour; your sense of yourself as a sexual person. 4 key features: 1. Sexual Orientation: individual preference of gender with whom to have an emotional/sexual relationship- include hetero, homo, and bisexuals (also includes LGBT-lesbian, gay bisexual, transgendered community; grouped together b/c they often have intersecring interests). Transgenedered people are those whose appearance and/or behaviours do not conform to traditional gender roles 2. Body Image: how you see yourself physically- a positive body image is correlated with greater sexual activity, higher sexual satisfaction, and fewer sexual problems. 3. Sexual Values and Ethics: people in different cultures are taught that certain expressions of sexuality are right and wrong. Nature of these constraints/messages varies depending on gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status 4. Erotic Preferences: within the limits of 1 and 3 people differ in what they enjoy Physiological Influences: their influence on sexual ANATOMY is much greater than their influence on sexual ACTIVITY Hormones and Sexual Differentiation - sexual differentiation: hormones that play a role in gender distinction in prenatal development rd - during the 3 month of prenatal development, hormone secretion begins in the gonads (the sex glands). In males, the testes produce androgens (most important is testorsterone) and in females the ovaries produce estrogens- both classes are present in both genders but in different proportions - during prenatal development, the differentiation depends primarily on the level of testosterone - at puberty, they trigger maturation of primary (sex organs) and secondary (physical features not involved in reproduction) sex characteristics Horomones and Sexual Behaviour - regulate sex drive - androgen level appears to be related to sexual motivation in both genders (less strong in females) - hiher levels of testosterone in both genders correlate with higher rated of sexual activity, but estrogen levels in women do NOT correlate well with sexual interest Psychosocial Influences: same as the main sources of gender-role socialization Influences: Friendssex education classes bf/gf media parents doctorssiblings Families - significant influence - before school age, kids usually engage in sexual play in the form of playing doctor - parents who punish innocent, exploratory sexual play convey the idea that sex is dirty which leads the kids to feel shame and guilt about their sexual urges and curiousity - in a 2003 Gallup Youth survey 63% of teens (13-17yr) said their parents talked to them about sex, whereas 36% said their parents left it up to school - another survey reported that only 37% of young adults (13-24yr) thought they knew a lot about sexual health and relationships from their parents Peers - leading source of relationship and sexual health information- only behind health care provider and only in females - sexual attitudes and behaviour positively related to those of their friends and peers Schools - most parents and the students themselves support sex education in schools - studies show that 90% of schools offer some type of sex education, among them: o 30% are abstinence only programs (no information about contraceptive methods) Do NOT delay, reduce, or deter kids from having sex early or at all o 47% are abstinence plus programs ( info about contraceptives and STIs) o 20% are comprehensive programs (info about everything) Positive outcomes: increased contraceptives use, reduced pregnancy, reduced high-risk sexual behaviour Do NOT promote early sex and do NOT increase # of partners- can do opposite Media - portrayal of sexual content is on the rise - hearing about sex and seeing it on tv makes kids see it as permissive and can influence their beliefs about typical sexual practices and their sexual intentions and behaviours - only 10% of the top 20 temm programs reference sexual risks or repsonsiblities- more sexual content in prime time shows then other shows - 20% say they learn a lot from magazines - Music: study showed that teens who listen to music lyrics that contain explicit references to men as aggressive and women as objects are more likely to have sex sooner (rap music) Gender Differences in Sexual Socialization Letitia Anne Peplau concluded 5 major differences all true but 5 for homo couples: 1. men have more interest in sex than women 2. the connection b/n sex and intimacy is more important ot women than men (women prefer sex in the context of a relationship) 3. aggression more linked to sexuality for men than women 4. womens sexuality is more easily shaped by cultural and situational factors (sexual attitudes are easier to change and their orientation is more likely to change over time) 5. in hetero couples, men typically initiate sex, while women are :gate-keepers they choose if and when its going to happen- sexual socialization usually takes longer for women than men b/c they have a fear of pregnancy, they fear negative messages from people about men, women typically develop negative associations about their genitals and sex that males dont experience (blood and pain from period and penetration), sexual guilt - b/c both members of same-gender couples are socializes similarly, they are less likely than straight couples to have compatibility problems LIVING IN TODAYS WORLD: Sex and the Internet - the influence is so significant that it will ultimately be recognizes as the next sexual revolution - Researchers estimate that 20-33% of users engage is some form of online sexual activity - Online survey showed that 39% of people have engaged in cybersex, but only 3% do it all the time and 60% did NOT believe that it violates marriage vows - Internet sex addiction is on the rise Sexual Orientation - Alfred Kinsey devised a 7-pt scale to chracterise sexual orientation- view homo/heterosexuality as end points on a continuum rathen than an all-or-none distincition o 0 (exclusively heterosexual) 6 (exclusively homosexual) - overall evidence suggests 5-8% of the population is homosexual - Kinseys model is too simple so another model portrays sexual orinteation as a cluster of 7 factors that can be rated along Kinseys scale: o Sexual behaviour, emotional preference, sexual fantasies, sexual attraction, social preference, lifestyle/social world/community, and self- identification (Klein, Wolf) Origins - Environmental explanation to why
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