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Sexual Intimacy

Sexual Intimacy

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Sexual Intimacy

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  1. Sexual Intimacy Chapter 6

  2. Sexuality Education • Sexuality plays critical role in healthy couple relationships • Evidence that sexual attitudes and behaviors differ in other countries • US society talks more openly about sex

  3. Sexual Relations

  4. Sexual Relationship Strengths Source: Adapted from Olson & Olson 2000

  5. Top Five Sexual Issues for Married Couples Source: Adapted from Olson & Olson, 2000 n=21,501 couples

  6. Sexuality Involves… • Beliefs • Values • Behaviors • Sexual Identity or Orientation: • Heterosexual/Homosexual • Bisexual • Transgender

  7. Gay and Lesbian Sexual Relations

  8. Gay and Lesbian Couples • Limited research on relational aspects • Challenges: • Decisions around “coming out” • Rejection from relatives • Exhibit similar satisfaction, relationship desires, and challenges as heterosexual couples

  9. Strengths Found in Gay and Lesbian Couples • Emotional connection with partner and others • Role flexibility • Egalitarian decision making • Positive parent/child relationships • Perceptive of psychological dynamics • Effective communication skills

  10. Sexuality and Culture

  11. Sexuality and Culture • Universally regulated • Influenced by cultural values and standards: • Attractiveness • Behaviors • Attitudes

  12. Female Circumcision • Common practice in Africa historically • Current times estimated 2 million girls a year • 6000 women a day • At minimum, clitoral hood destroyed • At extreme, infibulation—labia minora and majora also removed • Severe health consequences common

  13. HIV/AIDS Epidemic: More than 25 Years Later • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) • Virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) • United States • New drugs are slowing progression of virus • One-half million people in US died of virus in first 25 years • 73% male • World Wide • 37.8 million living with HIV/AIDS • 50% women • Cumulative number of AIDS deaths estimated at more than 20 million

  14. Understanding Sexual Relations and Behaviors

  15. Influential Large Scale Surveys • Survey Challenges • Expensive • Time consuming • Sensitive topics—often politically charged • Surveys • National Survey of Sexual Behavior • ABC News Survey

  16. National Survey of Sexual Behavior • Face to face interviews with 3,423 American men and women • General findings: • Monogamy prevalent • Married couples • More sex • More orgasms • Vaginal sex most popular • Adultery exception rather than rule

  17. Number of Sex Partners Among American Men and Women National Survey of Sexual Behavior, Michael et al, 1994

  18. Frequency of Sexual Activity in the United States National Survey of Sexual Behavior, Michael et al, 1994

  19. Sexual Practices Among American Men and Women Types of Behaviors Engaged in Past 12 months National Survey of Sexual Behavior, Michael et al, 1994

  20. ABC News Survey • Telephone poll of 1,501 randomly sampled American adults • General findings: • 43% men, 13% women thought about sex daily • 83% men, 59% women enjoyed sex a great deal • 8 median number of partners in lifetime for men; 3 for women • Men more liberal in attitudes and behaviors • Approximately half of the women report faking an orgasm

  21. Sex Education • Historically problematic in U.S. • High teen pregnancy rates • Irregular and ineffective use of contraception by teenagers • Limited parent-teen communication

  22. American Views … • National poll by Kaiser Family Foundation/ABC • General Findings: • 81% of parents favor broad sexuality programs • Programs should teach abstinence, but also prepare adolescents to use birth control and practice safe sex

  23. Sex Education Programs • Public support • Classes found in: • Public and private schools • Churches and synagogues • General agreement—sexuality education begins in home • Resistance or reluctance by parents often found however

  24. Effectiveness of Programs • DiCenso and colleagues analysis of 26 studies conclude current programs not effective • Multi-focus programs generally more successful than abstinence only

  25. Trends in Adolescent Sexual Activity • Decline in percent of males and females indicating they have had sex • Teenagers delaying sex until older • First intercourse associated with mixed emotions • 25% of teen females; 18% of teen males used no birth control at time of first intercourse • Condom most popular method

  26. Sexual Activity Among College Students • Alcohol use and risky behavior prevalent • High risk environments often found on campuses • e.g. fraternities/sororities • Changing attitudes toward greater acceptance

  27. Marital Sexual Behavior • Higher levels of sexual activity than divorced or singles • Family and home issues often conflict • “Double Income No Sex Dilemma” • Sex and intimacy important

  28. Complementary Couples Most common Sex low priority Conflict Minimizing Couples Male initiator Sex predictable Most stable Best Friend Couples Intimacy valued Sex energizes High expectations Emotionally Expressive Couples Full of feelings Passionate and fun Conflict often emotionally charged Marital Styles and Sexual Behavior McCarthy, 1999

  29. Infidelity • 25-year research study shows: • Attitudes related to actions • Attitudes differ based on culture, gender, relationship, behaviors • Attitudes/behaviors vary by country and culture • Men more likely to see love/sex distinction • Men more likely to engage in infidelity • Extramarital sex occurs in less than 25% of committed heterosexual relationships • Dissatisfaction with relationship increases infidelity potential • Three types: emotional, sexual, combined • Gay men less concerned about infidelity; lesbian couples less likely to experience infidelity

  30. Sexual Health

  31. Common Problems • Lack of interest • Inability to reach orgasm—women • Reaching orgasm prematurely—men Laumann, Gagnon, Michael & Michaels, 1994

  32. Sexual Dysfunctions • A state in which sexual behavior or lack of it causes: • emotional distress and/or • relationship difficulties • Causative categories: • Organic-physiological factors • Psychosocial-psychological or contextual factors

  33. Frequency of Sexual Problems Source: Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States, 1994

  34. Men Erectile dysfunction Premature ejaculation Ejaculatory incompetence Retarded ejaculation Painful intercourse Women Vaginismus Anorgasmia Rapid orgasm Painful intercourse Types of Sexual Dysfunctions

  35. Process of Sex Therapy • Learn about basic anatomy • Learn to identify feelings about ones body and attitudes toward sexuality • Learn to relax with partner • Learn body responses • Learn sexual techniques • Explore one’s body and partners • Develop and maintain new attitudes and techniques