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PSYC 3480 (233)
Chapter 9

Chapter 9 Sexuality.docx

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PSYC 3480
Noreen Stuckless

Chapter 9 Sexuality Background on Women’s Sexuality  Sexual Responses o Emotions and thoughts are central to women’s sexual responses o Individual differences are large o Sexual responses do not follow a rigid sequence o General Phases 1. The first phase is called the excitement phase: women become sexually aroused by touching and erotic thoughts  During this phase, blood rushes to the genital region causing vasocongestion  Vasocongestion causes the clitoris and the labia to enlarge as they fill with blood; it also produces moisture in the vagina 2. Plateau phase: the clitoris shortens and draws back under the clitoral hood  The clitoral region is now extremely sensitive 3. Orgasmic phase: the uterus and the outer part of the vagina contract strongly 4. Resolution phase: the sexual organs return to their earlier unstimulated size o Gender Comparisons in Sexual Responses  Women and men are similar in their psychological reactions to orgasm  Sexual Desire o Men are often higher in some components of sexual desire Attitudes and Knowledge about Sexuality  Attitudes about Female and Male Sexuality o Majority of north Americans believe that nonmarital intercourse is acceptable o In north America, men typically have more permissive attitudes toward sexual behaviour o North Americans hold a sexual double standard: they believed that premarital sex was more appropriate for men than for women o When people provide direct ratings, there’s not much evidence for the sexual double standard o When measurement is more subtle, it reveals gender stereotypes  Sexual scripts o A sexual script describes the social norms for sexual behaviour, which we learn by growing up in a culture  Sex education o Parents and sex education  Young women are more likely to hear about sexuality from their mothers than from their fathers  Parents are not likely to talk about pleasable effects of sexuality  Latina and Asian American adolescents often report that sex is a forbidden topic with their parents o Schools and sex education  Many sex education programs focus on the reproductive system  Students don’t hear about connections between sexuality and emotions o The media and sexual information  The media frequently portray sexuality but rarely convey the negative consequences of sexual activity Sexual Behaviour and Sexual Disorders  Sexual behaviour in heterosexual adolescents o Adolescent females are more likely to have early heterosexual experiences if they reached puberty before most of their peers o Ethnicity is also another factor that is related to adolescent sexual experience o In the US. Black female adolescents are more likely to engage in sexual intercourse o Peer pressure also encourages some teenagers to become sexually active o Hooking up refers to a sexual encounter in which two people have sexual interactions  Sexual behaviour in heterosexual adults o Men report more sexual partners than women o Men are also more likely to report masturbating  Communication about Sexuality o Couples experience difficulty in communicating about sexual issues o In an ambiguous situation, men often assume that their female partner is interested in sexual activity o An important component of communication is sexual assertiveness; couples who discuss their preferences about sexual activities are more likely to be satisfied with the sexual aspects of their relationships  Lesbians and Sexuality o Lesbian couples typically value nongenital physical contact; compared to heterosexual women, they are more likely to experience an orgasm, partly because of better communication  Older women and Sexuality o Women’s reproductive system somewhat changes as they get older o However, a woman’s age doesn’t have a strong influence on either sexual interest, or her enjoyment of sex o The best predictors of a woman’s sexual satisfaction are her feeling of wellbeing and her emotional closeness with her partner  Sexual disorder o A sexual disorder is a disturbance in sexual arousal or in sexual responding that causes mental distress o Low sexual desire  Has little interest in sexual activity and she is distressed by this lack of desire  May be caused by a variety of psychological factors such as de
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