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Human Sexuality

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Human Sexuality

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Human Sexuality

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  1. Human Sexuality Love and Communication in Intimate Relationships

  2. Love • Considerable attention across disciplines • What is the nature of love? • “Love has been highly conceptualized and made very abstract” (Gage, 1976)

  3. What Love is NOT • NOT (Firestone, Firestone & Catlett, 2006): • Selfish • Possessive • Demanding • Proprietary right over others • Submissive/dominant • Coercive or manipulative

  4. Sexuality and Love • Not addressed in Kinsey’s research • Currently: • Numerous studies on love and sex

  5. Love • A complex emotion • The “paradox” of love: encompasses opposites

  6. Love and Sexuality • Often intertwined • For many, love legitimates sex outside of marriage • Sex as an expression of love; to deepen the relationship (Cupach, 1990; Henderson-King, 1994)

  7. Gender Differences:Sex and Love • Men: sex and love can be separated (Carroll, Volk, & Hyde, 1985) • Women: less likely to engage in casual sex: love and sex are more closely linked

  8. Sex and Love • Gay men: • Especially likely to separate sex and love • Intrinsic value to sex • Heterosexual men: similar? • Not as many willing partners (Blum, 1997)

  9. Sex and Love • Lesbian relationships: • Sex is less frequent among lesbian couples, comparatively (Schureurs, 1993) • More likely to postpone sex until emotional intimacy is developed

  10. Celibacy • Abstaining from sexual activity • Religious/spiritual dimensions, situational, personal, etc. • Enhanced appreciation of friendship functions of relationships

  11. Asexuality • Absence of sexual attraction to others, or no desire to act on attractions • 1% of the population • Underrepresented in research and movements • Capable of intimate relationships, free of sexuality; some prefer not to have relationships

  12. Asexuality • An orientation • Research: asexuality exists in the animal kingdom; sheep studies • The question of pathology

  13. Asexuality • Prause, 2003 • Asexual people report: • Low sexual desire • Low arousal/excitation • Many engage in masturbation

  14. Styles of Love • John Lee- sociologist • 6 basic styles of love: reflect relationship styles • Assumption: It is best when we share a relationship style with our partner

  15. Styles of Love • Mania: obsessive/possessive love; roller-coaster • Ludus: playful love: love is a game, not a deep emotion

  16. Styles of Love • Storge: love between companions: from friendship to romance • Agape: chaste, patient, undemanding love; the love of saints/martyrs

  17. Styles of Love • Pragma: practical/logical love; businesslike; looking for someone with specific characteristics • Hendrick & Hendrick: men are more ludic, women are more storgic/pragmatic

  18. Triangular Theory of Love • Robert Sternberg: 3 elements of love • Each will increase/diminish over the course of a relationship • Intimacy, Passion, and Commitment

  19. Kinds of Love: Sternberg • Liking (intimacy only) • Infatuation (passion only) • Romantic love (intimacy and passion)

  20. Kinds of Love • Companionate love (intimacy and commitment) • Empty love (commitment only) • Non love (absence of all three)

  21. Attachment Theory (Pistole, Clark & Tubbs, 1995) • Adults with: • Secure attachments: trusting, accepting, supportive; 56% of adults

  22. Attachment Theory • Anxious/Ambivalent attachments: afraid their partners would leave, want to commit prematurely; 19-20% of adults • Avoidant attachments: discomfort in close relationships; distrustful, fear dependence; 23-25% of adults

  23. Jealousy • Often confused with love • Jealousy is associated with immaturity and insecurity (Pistole, 1995) • Is jealousy ever beneficial?

  24. Jealousy • Often linked to relationship violence (Buss, 1999; Puente & Cohen, 2003) • Jealous aggression is often directed toward a partner (Paul & Galloway, 1994) • 31% of women and 17% of men had intentionally elicited jealousy in a relationship (Buss, 2000)

  25. Jealousy • Why do we become/want to make others jealous (Buss, 2000)? • Self esteem • Revenge • To increase a partner’s commitment • Test the strength of the relationship

  26. Jealousy • Generated by: • Personal insecurities/anxieties • Boundary violations in an relationship

  27. Lasting love • Intimate love: lasting love; counting on the other partner; both partners have individual and relationship goals • Consists of: • Commitment • Caring • Self-disclosure

  28. Communication • Active Listening: • Open postures/leaning in • Eye contact • Nodding • Reflection of content • Reflection of feelings

  29. Factors impacting communication • Personality • Relationship context • Culture • Subject matter

  30. Non-verbal communication • Most communication of feeling is nonverbal (Guffey, 1999) • Body posture and movements

  31. Nonverbal Communication • Eye contact and facial expressions • Interpersonal distance • Touching • Often overrides the verbal message

  32. Gender and Communication • Women- • More sensitive/responsive during conversation and conflicts • Set the emotional tone- escalate or deescalate conflicts with verbal and nonverbal messages • Use of emotional appeals and threats • Use of qualifying statements • (Gottman & Carre, 2000; Klintetob & Smith, 1996, Noller & Fitzpatrick, 1991)

  33. Gender and Communication • Men- • more likely to send negative messages, neutral messages, or to withdraw • Fewer words, more profanity

  34. Deborah Tannen • Gendered Communication:

  35. Deborah Tannen • Basic Premise: • There are gender differences in communication styles • These differences start in early childhood

  36. Boys/Girls • Boys: play in groups; activity-driven • Girls: best friends; relationship-driven

  37. Status and Connection • Men: power hierarchies: discourse is used to “one-up” or “one-down” each other • Women: collaborative: discourse to bring people closer or farther apart

  38. Meta-message • Meta-message: what messages do we take away from what we hear?

  39. Competitive/Cooperative • Both men/women are competitive and cooperative, but conversational rituals differ

  40. “I’m Sorry”… • Women are more likely to use this phrase • Sorry it happened, not taking blame • Men- more likely to ascribe blame when “sorry” is uttered

  41. Directness/Indirectness • Varies by gender based on context: • Women indirect when giving orders • Men indirect when describing emotional content

  42. Public/Private Discourse • Women: likely to try to engage men in private discourses • Men: more likely to dominate conversation publicly

  43. Qualifying Statements…. • Based on CONTEXT • Gender is one of many factors; • Ethnicity/culture • Age • Situation/context • Power