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Week 1 notes
Psychology of Human Sexuality
Seth Kalichman
Class Notes




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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by AnnaCiara on Thursday January 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 2110 at University of Connecticut taught by Seth Kalichman in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 100 views. For similar materials see Psychology of Human Sexuality in Psychlogy at University of Connecticut.


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Date Created: 01/21/16
▯ PSYC 2110 Week 1 Lecture Notes ▯ Culture and Sexuality ▯ Cultural relativism: The belief that someone's original culture should be honored and allowed ▯ Cultural absolutism: The belief that people should follow the cultural norms of the current culture they are in. This belief may lead to intolerance of other/different cultures and is often avoided. It is easier to talk about "absolutes" that pertain to many/all cultures when discussing more biological/scientific topics. ▯ Euro centricity  Early sexuality research is often Eurocentric in that it has European/Western roots. It is important to recognize that this is a common perspective for the research but may not be completely inclusive of non- Western perspectives.  This belief is often dualistic in that many things are seen as "either-or" or "black or white" much is not all of sexuality is multidimensional (mostly continuous - not discrete) ▯ Sexuality today  Culture shapes people and people create culture  Sex has a reoccurring theme in: religion, politics, entertainment, marketing  Sex-related themes in a culture varies over history and continue to change o Sexuality in the media and on the internet  Social media, sexting, fusion of sex and violence o Expanding the global perspective  Increasing global awareness  Encouraging diversity  Recognizing sexual differences ▯ Sex refers to the biological aspects of being male or female  Generally categorized into male or female physiological/anatomical differences  However, a continuum does exist (intersex) ▯ Gender refers to socially constructed meaning of the psychological and anatomical sex differences  Multi-dimensional ▯ Common features of sexuality - 3 sections of this course  differentiation and development  biological bases   sexual relationships  behavior   sexual orientation and identity  pathologies - when things go wrong, things don't work, attracted to things that aren't human, when sex becomes interfaced with violence ▯ Biological bases  Anatomy/physiology  Body image  Attraction - templates, scripts, 'love maps'  Fantasy ▯ Sexual Self-identification  gender roles, sexual orientation, relationships with family and friends, perception and experience of self as male/female ▯ Sexual behavior: reproductive, conception and contraception, pleasure, intimacy, choice, responsibilities for choices ▯ Sexualization  Use of sexuality to influence, control or manipulate  Appearance and body language ▯ Pathologies  Diseases, disorders, clinical treatments  Sexual violence (social sexual pathology)  Sex therapy, the law = remedies for sexual pathologies ▯ Historical perspectives - Trends in sexual behaviors and attitudes  Historical analyses show little evidence of universal behaviors and customs ▯ Prehistoric sexuality  Female idolatry: idolizing the female  Phallic worship: penis represents power o Phallic symbol quite apparent  Incest taboo: the prohibition against intercourse and reproduction among close blood relatives present in some form in all human societies ▯ Ancient Hebrews  Emphasized procreative function of sex o Punishment for same-sex sexual relations o Adultery wasn't allowed (worse if committed by a women) o Polygamy, the practice of having 2+ spouses (wives) at the same time, was permitted o Most Hebrews were monogamous o Sex was a method of strengthening marriage and solidifying family o Women considered property of men ▯ Ancient Greeks  Valued family life  Admired male body of muscle and heath  Gods depicted as sexually adventurous  Considered men and women bisexual  Male-male sex considered normal - as long as it did not interfere with the family  Pederasty (love of boys) by older men accepted as long as boy was not prepubescent  Prostitution was common  Courtesans: prostitutes usually the mistress of a noble or wealthy man  Concubines: a secondary wife, usually of lower status ▯ Ancient Romans  Elite practiced sexual excesses i.e., orgies, bestiality, sadism  Some modern sexual terms have roman cultural roots: fellatio, cunnilingus, fornication  Family seen as the source of integrity of the roman empire and male-male sexual behavior was looked down on  Women considered husbands' property (reoccurring theme) ▯ Early Christians  If celibacy was not possible, sex was only allowed in marriage and was for procreation and not for pleasure (similar to ancient Hebrews)  Masturbation, prostitution, same-sex relations, oral-genital etc. considered sinful  Divorce was not allowed ▯ Hinduism  Hinduism views sex as a religious duty  Belief that sexual fulfillment can lead to reincarnation at a higher level  Kama Sutra ▯ Taoism  Chins - sex is a form of worship that leads to harmony with nature & immortality ▯ Commonality: all cultures talk about sex ▯ Islam  Social interactions between men and women restricted  Islamic tradition values marriage and sexual fulfillment in marriage only (sounds like Hebrews and Christians)  Based on Muhammad's Quran-an  Marital sex is to be treasured  Arranged marriages  Punishment for females adulterers and male homosexuals ▯ Middle ages  Conflicting views of women: sinful, as Eve, or saintful as Mary - this view elevated women's status ▯ Protestant Reformation  Priests allowed to marry and rear children  Sex not just for procreation ▯ Victorian Era  Women's place was in the home and fields  Sexuality was repressed o not discussed in public o women thought to have no sexual feelings o men thought to be drained of health and vitality by sex  despite these prohibitions - prostitution was quite common ▯ Scientific study of sexuality emerges out of Victorian era  began during Victorian era  the first sexologists ▯ Sex Researchers: ▯ Charles Darwin  Researched evolution  Lead to research on sexual reproduction and diversity of species  Sex is a means of survival - natural selection ▯ Richard con Krafft-Ebing (1840-1902)  Wrote Psychopathia Sexualis  4 classifications of pathology: sadism, masochism, fetishism, and homosexuality o Hold true today but are more expanded  Masturbation caused all sexual deviations ▯ Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)  Sexual development  Id impulses  pleasure principle  neuroses were produced by unconscious conflicts of a sexual nature  theory of infantile sexuality  adult sexual deviation were distortions of childhood sexual expression ▯ Magnus Hirshfeld (1868-1935)  German physician  advocate for sexual minorities  founded the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, the first advocacy group for homosexual and transgender rights ▯ Henry Havelock Ellis (1859-1939)  spent decades studying info on human sexuality in the western world and the sexual more other cultures wrote: Studies in the Psychology of Sex ▯ Theodor van de Velde (1873-1937)  Wrote 'Ideal Marriage' described a variety of coital positions  discussed oral sex and sexual problems ▯ Robert Lator Dickinson (1861-1950)  American obstetrician and gynecologist, surgeon, maternal heath educator, artist, sculptor and medical illustrator and research scientist  wrote a thousand Marriages documented how repressive sexual attitudes of childhood led to disastrous effects on adult sexual function ▯ Helena Wright (1887-1982)  British born known best for pioneering work in contraception and family planning  pioneer in the sexual liberation of women  wrote: The Sex Factor in Marriage ▯ Allred C. Kinsley (1894-1956)  entomologist who studied insect diversity  conducted the first extensive scientific descriptive research of human sexual behavior through sexual histories  ultimately made sex research more legitimate through applied statistical analysis  research had some inherent flaws  interviewed 16,000+ people about their sex lives  founded and directed Indiana University's Institute for Sex Research  Kinsey Scale - sexual orientation on a continuum. most people fall somewhere between


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