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Sexuality. Kinsey Sex Knowledge Test: Sample Questions. Out of every ten married U.S. men, how many would you estimate had had an affair? Our of every ten U.S. women, how many would you estimate have had anal sex? Unless they are having sex, women do not need to have regular GYN exams.

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Kinsey Sex Knowledge Test: Sample Questions

  • Out of every ten married U.S. men, how many would you estimate had had an affair?

  • Our of every ten U.S. women, how many would you estimate have had anal sex?

  • Unless they are having sex, women do not need to have regular GYN exams.

  • Teenage boys should examine their testicles (“balls”) regularly just as women self examine their breast for lumps.

  • Out of every ten U.S. women, how many would you estimate have masturbated (as children or adults)?

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Sex Knowledge: Answers

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Kinsey Institute

  • Kinsey institute new report on sex

    • Unfortunately, Americans failed the test

    • Americans either don’t have the facts or are misinformed about a range of sexual topics

    • Women tended to provide correct answers about women’s health and contraception; men tended to know about penis size, treatment of erection problems, and actual sex behavior

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Sex Knowledge

  • The information that men and women seek about sex (from mothers or fathers, friends, doctors, magazines or others) is related to their divergent meanings of sexuality.

  • Culture and gender socialization shapes and limits one’s experience with sexuality.

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Sexuality and Sex Differences

  • Compared to women, men

    • a) think about sex more frequently,

    • b) want sexual activities more frequently

    • c) initiate sexual activities more frequently

    • d) are more interested in sexual activities without a romantic commitment

    • e) prefer a greater number of sexual partners

  • Why?

    • Reproductive differences? Evolutionary explanations?

    • Testosterone?


      • 17.30-21.00

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Sex and Gender Differences?

  • Hyde & Oliver (2000) small to non-existent gender differences for attitudes about:

    • premarital and extramarital sex;

    • anxiety, fear, or guilt about sex;

    • frequency of kissing petting, oral sex, or intercourse;

    • age at first intercourse and number of sexual partners

      • E.g., the sexual double standard

      • Why is this finding inconsistent with popular beliefs?

      • Some studies find differences while others do not. Why?

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Sexual Development

  • Males and females move through sexual development in opposite orders (Kaplan & Sager, 1971)

    • Men

    • Women

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  • Please raise your hand if have experienced explosive diarrhea

  • Please raise your hand if you have masturbated

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Sex by yourself

  • Is masturbation acceptable?

    • Only at a certain age?

    • In what situations?

    • Is it wrong when in a loving relationship?

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  • In a study of undergraduate college students, 98% of men and 44% of women reported having ever masturbated

  • 53% of men and 25% of women masturbated for the first time by ages 11 to 13

  • Masturbation is not discussed among girls, and is more often discussed among boys

    • M.K.G.: A gift from god? Special powers?

  • 5% of men and 11% of women have never masturbated

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Masturbation and Sexual Learning

  • Women’s relative inexperience with masturbation may not only lead to a lack of sexual learning, but it may also create a kind of ‘erotic’ dependency on men.

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Sexuality Myths

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Sex Myths: Size matters

  • Men often believe that penis size is related to their masculinity and female sexual satisfaction.

    • Men on average underestimate their size.

  • However there is no evidence that size is related to sexual orientation, virility, or women’s satisfaction.

    • In an internet survey, 45% of men desired a larger penis, whereas 85% of women expressed satisfaction with their partner’s size

    • 70% of women report that penis size is not important to their sexual satisfaction

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Sex Myths: Female Inadequacy

  • The vast majority of women (~70%) do not experience orgasm as a result of intercourse

  • Others do not experience orgasms consistently

    • Married females report having orgasms 75% of the time

    • 30% of females have never had an orgasm

  • Nature placed the primary source of men’s pleasure in their penis while locating it at a distance form women’s vagina (the clitoris)

  • This arrangement ensures that orgasm from vaginal penetration alone is abnormal for women

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Female Inadequacy?

  • Freud—clitoral orgasms (childlike) and vaginal frigidness

  • Some research seems to suggest that women who prefer vaginal stimulation have high levels of anxiety compared to those who like clitoral stimulation or both (suggesting Freud was wrong)

  • Masters and Johnson—physiologically there is only one kind of orgasm

    • Doesn’t matter whether it is achieved by clitoral or vaginal stimulation

    • Psychologically they may be experienced differently depending on whether it is self sex or sex with a partner or other factors

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Female Inadequacy?

  • The cultural portrayal of intercourse (in movies and pornography) is misleading

  • Women are more likely to require sexual acts that do not involve intercourse to experience orgasm

  • But because of the cultural primacy of intercourse as the sexual act and misconceptions regarding women’s bodies

    • Women are less likely to be sexually satisfied compared to men.

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Female Orgasm

  • Although women do not often experience orgasm from intercourse alone

    • The actual geography of women’s nerve endings devoted to pleasure and tissue that is engorged during arousal spans an area that is at least as large, if not larger, than the nerve endings and tissue devoted to men’s pleasure

  • Unlike men, women do not have a refractory period

    • After an orgasm, the vaginal region loses its engorgement of blood, but its completely reversible

    • In 1953 Kinsey found that 14 percent of women experienced multiple O’s

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Women and Orgasms

  • Women are much more likely to be nearly always or always orgasmic when alone than with a partner

  • Women whose sexual behavior is active and assertive (do not take passive role) are more likely to be orgasmic (Radlove, 1983)

  • Some evidence that women who masturbated as adolescents were more likely to report having orgasms as adults

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  • Does the G-Spot exist?

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  • The G-Spot

    • Very controversial

    • May be related to female ejaculation

      • 10-20% of women ejaculate

    • Neuron receptors

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Sexual Ambivalence

  • Cultural folklore: Men’s eagerness for sex is tempered by their anxiety that women’s sexual power will undermine their virility and leave them subservient to a woman (e.g. Sampson and Delilah, women as evil seductresses)

  • Women are both exalted and punished for their sexuality, resulting in the pedestal-gutter dichotomy

    • women must learn to curb their desire for sex (not to actively seek sex even when they want it) and wrap their sexual desire in the guise of worshipful love and romance

    • The alternative is met with condemnation: women who are perceived as ‘wanting’ sex are belittled (and more likely to be victimized (Aubrey, 2004)

    • Women are told to be sexy, but they do not have the same social permission to be actively sexual

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Beauty and Purity

  • Women are pushed toward impossibly high standards of beauty, and at the same time, receive cultural messages that their bodies are unacceptable.

  • Many religions stress the need for women to “purify” themselves. They are seen as base, mysterious, evil, or unclean.

    • To avoid the stigma of uncleanliness, women are encouraged to be sexually modest and pure.

  • As a result of women’s association with bodily processes (reproduction, menstruation), cultural attitudes toward their bodies are ambivalent.

    • Women are displayed seductively, wearing little clothing, yet women are exhorted to be sexually modest in their clothing and demeanor (to avoid the appearance of sexual eagerness) to uphold female prescriptions for purity.

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Sexual Ambivalence and Self Objectification

  • Impossibly high beauty standards result in women reporting more negative body image, liking their bodies less, and more body shame than men.

  • Self objectification theory argues that women internalize cultural messages that their bodies are objects to be consumed by men; as a result, their bodies become objects in their own minds.

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Ambivalence and Self Objectification

  • Self objectification is associated with feelings of being betrayed by one’s body or feeling separate from one’s body.

  • By chronically portraying women as sex objects, the media play a significant role in self-objectification. Viewing idealized images of women increases body shame and promotes eating disorders.

  • Self objectification is associated with depression, anxiety, and sexual dysfunction, decreased interest in sex, and decreased pleasure.

    • It believed that it distracts one from one’s own pleasure, among other things.

  • High standards and cultural images influence men also. Men who read fitness magazine are more likely to suffer from lower body esteem and disordered eating.

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Sexual Dysfunction

  • It is estimated that 43% of women between the ages of 18 to 55 suffer from sexual dysfunction.

  • Lack of interest in sex is the most common problem: 33% of women report that they do not want sex (compared with 14% of men).

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Sexual Dysfunction

  • Sexual dysfunction is a serious problem because it is associated with relationship satisfaction and quality of life.

  • The medical community has been more responsive to men’s needs. For example, only 20% of men suffer from erectile dysfunction, but solutions are vastly marketed

  • Drugs that have shown promise for alleviating women’s dysfunction have been banned by the FDA.

    • Some female scientists criticize the double standard and point out that women are being treated paternalistically by the scientific establishment.

    • The double standard suggests that men’s sexuality is treated with more respect than women’s, perhaps because of the ambivalence surrounding women’s sexuality.

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What do you think?

  • Why might drugs for male sexual dysfunction be readily available while drugs to help female sexual dysfunction be non-existent?

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