Like food, sex is an important part of our lives. From an evolutionary perspective, the reason is obvious—perpetuation of the species. This section provides an overview of research that has been conducted on human sexual behavior and motivation. This section will close with a discussion of issues related to gender and sexual orientation. Much of what we know about the physiological mechanisms that underlie sexual behavior and motivation comes from animal research.
Even the ways in which we define sexual orientation and gender vary from one culture to the next. Reported confidence intervals for Cronbach's alphas were computed with bias corrected and accelerated bootstrap Kelley and Pornprasertmanit, This suggests that the ability to engage in sexual behavior and the motivation to do so may be mediated by neural systems distinct from one another. As you might imagine, not everyone was happy that this information was being published. Firstly, six indexes The psycology of sexual behavior generated to assess risky sexual behavior, three related to vaginal sex and three to anal sex. Money shared with the scientific community the great success of this natural experiment that seemed to fully support his theory of psychosexual neutrality Money, This is positive because it does not support the idea that online sex increases vulnerability to sexually transmitted infections Liau et al. One method of measuring these genetic roots is the sexual orientation The psycology of sexual behavior rate SOCR.
Free adult bo lesan chat rooms. Acknowledgements
Thus, she became David Eexual. Distinguish between healthy and unhealthy sexual expression Become aware of the pros and cons of the many methods of contraception available Become aware of the pervasiveness of STDs and how to avoid them. Although he fell short of his goal, he still managed to collect 18 thousand interviews! Weekly discussion board postings in response to The psycology of sexual behavior I will provide based on text readings, videos or additional articles With very few exceptions, all supplementary material including PowerPoint slides, videos, articles, and link to web sites will be posted on Blackboard. InDavid was made aware that Dr. Course Communication. He measured orientation on a continuum, using a 7-point Likert scale called the Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale, in which 0 is exclusively heterosexual3 is bisexualand psycolog is exclusively homosexual. The psycology of sexual behavior example, many animals show no sign of sexual motivation in the absence of the appropriate combination of sex hormones from their gonads. Which number is greater? Behsvior before had the American public seen its psycologt sexual behavior become the focus of scientific scrutiny on such a large Gay constuction boys.
- Like food, sex is an important part of our lives.
- The Psychology of Sexual Behavior is an examination of the nature, development, and decline of sexual behaviors.
- Like food, sex is an important part of our lives.
- Further, it shapes the brain and body to be pleasure-seeking.
Further, it shapes the brain and body to be pleasure-seeking. Yet, as important as sexuality is to being human, it is often viewed as a taboo topic for personal or scientific inquiry. Sex makes the world go around: It makes babies bond, children giggle, adolescents flirt, and adults have babies.
It influences the way we dress, joke, and talk. In many ways, sex defines who we are. It is so important, the eminent neuropsychologist Karl Pribram described sex as one of four basic human drive states. Drive states motivate us to accomplish goals.
They are linked to our survival. According to Pribram, feeding, fighting, fleeing, and sex are the four drives behind every thought, feeling, and behavior. Since these drives are so closely associated with our psychological and physical health, you might assume people would study, understand, and discuss them openly. Can you guess which drive is the least understood and openly discussed?
This module presents an opportunity for you to think openly and objectively about sex. Without shame or taboo, using science as a lens, we examine fundamental aspects of human sexuality—including gender, sexual orientation, fantasies, behaviors, paraphilias, and sexual consent. Some of the earliest recovered artifacts from ancient cultures are thought to be fertility totems. By contrast, people have been scientifically investigating sex for only about years.
The first scientific investigations of sex employed the case study method of research. Using this method, the English physician Henry Havelock Ellis examined diverse topics within sexuality, including arousal and masturbation. From to , his findings were published in a seven-volume set of books titled Studies in the Psychology of Sex.
Using case studies, the Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud is credited with being the first scientist to link sex to healthy development and to recognize humans as being sexual throughout their lifespans, including childhood Freud, In unhealthy manners, people might develop psychological problems, such as frigidity, impotence, or anal-retentiveness. The American biologist Alfred Kinsey is commonly referred to as the father of human sexuality research. Kinsey was a world-renowned expert on wasps but later changed his focus to the study of humans.
This shift happened because he wanted to teach a course on marriage but found data on human sexual behavior lacking. He believed that sexual knowledge was the product of guesswork and had never really been studied systematically or in an unbiased way.
He decided to collect information himself using the survey method , and set a goal of interviewing thousand people about their sexual histories. Although he fell short of his goal, he still managed to collect 18 thousand interviews! Today, a broad range of scientific research on sexuality continues.
Applying for a credit card or filling out a job application requires your name, address, and birth-date. Additionally, applications usually ask for your sex or gender. However, in modern usage, these terms are distinct from one another.
Sex describes means of biological reproduction. Sex includes sexual organs, such as ovaries—defining what it is to be a female—or testes—defining what it is to be a male. Interestingly, biological sex is not as easily defined or determined as you might expect see the section on variations in sex, below. By contrast, the term gender describes psychological gender identity and sociological gender role representations of biological sex.
At an early age, we begin learning cultural norms for what is considered masculine and feminine. For example, children may associate long hair or dresses with femininity. Later in life, as adults, we often conform to these norms by behaving in gender-specific ways: as men, we build houses; as women, we bake cookies Marshall, ; Money et al. Because cultures change over time, so too do ideas about gender.
For example, European and American cultures today associate pink with femininity and blue with masculinity. While some argue that sexual attraction is primarily driven by reproduction e. With this number in mind, consider how many times the goal was or will be for reproduction versus how many it was or will be for pleasure.
Which number is greater? One method of measuring these genetic roots is the sexual orientation concordance rate SOCR. An SOCR is the probability that a pair of individuals has the same sexual orientation. Researchers find SOCRs are highest for monozygotic twins; and SOCRs for dizygotic twins, siblings, and randomly-selected pairs do not significantly differ from one another Bailey et al. Because sexual orientation is a hotly debated issue, an appreciation of the genetic aspects of attraction can be an important piece of this dialogue.
The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects. The sooner we learn this concerning human sexual behavior, the sooner we shall reach a sound understanding of the realities of sex. We live in an era when sex, gender, and sexual orientation are controversial religious and political issues. Some nations have laws against homosexuality, while others have laws protecting same-sex marriages. The international scientific and medical communities e.
In any case, intersex individuals demonstrate the diverse variations of biological sex. Because gender is so deeply ingrained culturally, rates of transgender individuals vary widely around the world see Table 1. TGFs have diverse levels of androgyny —having both feminine and masculine characteristics.
Sexual orientation is as diverse as gender identity. He measured orientation on a continuum, using a 7-point Likert scale called the Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale, in which 0 is exclusively heterosexual , 3 is bisexual , and 6 is exclusively homosexual. What is considered sexually normal depends on culture. Some cultures are sexually-restrictive—such as one extreme example off the coast of Ireland, studied in the midth century, known as the island of Inis Beag.
The inhabitants of Inis Beag detested nudity and viewed sex as a necessary evil for the sole purpose of reproduction. They wore clothes when they bathed and even while having sex.
Further, sex education was nonexistent, as was breast feeding Messenger, Young Mangaian boys are encouraged to masturbate. When the boys are a bit older, this formal instruction is replaced with hands-on coaching by older females. These cultures make clear that what are considered sexually normal behaviors depends on time and place. Sexual behaviors are linked to, but distinct from, fantasies. Sexual fantasies are not equal to sexual behaviors. Sexual fantasies are often a context for the sexual behavior of masturbation —tactile physical stimulation of the body for sexual pleasure.
There is even evidence that masturbation significantly decreases the risk of developing prostate cancer among males over the age of 50 Dimitropoulou et al.
Masturbation is common among males and females in the U. Robbins et al. However, frequency of masturbation is affected by culture. Durex found the average age of first coital experiences across 41 different countries to be 17 years, with a low of 16 Iceland , and a high of 20 India.
There is tremendous variation regarding frequency of coital sex. For example, the average number of times per year a person in Greece or France engages in coital sex is between 1.
The prevalence of oral sex widely differs between cultures—with Western cultures, such as the U. Not only are there differences between cultures regarding how many people engage in oral sex, there are differences in its very definition. Anal sex refers to penetration of the anus by an object.
The prevalence of anal sex widely differs between cultures. Clearly, people engage in a multitude of behaviors whose variety is limited only by our own imaginations. However, there is one aspect of sexual behavior that is universally acceptable—indeed, fundamental and necessary.
Sexual consent is the baseline for what are considered normal —acceptable and healthy—behaviors; whereas, nonconsensual sex—i. We recommend safer-sex practices , such as condoms, honesty, and communication, whenever you engage in a sexual act.
Discussing likes, dislikes, and limits prior to sexual exploration reduces the likelihood of miscommunication and misjudging nonverbal cues. In the heat of the moment, things are not always what they seem. For example, Kristen Jozkowski and her colleagues found that females tend to use verbal strategies of consent, whereas males tend to rely on nonverbal indications of consent. The universal principles of pleasure, sexual behaviors, and consent are intertwined. Consent is the foundation on which sexual activity needs to be built.
Instead, they are continuums. Similarly, sexual fantasies and behaviors vary greatly by individual and culture. Ultimately, open discussions about sexual identity and sexual practices will help people better understand themselves, others, and the world around them. Share this module to:. Email Address. First Name. Last Name. Password Forgot your password?
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These cultures make clear that what are considered sexually normal behaviors depends on time and place. Licenses and Attributions. Do not write in all caps it makes it seem as though you are shouting. Based on these observations, Masters and Johnson divided the sexual response cycle into four phases that are fairly similar in men and women: excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution [link]. Ultimately, the controversy resulted in Kinsey losing funding that he had secured from the Rockefeller Foundation to continue his research efforts Bancroft,
The psycology of sexual behavior. Learning Objectives
Like food, sex is an important part of our lives. From an evolutionary perspective, the reason is obvious—perpetuation of the species. This section provides an overview of research that has been conducted on human sexual behavior and motivation. This section will close with a discussion of issues related to gender and sexual orientation.
Much of what we know about the physiological mechanisms that underlie sexual behavior and motivation comes from animal research. Surprisingly, medial preoptic lesions do not change how hard a male rat is willing to work to gain access to a sexually receptive female figure below. This suggests that the ability to engage in sexual behavior and the motivation to do so may be mediated by neural systems distinct from one another.
Animal research suggests that limbic system structures such as the amygdala and nucleus accumbens are especially important for sexual motivation.
The worldwide popularity of drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction Conrad, speaks to the fact that sexual motivation and the ability to engage in sexual behavior can also be dissociated in humans.
For example, many animals show no sign of sexual motivation in the absence of the appropriate combination of sex hormones from their gonads.
Before the late s, access to reliable, empirically-based information on sex was limited. At the time, the Kinsey reports were quite sensational.
Never before had the American public seen its private sexual behavior become the focus of scientific scrutiny on such a large scale.
The books, which were filled with statistics and scientific lingo, sold remarkably well to the general public, and people began to engage in open conversations about human sexuality.
As you might imagine, not everyone was happy that this information was being published. In fact, these books were banned in some countries. Ultimately, the controversy resulted in Kinsey losing funding that he had secured from the Rockefeller Foundation to continue his research efforts Bancroft, Kinsey described a remarkably diverse range of sexual behaviors and experiences reported by the volunteers participating in his research. Unlike Kinsey, who used personal interviews and surveys to collect data, Masters and Johnson observed people having intercourse in a variety of positions, and they observed people masturbating, manually or with the aid of a device.
While this was occurring, researchers recorded measurements of physiological variables, such as blood pressure and respiration rate, as well as measurements of sexual arousal, such as vaginal lubrication and penile tumescence swelling associated with an erection.
In total, Masters and Johnson observed nearly 10, sexual acts as a part of their research Hock, Both men and women experience increases in muscle tone during this time. Orgasmis marked in women by rhythmic contractions of the pelvis and uterus along with increased muscle tension. In men, pelvic contractions are accompanied by a buildup of seminal fluid near the urethra that is ultimately forced out by contractions of genital muscles, i. While many women can quickly repeat the sexual response cycle, men must pass through a longer refractory period as part of resolution.
In men, the duration of the refractory period can vary dramatically from individual to individual with some refractory periods as short as several minutes and others as long as a day. As men age, their refractory periods tend to span longer periods of time. In addition to the insights that their research provided with regards to the sexual response cycle and the multi-orgasmic potential of women, Masters and Johnson also collected important information about reproductive anatomy.
While the majority of people identify as heterosexual, there is a sizable population of people within the United States who identify some other way. Issues of sexual orientation have long fascinated scientists interested in determining what causes one individual to be heterosexual while another is gay. For many years, people believed that these differences arose because of different socialization and familial experiences. Genetic and biological mechanisms have also been proposed, and the balance of research evidence suggests that sexual orientation has an underlying biological component.
In aggregate, the data suggest that to a significant extent, sexual orientations are something with which we are born. Regardless of how sexual orientation is determined, research has made clear that sexual orientation is not a choice, but rather it is a relatively stable characteristic of a person that cannot be changed. Claims of successful gay conversion therapy have received wide criticism from the research community due to significant concerns with research design, recruitment of experimental participants, and interpretation of data.
As such, there is no credible scientific evidence to suggest that individuals can change their sexual orientation Jenkins, In this letter, Spitzer wrote,. I was considering writing something that would acknowledge that I now judge the major critiques of the study as largely correct. I believe I owe the gay community an apology for my study making unproven claims of the efficacy of reparative therapy. Becker, , pars. Citing research that suggests not only that gay conversion therapy is ineffective, but also potentially harmful, legislative efforts to make such therapy illegal have either been enacted e.
Many people conflate sexual orientation with gender identity because of stereotypical attitudes that exist about homosexuality. In reality, these are two related, but different, issues. Generally, our gender identities correspond to our chromosomal and phenotypic sex, but this is not always the case. When individuals do not feel comfortable identifying with the gender associated with their biological sex, then they experience gender dysphoria.
This dysphoria must persist for at least six months and result in significant distress or dysfunction to meet DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. Many people who are classified as gender dysphoric seek to live their lives in ways that are consistent with their own gender identity. This involves dressing in the clothing that matches their identity and living a life that aligns with their gender identity.
Issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity are very much influenced by sociocultural factors. Even the ways in which we define sexual orientation and gender vary from one culture to the next. While in the United States exclusive heterosexuality is viewed as the norm, there are societies that have different attitudes regarding homosexual behavior. In fact, in some instances, periods of exclusively homosexual behavior are socially prescribed as a part of normal development and maturation.
There is a two-gendered culture in the United States. We tend to classify an individual as either man or woman. For example, in Thailand, you can be male, female, or kathoey. Distraught, Janet and Ronald looked to expert advice on what to do with their baby boy. By happenstance, the couple became aware of Dr. Money had spent a considerable amount of time researching transgender individuals and individuals born with ambiguous genitalia.
As a result of this work, he developed a theory of psychosexual neutrality. Money encouraged Janet and Ronald to bring the twins to Johns Hopkins University, and he convinced them that they should raise Bruce as a girl. Early on, Dr. Money shared with the scientific community the great success of this natural experiment that seemed to fully support his theory of psychosexual neutrality Money, However, Dr. Money was less than forthcoming with information that seemed to argue against the success of the case.
In addition, Brenda was becoming increasingly reluctant to continue her visits with Dr. Money to the point that she threatened suicide if her parents made her go back to see him again.
While initially shocked, Brenda reported that things made sense to her now, and ultimately, by the time she was an adolescent, Brenda had decided to identify as a boy. Thus, she became David Reimer. David was quite comfortable in his masculine role.
He made new friends and began to think about his future. Although his castration had left him infertile, he still wanted to be a father. In , David married a single mother and loved his new role as a husband and father.
In , David was made aware that Dr. Money was continuing to publicize his case as a success supporting his theory of psychosexual neutrality. While this revelation created a firestorm in the scientific community for Dr. This sad story speaks to the complexities involved in gender identity. In fact, stories like this one have prompted measures to prevent unnecessary harm and suffering to children who might have issues with gender identity. For example, in , a law took effect in Germany allowing parents of intersex children to classify their children as indeterminate so that children can self-assign the appropriate gender once they have fully developed their own gender identities Paramaguru, The hypothalamus and structures of the limbic system are important in sexual behavior and motivation.
There is evidence to suggest that our motivation to engage in sexual behavior and our ability to do so are related, but separate, processes. Alfred Kinsey conducted large-scale survey research that demonstrated the incredible diversity of human sexuality. William Masters and Virginia Johnson observed individuals engaging in sexual behavior in developing their concept of the sexual response cycle.
While often confused, sexual orientation and gender identity are related, but distinct, concepts. While much research has been conducted on how an individual develops a given sexual orientation, many people question the validity of this research citing that the participants used may not be representative.
Why do you think this might be a legitimate concern? There is no reliable scientific evidence that gay conversion therapy actually works. How can psychological science inform that legal community in this area? Issues related to gender identity and civil rights have been at the forefront of the current political landscape. Have you noticed ways in which WSU is working to be inclusive of gender non-conforming folks? Given the stigma associated with being non-heterosexual, participants who openly identify as homosexual or bisexual in research projects may not be entirely representative of the non-heterosexual population as a whole.
Which of the following findings was not a result of the Kinsey study? Sexual desire and sexual ability can be separate functions. Females enjoy sex as much as males. Homosexual behavior is fairly common. Masturbation has no adverse consequences. Answers will vary. Previous Section. Next Section. License 9.