Ch 13 for Psy Aspects of Life Skills

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Ch. 13
Sexual Identity: The complex of personal qualities, self-perceptions, attitudes, values, and preferences
that guide one’s sexual behaviour
Four Key Features:
1. Sexual Orientation
-LGB: Lesbians, gay men, bisexuals
-LBGT: lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgendered
2. Body Image
-How we see ourself physically, affects how we feel about ourself in the sexual domain
-Positive body image is correlated with greater sexual activity, higher sexual satisfaction and fewer sexual
problems.
3. Sexual Values and Ethics
-All cultures impose constraints on how we are expected to behave sexually
-Double standard where “males should engage in sexual experimentation while females should not”
-Individuals are faced with task of sorting through these msgs to their own sexual values and ethics
4. Erotic Preferences
-Includes attitudes about self-stimulation, oral sex, intercourse and other sexual activities
Physiological Influences
Hormones and Sexual Differentiation
Gonads- Sex glands
Androgens- Produced by testes, principal class of male sex hormones. Most impt is testosterone.
Estrogens- Produced by ovaries. Principal class of female sexual hormones
-Both classes of hormones are present in both genders but in different proportions
-Differentiation in genitals depend on level of testosterone produced, high in males, low in females
-At puberty hormones reassert their influence on sexual development
-Hormonal changes trigger the maturation of primary sex characteristics (sex organs)
-Hormonal shifts also regulate the development of secondary sex characteristics (physical features that
distinguish the genders but are not directly involved in reproduction)
FEMALES: more estrogen-> breast development, wider hips, more rounded body contours
MALES: facial hair, deeper voice, angular body contours
Hormones and Sexual Behaviour
-Androgen levels influence sexual motivation in men and women, less strong in women.
-Testosterone is positively correlated with sexual activity in BOTH men and women
-Estrogen DOES NOT effect sexual interest in women
-physiological factors have greater influence on anatomy (sexual development) than sexual activity
Psychosocial Influences
Families, peers, school, media
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