Human Sexual Arousal (Passion). The Biological Component:Human sexual behavior occurs in two major stages:Nontactile stage: becoming interested in person through visual, auditory, olfactory, or even cognitive cues.Tactile stage: involves tactile stimulation.Human sexual behavior is a sensory eve
1. Human Motivation
Passion, Love, and Sexual Behavior
2. Human Sexual Arousal (Passion) The Biological Component:
Human sexual behavior occurs in two major stages:
Nontactile stage: becoming interested in person through visual, auditory, olfactory, or even cognitive cues.
Tactile stage: involves tactile stimulation.
Human sexual behavior is a sensory event
Sex is rewarding because it provides a pleasurable sensory experience.
Sexual response is organized much in the same way for both males/females. Four stages:
(1) the excitement phase, (2) the plateau phase, (3) the orgasmic phase, and (4) the resolution phase.
3. Human Sexual Arousal (Passion) The Learned Component:
Visual stimulus may elicit sexual arousal.
Pictures showing two persons engaged in sexual acts elicits more arousal than simple pictures of nudity.
Verbal descriptions of sexual behavior are sufficient to elicit sexual arousal in most volunteer subjects.
Sexual Scripts: mental schemata of how an interpersonal sexual episode should be enacted.
Female scripts tend to focus on falling in love, whereas male scripts tend to focus mainly on sexual activity.
Eventually, the females begins to adjust her script to include sexual arousal, which lays groundwork for eventual orgasm.
Sexual pleasure is interaction of biological (sensory) and learned factors.
Reward value of sex depends on participating in a satisfying sexual script.
Males/females tend to react differently to same sexual behaviors.
4. Human Sexual Arousal (Passion) The Cognitive Component:
Sexual scripts are influenced by the beliefs and attitudes they hold.
They come from the society at large, from peer groups, and from internalized values/ideals.
Males and females tend to believe that the sex drive is stronger in males than females.
Females tend to connect sex with feelings of affection and closeness.
Males tend to perceive sex as an achievement, an adventure, a demonstration of control and power, or a purely physical release.
Although, most men prefer that love and sex go together and value love far ahead of sex in overall importance in their lives.
(These are statistical differences and do not reflect individual differences.)
5. Attraction, Passion, Love, and Reproduction The Biological Component:
Evolutionary perspective: purpose of sexual behavior is to produce offspring so that genes may survive future generations.
Pleasure motivates us to engage in sexual behavior on a repeated basis.
Purpose of love- repeatedly engage in sex with mate and form long-term relationship.
Love produces euphoric state (linked to dopamine/norepinephrine)
Love linked to phenylethylanine (PEA)- levels begin to fall after two to three years.
Divorce rate peaks around the fourth year of marriage.
Endorphins mediate the attachment stage following the initial attraction.
Produce feelings of well-being, maintain the immune system.
Oxytocin stimulates nerves/muscles- promotes cuddling and enhances orgasm.
Produces feelings of relaxed satisfaction and attachment.
6. Attraction, Passion, Love, and Reproduction Long-term female mating strategies:
Women need a mate who (1) has resources to invest in raising the offspring, (2) will invest those resources, (3) has the capacity to physically protect both her/offspring, (4) has good parenting skills, (5) is compatible, and (6) is healthy.
Long-term male mating strategies:
Sociobiology theories suggest best strategies for males is to mate with as many females as possible.
The problem with this is that females look for commitment, which limits the mating pool for men.
Men willing to commit are able to access a greater pool of women and have better chances of producing offspring that will survive.
Males prefer young, attractive women: tend to be healthier and have longer period of fertility.
7. Attraction, Passion, Love, and Reproduction The Learned Component:
Wide range of factors play a role in sexual motivation and sexual attraction:
Chance meeting, thoughts about the other person, dating frequency
Arousal increases attraction to an attractive opposite-sex target and decreases attraction to an unattractive opposite-sex target.
Intimacy: feelings of closeness, connectedness, and being bonded.
Long-term commitment is defining characteristic.
Established through self-disclosure.
Positive self-schema: positive view of our ability to become attached and others are available/supportive.
8. Attraction, Passion, Love, and Reproduction The Cognitive Component:
Staying in love depends on making the decision that you love someone and are willing to invest the time and energy necessary to stay in the relationship.
Satisfying the needs of two distinct individuals.
Accepting that there are going to be differences or problems to be resolved to mutual satisfaction of both parties.
Willingness to invest time and energy.
Passion: physical/emotional aspects of love
Intimacy: feelings of closeness, connectedness
Commitment: time/effort invested to make relationship work
9. Attraction, Passion, Love, and Reproduction Sternberg’s Interaction Model of Love:
Passion = infatuated love (attractions)
Characterized by bodily sensations, warm sensuous feeling.
Intimacy = liking (friendships)
Characterized by feeling close and connected
Commitment = sterile love
Characterized by no physical attraction/emotional involvement
Passion + intimacy = romantic love
Enjoyment of being together, closeness, with no feeling of it lasting.
Passion + commitment = fatuous love
No intimacy, therefore, true commitment never develops.
Intimacy + commitment = companionate love
Long-term committed friendship.
Intimacy + passion + commitment = consummate love
Hard to attain and harder still to keep.
10. Biological Differences Between Men and Women Sex Hormones
Males and females have same sex hormones, but in different amounts
Male sexual behavior governed by:
Female sexual behavior governed by:
Sex hormones are produced by the adrenal glands and the gonads (testes- male, ovaries- female)
Amount of sex hormone present at any time is governed by the pituitary gland, which is ultimately controlled by the hypothalamus.
11. Men and Women Men and women do not differ in terms of intellectual function, but they do seem to differ in certain specific ways
Some of these differences can be linked to hormone levels
Example: Men tend to be superior on visual-spatial tasks. Women with high testosterone perform better on spatial task.
Sex hormones cause differences in behavior
Strong evidence comes from research on play.
Example: Females who have had prenatal exposure to high androgen levels show a tomboy pattern- rough, active outdoor play, high interest in practical clothing, boy toys and playmates.
Structural differences in the brain are due, at least in part, to the effects of sex hormones. These differences are small.
Critical period of development occurs either shortly before/after birth.
12. Sexual Orientation The Biological Component:
Premise 1: Sexual desire and romantic love are functionally independent
Premise 2: Romantic love is not intrinsically oriented to same-gender or other-gender partners.
Premise 3: The links between love and desire are bidirectional.
Heritability estimates account for only about 50% of same-sex orientation. (Twin studies)
Seem through twin studies.
Other hormonal effects on human sexuality are difficulty to assess because studies are dependent on “experiment of nature” to determine effects.
13. Sexual Orientation The Learned Component:
It is no longer self-evident that homosexuality is acquired or is the result of choice.
Learning plays an important role, but there is no clear explanation of how.
The Kinsey Institute Study
Sexual orientation is determined before adolescence.
Homosexual behavior emerges from homosexual feelings.
History of heterosexual experiences are found unsatisfying.
Identification with either parent played no significant role.
No evidence of any particular type of mother that produces homosexual children.
14. Sexual Orientation The Cognitive Component:
There is little or no evidence that homosexuality is actively chosen, except in unusual circumstances (prison)
Extensive evidence suggests cognitive factors play important role in how homosexuals come to think about/express themselves.
Case’s Six Stages of Homosexuality
Stage 1: Identity confusion. Stage 4: Identity acceptance.
Stage 2: Identity comparisons. Stage 5: Identity pride.
Stage 3: Identity tolerance. Stage 6: Identity synthesis.