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Human Sexuality

Personality and Sexuality

Self-esteem

Higher SE appears to be related to more protective sexual behavior

More effective contraceptive behavior linked with higher SE

The relationship between SE and sexual behavior may be moderated by societal norms

In a group of sexually conservative women, those who were more permissive had lower SE In a group with moderate sexual attitudes, the correlation approaches zero

Extraversion

Extraverts tend to be more sexually permissive (need for arousal)

More pleasure oriented, higher novelty seeking, more interest in wider range of sexual activities More sexual partners, sex at a younger age, intercourse more frequently

Relationship may depend on age and/or status

No link between extraversion and satisfaction with sex life for married couples

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Self-monitoring

High self-monitors have large number of partners, anticipate more future sexual variety, and more willing to engage in sex without psychological "connection"

Sensation seeking

High sensation seeking associated with more permissive sexual attitudes and more sexual experiences and partners

Conscientiousness (Bogg & Roberts, 2004)

Low C associated with more partners, lack of protection, and risky acts/partners. No age differences. Self-control strongest predictor (r = -.15)

Locus of control

Efficient contraceptive use associated with internal locus of control

Gender and Sexuality

Men and women are similar on some dimensions

For both sexes, there is a relationship between the age of first sexual experience and number of partners No difference on communion (i.e., idealistic sexuality) or sexual practices (i.e., responsible sexuality)

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Men and women differ on many dimensions

Meta-analysis showed large differences on attitudes towards casual premarital sex and masturbation Men have sex at an earlier age and have more partners Women nearly twice as likely to have sex out of affection, whereas men nearly twice as likely to have sex for the first time because of curiosity and readiness Men are more permissive (i.e., open and casual) and women more sexually instrumental (i.e., egocentric)

Double standard?

Aguilera and Kim, 2004:

"If you look back in history It's a common double standard of society The guy gets all the glory the more he can score While the girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore"

Interestingly, in one study, both women and men were judged more favorably if they were in a committed relationship when they became sexually involved

Why do men and women differ?

Evolutionary perspective

Men maximize their reproductive success by impregnating as many women as possible Women maximize theirs by heavily investing in their children

Learning perspective

We learn the behavior associated with our sex

Men learn to be permissive, etc. Women learn to be sexually selective, etc.

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Measuring Sexual Attitudes

Sexual Attitudes Scale (Hendrick & Hendrick, 1986, 1990) Measures multiple dimensions, including four subscales

Permissiveness (sex without love is meaningless) Sexual practices (birth control is part of responsible sexuality) Communion (sex gets better as a relationship progresses) Sexual instrumentality (sex is primarily physical)

Validating the scale

Convergent validity

Permissiveness scale correlates with an existing measure of premarital sexual permissiveness (r = .63)

Discriminant validity

Of the other three subscales, the highest correlation with this existing permissiveness scale was .31

Criterion validity

High SE associated with permissiveness, sexual practices, and communion

Only in liberal areas because of norms; no relationship in moderate areas

Permissiveness highly correlated with sensation seeking Permissiveness positively correlated with masculinity and negatively correlated with femininity

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Information

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