Marriages and Families Intimacy, Diversity, and Strengths

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1 Marriages and Families Intimacy, Diversity, and Strengths Chapter 6 Sexual Intimacy David H. Olson John DeFrain Linda Skogrand 8e

2 Intimacy, strengths, and diversity Couple strengths and sexual issues Sex and society: An overview American sexual health and behavior Sexual behavior among adolescents and young adults Marital and extramarital sexual behavior Toward sexual health 6-2

3 Men and women differ in the importance they place on the sexual relationship Women view sex and love as highly connected Men separate love and sex Sexual attitudes and behaviors: Differ in different countries Are based on gender and the type of couple relationship 6-3

4 6-4

5 Source: Adapted from David H. Olson, Amy Olson-Sigg, and Peter J. Larson Ph.D., The Couple Checkup. Copyright 2008 by David H. Olson, Amy Olson-Sigg, and Peter J. Larson. Reprinted by permission of Thomas Nelson, Inc. 6-5

6 Sexuality: Set of beliefs, values, and behaviors defining each of us as a sexual being Sexual orientation: How a person identifies himself or herself Heterosexual: Sexual orientation toward members of the other sex Homosexual: Sexual orientation toward members of the same sex 6-6

7 Bisexual: Sexually oriented toward both sexes Transgender: Feel that assigned gender is false or incomplete description of themselves Sex: Refers either to being biologically female or male or to sexual activity Gender: Learned characteristics and behaviors associated with being male or female in a particular culture 6-7

8 Human sexual behavior and thinking about sex has been guided by: Religious teachings Cultural beliefs Advances in science led to a more technical approach to sex 6-8

9 Numbers have been increasing gradually Societal acceptance of gay and lesbian Challenges faced by gay/lesbians Decisions about coming out Rejection from parents and relatives 6-9

10 Emotional connection with partner and others High role flexibility Egalitarian decision making Positive parent/child relationships Psychological perception Effective communication skills 6-10

11 More upbeat in the face of conflict than heterosexual Use fewer controlling, hostile, and emotional tactics while communication More readily accept some degree of negativity without getting hurt feelings When unhappy, show low levels of physiological arousal 6-11

12 Unwillingness to be open about sexual orientation Less willing to be part of a research project Laws and policies along with prejudice and oppression Comparing gay and lesbian couple relationships to heterosexual relationships 6-12

13 Regulated across all cultures, but vary depending on the culture Common regulations regarding sexual behavior Incest taboos: Prohibition of intercourse between parents and children and between siblings Condemning of forced sexual relations 6-13

14 Standards of attractiveness Vary widely as cultures identify certain physical traits as attractive and valuable Sexual behavior Gender roles in sexual behavior and sexual techniques differ considerably Sexual attitudes Masturbation: Self-stimulation of genitals Same sex behavior Female circumcision in Africa Dangerous because many women get infected and die from the surgery Cultural change Beliefs and attitudes change with time 6-14

15 Virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) Destroys white blood cells and affects immune system Carried for years before symptoms appear Primarily transmitted through sex and injection drug use 6-15

16 General findings Vaginal intercourse is most common Partnered sexual relations begin at age 14 Sexual activity increases for 18 to 24 year olds Sexual activity declines in the 50s and continuing into older age Attributed to health issues and the loss of a partner 6-16

17 General findings 43% men, 13% women thought about sex daily 83% men, 59% women enjoyed sex On average, women reported 6 partners and men reported 20 Men more liberal in attitudes and behaviors Approximately half of the women report faking an orgasm 6-17

18 Majority of individuals seek A healthy and satisfying sex life and want to improve it Medical care for sexual dysfunction and take medications to enhance sexual functioning 6-18

19 Gay male couples are less likely to maintain monogamous relationships Differentiated by stigmatization that samesex relationships face in this culture 6-19

20 Source: From Boonstra (2007a), p

21 Long-term impact of teen pregnancy on child bearers More likely to have less education and less prestigious careers Less physically healthy Less likely to have stable marriages STI - Unintended consequence of sexual activity among adolescents Gonorrhea and chlamydia are common 6-21

22 Comprehensive approach - Stresses abstinence and responsible decision making Includes information on contraception and avoiding STIs Abstinence-only-until-marriage approach Nonmarital sex is immoral behavior and people should just say no 6-22

23 Good parental communication about sex Postpones a child s sexual activity Helps raise sexually responsible children Parents and teens are not able to talk about sex Worry about parent s reaction Embarrassment Don t know how to broach the subject 6-23

24 Comprehensive sex education helps: Delay the onset of sexual activity Reduce the frequency of sexual activity Reduce the number of sexual partners Increase condom and contraceptive use Little evidence about effectiveness of abstinence-only programs 6-24

25 Effects of alcohol Having multiple or casual sex partners Failing to discuss risk issues before having sex and decision to have sex itself Inconsistent use of condoms and birth control 6-25

26 6-26

27 More satisfying Becomes more meaningful as the strength of the partnership grows Sex drive may slowly diminish as a result of: Hectic life DINS dilemma: Double income, no sex Sheer fatigue and boredom Requires clear communication to maintain a satisfying relationship 6-27

28 Complementary couples Each partner has power in certain domains and moderate levels of intimacy Sex is low on priority Conflict-minimizing couples Most stable couple style and have traditional roles Sex is predictable 6-28

29 Best-friend couples - Consider friendship as a strong foundation of their marriage Sex energizes the relationship Difficult style to maintain and has a high rate of divorce Emotionally expressive couples - Full of feelings i.e. intense love and anger Sex occurs as a way of making up from conflict 6-29

30 Climate develops for infidelity to occur Betrayal Revelation Admission of a crisis in the marriage Partners make a decision Forgiveness 6-30

31 Common problems among women Lack of interest Inability to reach orgasm Common problems among men Reaching orgasm prematurely Anxiety about their sexual performance 6-31

32 State in which sexual behavior or the lack of it causes anxiety, anguish, and frustration Leads to unhappiness and distress Causes Psychological disorder Developmental disorder Personal factors 6-32

33 Low sexual desire: Desire to have sex is low or absent Sexual arousal disorder: Unable to maintain arousal during sexual activity or become aroused Orgasmic disorder: Inability to experience orgasm Sexual pain disorder: Pain during sex 6-33

34 Causes Physical conditions Hormonal conditions Psychological and social causes 6-34

35 Erectile dysfunction: Inability to achieve or maintain an erection firm enough for intercourse Premature ejaculation: Rapid ejaculation Orgasmic dysfunction: Prolonged and strenuous effort to reach orgasm Painful intercourse: Pain during sex 6-35

36 Process of learning the gentle art of lovemaking Sex educators: Work with larger groups of people and teach general information and principle Sex therapists: Work with individuals or couples and focus more on individual concerns and problems 6-36

37 Learning more about basic anatomy and one s true feelings are about the body Learning basic attitudes toward sex and sexuality Learning to relax with a partner and to get in a sexually responsive mood Learning to sense one s own body and how the setting affects the body s responses Learning sexual techniques Exploring one s own and partner s body 6-37

38 Behavioral exercises - Help enrich and expand sexual awareness and enjoyment Sensate focus The stop-and-go technique The squeeze technique 6-38

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