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Chapter 7 Love and Communication in Intimate Relationships

Chapter 7 Love and Communication in Intimate Relationships

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Chapter 7 Love and Communication in Intimate Relationships

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  1. Chapter 7Love and Communication in Intimate Relationships

  2. What is Love? • Difficult to define • Special attitude with behavioral and emotional components • Different things to different people • Difficult to measure

  3. Rubin’s Love Scale • 13-item questionnaire • 3 components of love • Attachment • Caring • Intimacy

  4. Sternberg’s Triangular Theory • Passion, Intimacy, & Commitment are the three components of love • Passion builds then fades • Intimacy & Commitment continue to build • Variations in components yield different kinds of love • Intimacy alone = friendship • Passion alone = infatuation • Commitment alone = empty love

  5. Sternberg’s Triangular Theory

  6. Falling in Love • The chemistry of love • Neurotransmitters • Mentioned last class • Endorphins • Chemicals - euphoria, peace, tranquility • Loss of romantic love and neurotransmitter withdrawal

  7. Falling in Love: Proximity • Proximity • Mere exposure effect • Familiarity breeds predictability which leads to greater comfort • Greater proximity often reflects shared interests

  8. Falling in Love: Similarity • Similarity • Level of physical attractiveness • Age, educational status, and religion • Race and ethnicity • Why Similarity? • Share similar interests & activities • Communicate better • Confirm own views & experiences • Supportive of values & beliefs

  9. Falling in Love: Reciprocity • Reciprocity • When someone shows they like us, we tend to like them back • Increases in self-esteem • Increases likelihood of relationship enduring

  10. Falling in Love: Physical Attractiveness • Belief that “What’s beautiful is good” • Status by association • Most important in early stages • May be an indicator of physical health • Heterosexual males place greater emphasis on physical attractiveness

  11. Attachment • Intense emotional tie • Adult attachments are influenced by our attachment to caregiver in infancy

  12. Attachment • Attachment styles in Adulthood • Paired couples often are similar in their attachment styles • Attachment style affects interaction in relationship

  13. Attachment Styles and Relationships

  14. Issues in Loving Relationships • Relationship between love & sex • Relationship between the two is not always clear • Consider “hook-ups” and “friends with benefits” • Questions to ask: • Does sexual intimacy deepen a love relationship? • Do men and women have different views of sex & love? How does age impact this?

  15. Sexual Orientation and Attitudes about Love & Sex • Many people stereotype same-sex relationships as primarily sexual • Sex differences among lesbians and gay men are consistent with general sex difference in attitudes toward love and sex • Gay men are more likely than lesbians to separate love from sex • Lesbians more likely to postpone sex until intimacy has been established

  16. Jealousy in Relationships • Jealousy-prone person • Low self-esteem • High value on wealth and popularity • Negative consequences • Precipitates partner violence • Stifles relationship development • Raises anxiety, depression, anger • Sex differences • Women (her fault) • Men (partner or third person’s fault)

  17. Maintaining Relationship Satisfaction • Ingredients in a lasting love relationship • Self-acceptance • Appreciation of each other’s qualities • Commitment • Good communication, realistic expectations and shared interests • I versus You communication • Ability to face and deal with conflict • Know how to compromise

  18. Maintaining Relationship Satisfaction • Characteristics of high quality relationships • Supportive communication • Companionship • Sexual expression and variety • Although not always variety… • Seeing partner as best friend • Maintaining frequent positive interaction

  19. Maintaining Relationship Satisfaction • Individual and relationship growth • Growth and change maintain relationship • Overcome obstacles • View problems as challenges • Negotiate and renegotiate wants • Accept each other as unique

  20. Maintaining Relationship Satisfaction • Sexual Variety • Communication is critical • Listen to needs • Must communicate yours! No mind readers! • Be spontaneous • Sometimes need to plan for intimate time • Don’t worry about frequency “standards”

  21. Chapter 8Sexual Behaviors

  22. Celibacy • Types of Celibacy • Complete celibacy • Neither masturbates nor has sexual contact with another person • Partial celibacy

  23. Reasons for or Benefits of Celibacy • Religious, moral beliefs • Waiting for the appropriate person • Learning about other aspects of self • Health considerations • During substance abuse recovery

  24. Erotic Dreams • Expression and exploration of desires • Most males, two thirds females • Nocturnal orgasm • Both sexes • Women have higher frequency of intercourse and of orgasm with masturbation more likely aware

  25. Erotic Fantasy • Daydreams, masturbation, or during sexual encounters • 95% of women and men fantasize • Fantasy content among heterosexual and non-heterosexual individuals are similar, except for sex of imagined partner

  26. Sexual Fantasy • Function of sexual fantasies • Source of pleasure & arousal • Overcome sexual anxiety • Acceptable expression of socially unacceptable behavior • Gender similarities & differences • Women more likely to use romance • Men more likely to have domination fantasies • Women more likely to have submission fantasies

  27. Fantasies: Help or Hindrance? • Most research points to helpful • Healthy part of sexuality • May actually enhance a relationship • How might fantasies be harmful?

  28. Perspectives on Masturbation • Traditional Condemnation • Censured as non-procreational • Erroneous health concerns • Tissot, Graham, Kellogg • Contemporary research has established that it is not harmful • Differences by race, gender, education • White male, married, college grad

  29. Purposes for Masturbation • Relieves sexual tension • Means of self-exploration • Shared experience • Common among married couples • More frequent sex = more frequent masturbation • Not dissatisfaction • Assists in physical relaxation

  30. Self-Pleasuring Technique • Follow your moral values • Set aside adequate time & relax • Experiment with different types of touch

  31. Kissing and Touching • Kissing • Cross-cultural practices and attitudes toward kissing • Touching • Cornerstone of human sexuality • Whole body is responsive • Specific erogenous zones

  32. Touching: Manual Stimulation of Genitals • Individual differences with regard to manual stimulation • Most women need consistent touching through orgasm • Usually hand movements against mons and clitoris • Men may not like to be touched just after orgasm

  33. Gay Male Sexual Behaviors • Misconceptions • One “wears the dress” • Realities • Similar to noncoital heterosexual behaviors • Fellatio, mutual masturbation are most common • Compared to other men, gay men often have more diversity, self-expression, & personal enjoyment in their sexual contact

  34. Lesbian Sexual Expression • Misconceptions • Idea of wearing dildo • Artificial penis • Realities • Similar to noncoital heterosexual behaviors • Lesbian sexual relations tend to be longer and involve more all-over body sensuality

  35. Oral-Genital Stimulation • Types: cunnilungus & fellatio • Acceptance varies • 69 refers to simultaneous oral-genital stimulation

  36. Anal Stimulation • Prevalence is lower than other forms of sexual activity • Health risk (HIV, other infections) • Lubricants and gentle insertion needed • Bad idea to have vaginal sex after anal