Many societies around the world have different attitudes about premarital sex, the age of sexual consent, homosexuality, masturbation, and other sexual behaviors that are not consistent with universally cultural norm. It has simultaneously positive and negative effects. On one hand, it encourages the sharing of perspectives and medical advancements that can help societies to adopt sexual norms and beliefs that are compatible with a healthy life. However, it facilitates the spread of disease and reduces cultural diversity in the human sexual experience. Hopefully, through collaboration between industrial and developing nations, both healthy sexuality and gender equality will, in the future, become a part of every distinct society, and discrimination will become a rarity in the lives of individuals who belong to stigmatized groups such as homosexuals, transgendered and victims of HIV/AIDS.
‘Understanding different perspectives and factors involved in human sexuality based on Asian and Western cultures’
Many societies around the world have different attitudes about premarital sex, the age of sexual consent, homosexuality, masturbation, and other sexual behaviors that are not consistent with universally cultural norms (Widmer, 1998). At the same time, sociologists have learned that certain norms (like disapproval of incest) are shared among most societies. Likewise, societies generally have norms that reinforce their accepted social system of sexuality. What is considered ‘normal’ in terms of sexual behavior is based on the mores and values of the society. Societies that value monogamy, for example, would likely oppose extramarital sex. Individuals are socialized to sexual attitudes by their family, education system, peers, media, and religion. Historically, religion has been the greatest influence on sexual behavior in most societies, for example a country like
China is more tolerant of premarital sex than among western cultures.
Chinese are more traditional than Western people. Talking about sex is controversial. Whenever sex is mentioned, Chinese people usually consider it as being in bad taste. This tradition causes the lack of education about sex issues. Recently a couple married for many years went to see a doctor for infertility. Both were in good health, but to the doctor’s surprise, the couple had never made love. This is one of the extreme cases, but it shows some people really have no knowledge about sex.
Some young unmarried women had no idea before they became pregnant, and had to undergo abortions, which could have been avoided if they knew better. Moreover, the lack of knowledge about sex could also lead to the spread of venereal diseases and AIDS. So sex education is urgently needed in China. Young people need to learn what love is and how to protect themselves. They thought knowing too much about the body and sex will bring an end to romance. “Too much contact to sex is the plague spot for girls or boys,” a guy in campus stressed.
In china it seems that polygamy was allowed during ancient times. A comparative study showed Chinese college students having more conservative attitudes towards dating and sexuality than American college students. Chinese college students dated less frequently, starting at an older age and were also less likely to have sexual relationships. Only 32 percent of the Chinese respondents reported ever having dated and their medium age for the first date were 18 years old. Of the total Chinese college students only 20 percent had experienced intercourse. Among the American college students 65 percent reported to have dated with a medium age for first date as 15 years old and 55 percent of the total of the American college students had experienced intercourse (Tang, 2000).
The Chinese concept of masculinity and femininity differs from western culture. Western masculinity is formed by the image of ‘the macho-man’ defined as tough, courageous and adventurous, with a tendency more towards physical acts then oral expressions of thought. Although there is a ‘macho tradition’ in China, it is counterbalanced by a softer cerebral male tradition defined foremost by the ideal of a talented scholar and a cultural man (Louie, 2002).
The female sexuality was mostly defined in relation to masculinity and did not exist in itself outside the context of the heterosexual relationship. The male’s desire was described as sudden and powerful whereas the female’s desire as to be responsive and gentle (Evans, 1995). There are many factors that affect sexuality in China. Poverty, psychological factors, genes and culture are some of the factors. Poverty and lack of knowledge leads to prostitution.
Biological perspective: Studies role of genes, hormones, the nervous system, and other biological factors in sexuality and mechanisms of arousal and reproduction are the biological perspectives of sexuality.
Psychological perspective: Psychological influences on that affect our sexual behavior and our experience of being male or female, e.g.
Sociocultural perspective: it is the sum of the cultural and social influences that affect our thoughts and actions. The influences of it includes: religion, multiculturalism, socioeconomic status, ethics, the media and politics.
In different cultures they have different perspectives regarding sex. For example in Chinese culture they don’t talk about sex to each other. It could be because of maybe mostly because of their religious beliefs and their cultural demands. They do not have sex before marriage and its known as a sinful act to be intimate with a partner before marriage. However it is not a sinful act in western culture to be intimate with a partner before marriage.
Scientific methods used to study sexuality
Scientific methods used to study sexuality include:
Case study: in depth studies of individuals or small, select groups of individuals; usually followed over a period of months or years
‘ Case studies provide a chance to look at specific behaviors or characteristics in great depth
‘ Since they cover a relatively long period of time, one can investigate cause-&-effect relationships in detail (sex offenders, people with sexual-response difficulties)
Survey research : surveys asking people about sexual attitudes & experiences; done orally in face-to-face interviews or in written form as part of a questionnaire
‘ Surveys are used when information from a large number of people is needed
‘ The interview allows the interviewer to explain the purpose & value of the survey, to clarify & explain the questions & to report answers clearly
Questionnaire method: questioners are less expensive than interviews, which require many people to conduct them
‘ Questionnaires filled out at convenience makes people feel more relaxed & reinforces anonymity; privacy may also ensure more honest answering
‘ Questionnaire eliminates subject’s being influenced by interviewers facial expressions or bodily gestures
Direct observation: method in which subjects are watched in lab, class, natural setting or workplace; accurate way to collect sexual info, especially if researcher controls setting
‘ An example is the work of Masters & Johnson
‘ Major drawback is required expenditure of time & money; also people may be reluctant to perform sexual activity in lab where they are being observed
‘ Some people question ethics of participating in observational research as researcher or as subject
‘ Must always ask whether sexual responses in such a setting mirror those in privacy of home (normal environment)
Experimental research: behavior studied under controlled conditions; match 2 groups& compare them; groups are identical except for one important difference
‘ The experimental group is subjected to a particular event or condition, whereas the control group is not
‘ Both groups are observed & the results are compared to determine whether the experimental condition had an effect
Gender difference between gender identity and sexual orientation
Sexual orientation” is the preferred term used when referring to an individual’s physical and/or emotional attraction to the same and/or opposite gender. “Gay,” “lesbian,” “bisexual” and “straight” are all examples of sexual orientations. A person’s sexual orientation is distinct from a person’s gender identity and expression. The term “gender identity,” distinct from the term “sexual orientation,” refers to a person’s innate, deeply felt psychological identification as a man, woman or some other gender, which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned to them at birth (e.g., the sex listed on their birth certificate)
Factors effecting gender roles in Asian and Western cultures
Normally in western cultures men and women are treated equally, however in Asian cultures it is not quite like that. In Chinese culture gender roles are very much specific: women stay at home and take care of children, and men go to work and earn money for the family. The history and culture that affects gender role in Western cultures.
Biological factors affecting human sexuality and how it shapes a person’s sexuality regardless of the culture
Three main biological factors that affect human sexuality are hormonal factors, physical factors and Health or medication-related factors.
Hormonal factor: hormones play a very important role in forming human sexuality. Those factors are estrogen and testosterone levels which are very important to sexuality and being able to orgasm.
Physical factor: Rubbing or other less direct stimulation of the clitoris is usually the easiest way for a woman to have an orgasm so vaginal penetration alone plays a very important role in it.
Health or medication-related factors: Other different health or medication related factors can also influence human sexual response by affecting vaginal lubrication, vaginal muscle strength, penile erections, or blood flow to the genital area which could cause sexual behaviors.
‘Factors effecting relationship and sexual behaviors’
There are many reasons that we choose to start and continue only a specific relationship. Social exchange theory says that the relationships we prefer to create and maintain are the relationships that maximize our rewards and minimize our costs. As per to this, we are more self-centered and not necessarily worried with equality. The basic thought is that relationships that provide us the most benefits for the least amount of attempt are the ones we value the most and are probably to keep long-term. (Long-Crowell)
However the triangular theory explains that, love is made up of three components: passion, intimacy, and commitment. Sternberg identifies eight types of love, which can be characterized as various combinations of these three basics. For example, non-love, the relationship that you have with an acquaintance, is characterized by the complete absence of passion, commitment and intimacy. The other seven types of love have at least one component. Let’s go over the individuality of each type.
1. Liking: Liking is at the first point of the triangle as it involves intimacy only. Love of this type is characterized by trust and a feeling of closeness. Normal friendship is the perfect example of this type of love for the reason that even though you like your friends, the relationship lacks long-term commitment and passion.
2. Infatuated love: Infatuation is at the left point of the triangle which involves just passion. It’s characterized by sexual arousal and physical attraction. This type of love usually occurs at the beginning of a relationship. In reality, it’s usually what people call ‘love at first sight’. Moreover, infatuated love lacks commitment and emotional closeness. If neither develops, this relationship is normally short-lived and superficial. Whirlwind romances and Summer flings are good examples of this type of love.
3. Empty love: It’s at the right point of the triangle and is distinguished by a strong commitment to maintaining the relationship, as empty love lacks sexual attraction and emotional closeness.
4. Romantic love: The presence of both emotional intimacy and sexual passion. Normally in type love the couple feels when their relationship is blossoming; they are attracted to each other physically, but also feel like best friends and take pleasure in spending time together.
5. Companionate love: it is characterized by the presence of both emotional intimacy and commitment. This love is typically found in older relationships, for example long-term marriages, where the passion has died, but the couple still feels a deep emotional bond and commitment. Companionate love is generally long lasting and can be a very satisfying relationship.
6. Fatuous love: the presence of both sexual passion and commitment. Fatuous love is also called fantasy love as it’s almost like the couple wants to be in love, but there is no real emotional bond.
7. Consummate love: it is the ultimate form of love. Though it is the ultimate form of love it is not easily achieved and maintained.
The six types of love found in adult relationships
1. Eros: is romantic, passionate, love.
2. Ludus: is a game-playing or uncommitted love.
3. Storge (STORE-gay): is a slow developing, friendship-based loved.
4. Pragma: is a pragmatic, practical, mutually beneficial relationship
5. Mania: is an obsessive or possessive love, jealous and extreme.
6. Agape (a-GOP-aye): is a gentle, caring, giving type of love, brotherly love, not concerned with the self.
Factors effecting and maintaining adult relationship
The main factors to maintain a relationship include attraction, similarity and reciprocity. Attraction occurs when proximity, interaction and mere exposure are present. Proximity is the physical familiarity between two people. People are more likely to become friends with people who are geographically close. For example the more you see the person the more you might that person attractive. Similarity described as the common behaviors or interest you find in another person which bring you closer to that person. . Similarity is one of the most powerful forces behind attraction and the creation of close relationships reciprocity is when you find a person like you, you naturally tend to like that person which leads to higher level of trust and last longing relationships.
Types of sexual behaviors found in human
The differnt types of sexual behaviors found in human include:
1. Erotic dreams: If we have deep desires to do definite things, they are highly likely to come out in our dreams; where our consciences cannot prevent them happening. It is also known as expression and discovery of desires taking place within the mind.
2. Celibacy: describes a physically mature person who does not engage in sexual behavior. The reasons for this could be the moral and religious belief, health consideration, waiting for the right person and also substance abuse could be a reason. Also it could be that the person is learning about the other aspects of self or he could be engaged with other more important things. There are two types of celibacy:
‘ Complete celibacy: individual neither masturbates nor has sexual contact with another person.
‘ Partial celibacy: individual masturbates but does not have sexual contact w/another person.
3. Erotic fantasy: 95% of women and men fantasize. It is also a source of pleasure and arousal. People fantasize to overcome the sexual anxiety and it is known a forbidden desires.
4. Masturbation: ‘ it is a self pleasuring technique. Masturbation is known as touching and rubbing your penis or clitoris, vulva and breasts for sexual pleasure or to rub someone else’s sexual organs in order to give them sexual pleasure. Freud acknowledged that masturbation wasn’t harmful, but said that it led to ‘immature sexual development. In Roman Catholic Church considers masturbation to be an “intrinsically and seriously disordered act.” The researches have now shown that masturbation is harmless unless it is related to obsessive compulsive disorder.
5. Kissing and touching: the whole body is responsive in this behavior. Lips and mouth have many nerve endings therefore, lips are very sensitive. Kissing might not be always sexual, kissing is not culturally universal. It influences the course of a romantic interaction. Touching is the main source of sexuality. A certain sensitive zones in the body which helps to pleasure one’s self. Other type of touching is tribadism, rubbing vulva against other person’s gentile. There are individual differences regards to manual stimulation. Men may not like to be touched just after an orgasm but where as women needs constant touching throughout the orgasm.
6. Tantric intercourse: ‘ Focus is on spiritual enlightenment and shared intimacy Begun in India around 5000 BC. It is synchronized breathing, meditation; also there is deep level of intimacy. It is a very minimal thrusting, control & delay of orgasm.
Sexual orientations found in human
It is known as the gender which the person is attracted to.Everyone has a sexual orientation and a gender identity.
‘ Heterosexual (straight): individuals who are attracted to the opposite sex is known as heterosexual people.
‘ Homosexual (gay, lesbians): people who are attracted to the same sex are called as homosexual people.
‘ Bisexual: people who are attracted to the both same and opposite sex.
‘ Queer: individuals who are attracted to the same or both sexes and/or transgendered people.
‘ Asexual: people who do not experience any sexual attractions.
Factors affecting sexual orientation
Human sexuality is an intricate term, which covers aspects that need to be analyzed individually. It is very difficult to determine how many people identify with a specific sexual orientation, and the numbers have varied substantially across cultures and across history. There are several factors that are said to contribute to one’s sexuality. Such factors include biological, social, and psychological.
Biological factors: Biological factors are said to be influential in a way based on studies and experiments on non-heterosexual individuals. Many believe that studies such as these prove that biological factors do play a role in one’s sexual orientation. Studies of twins shows that genetics might play a role in sexual orientation. If one identical male twin is homosexual, his brother has about a 50% chance of also being homosexual (Kirk, 2000). Epigenetics may also play a role in the development of sexual orientation. Epigenetics is changes in the way genes perform without any changes taking place in the underlying DNA. In other words, genes can turn on and off throughout development and later life. Epigenetic changes that affect receptors for androgens (male hormones) during fetal development might account for different patterns of adult sexual orientation (Rice, 2012). Levels of prenatal hormones may also play a role in sexual orientation. Women with a situation known as congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) are exposed to unusually high levels of male hormones as fetuses. This condition can not only effect in ambiguous, masculinized external genitalia, though women with this condition are more likely than other women to describe themselves as lesbians or bisexuals. Numerous brain structures known to have different volumes in males and females also appear to have different volumes in homosexual males and heterosexual males.
According to other researchers, the psychological and sociological factors are the biggest influence in establishing one’s sexuality. The environments and one’s living conditions while growing up help dictate his or her sexuality. Some say that a girl who has 6 brothers and no sisters will have a likelihood of being a lesbian, when she grows up. Some likewise say that when a boy does not fatherly figure while growing up, he has the chance of becoming a homosexual in his adult years. Social/environmental factors include:, place of birth. Children born in urban settings could increase the probability of homosexuals. Also places like Samoan, where in some families boys are raised as girls and they are called as ‘fa’fafine’.
Psychological factors are those, which the mind produces. Such factors can only affect a person if the person lets it affect him/her. Psychological factors include child who is being abused by opposite gender could increase the chances of her being a homosexual. For example, a girl being raped by a family member or a stranger might an influence for her being a lesbian in future. The reason for this could be her being uncomfortable with men because of the flash back from her childhood abuse. Also it could change the way how she thinks about men.
Contraception is ways in which a woman can control or prevent pregnancies. There are various methods to prevent pregnancies. There are three general strategies why people use contraception.
‘ Prevent ovulation
‘ Prevent fertilization
‘ Prevent implantation
The different types of contraception methods include:
I. Barrier method: this method is used to prevent the sperm from entering the uterus. The ways or things used in this method include:
‘ Male condom
‘ Female condom
‘ Cervical caps
II. Hormonal method: in this method hormones are released so that the egg won’t release. The things used to release these hormones include:
‘ Vaginal rings
III. Intra Uterine Devices (IUD) method: it is a small T-shaped device with a copper wire that is inserted to uterus. It will change the chemistry in the uterus and destroys sperm. It is a long term reliable method to prevent pregnancy.
IV. Natural method: it is the highest effective natural way of preventing pregnancy. In this way the woman find out the fertile phase of their menstrual cycle and on those days woman avoid intercourse to prevent pregnancy.
V. Emergency contraceptive methods: in this method the woman take pills after unprotected sex. These pills should be taken within 72 hours. For example I-pill, plan B.
Factors and different stages of human pregnancy
There are many factors that contribute human pregnancy. That include:
1. Contraceptive failure: failure of one of those contraception methods mentioned abouve could lead to a woman to an unwanted pregnancy.
2. Sex education: this is another reason that could lead to an unwanted pregnancy. In rural areas sex is an unspoken word where traditional method is only the means of preventing pregnancy.
3. Absent parental guidance: sometimes parents avoid the sex topic which discourages the children to ask and get information about sex. Also sometimes parents give false information about it, which is confusing to the children and that might lead to an unwanted pregnancy.
4. Peer pressure: early dating is a factor that contributes to teen pregnancy.
5. Socio economic factor: women who are from low class families are more likely to get pregnant.
6. Abuse/rape: it is one main reason of getting pregnant especially in adolescents.
Pregnancy and stages of pregnancy
Your baby form as a tiny cluster of cells, but during the nine-month development of pregnancy it becomes an amazing baby with facial features, a beating heart and kicking legs. Stages of pregnancy are divided into three trimesters. (Womenhealth, 2010)
First trimester: During the first trimester your body undergoes lots of changes. Hormonal changes have an effect on almost every organ system in your body. These changes can cause symptoms even in the very first weeks of pregnancy. Your period stopping is a obvious sign that you are pregnant. Other changes may include:
‘ Swollen and Tender breasts. Your nipples might also stick out.
‘ Trouble stomach with or without throwing up (morning sickness)
‘ Cravings or dislike for certain foods
‘ Mood swings
‘ Need to pass urine more often
‘ Weight loss or gain
While your body changes, you may require to make changes to your daily routine, such as going to eating frequent or bed earlier, small meals. Luckily, most of these discomforts will go away as your pregnancy progresses. Some women might not feel any discomfort at all! If you have been pregnant before, you might feel differently this time around. Just as each woman is different, so is each pregnancy. (Womenhealth, 2010)
Second trimester: for most of them the second trimester of pregnancy easier than the first. You might notice that symptoms like fatigue and nausea are going away. Though other new, more obvious changes to your body are now happening. Your abdomen will expand as the baby continues to grow. You will feel your baby beginning to move! (Womenhealth, 2010)
As your body changes to make room for your growing baby, you may have:
‘ Body pains, such as abdomen, back, groin, or thigh pain
‘ Stretch marks on your thighs, abdomen, breasts, or buttocks
‘ Darkening of the nipple
‘ A line on the skin running from belly button to pubic hairline
‘ Patches of darker skin, on the cheeks, nose, forehead or upper lip.
‘ Tingling or numb hands called carpal tunnel syndrome
‘ Itching on the abdomen, palms, and soles of the feet.
‘ Swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face.
Third trimester: in third trimester you’re in the home stretch! Some of the similar discomforts you had in your second trimester will go on. Plus, many women find breathing difficult and notice they have to go to urinate even more often. This is because the baby is getting bigger and it is putting more pressure on your organs.
Some new body changes you might see in the third trimester include:
‘ Shortness of breath
‘ Swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face.
‘ Tender breasts, which may leak a watery pre-milk called colostrum
‘ Your belly button may stick out
‘ Trouble sleeping
‘ The baby “dropping”, or moving lower in your abdomen
‘ Contractions, which can be a sign of real or false labor
As you near your due date, your cervix becomes thinner and softer (called effacing). This is a normal, natural process that helps the birth canal (vagina) to open during the birthing process. (Womenhealth, 2010)
Sexual behavior during infancy, childhood and adolescents
Like all forms of human development, sexual development begins at birth. Sexual development includes not only the physical changes that occur as children grow, as well as the sexual knowledge and beliefs they come to learn and the behaviors they show. Any given child’s sexual knowledge and behavior is strongly influenced by:
‘ The child’s age
‘ What the child observes (including the sexual behaviors of family and friends)4
‘ What the child is taught (including cultural and religious beliefs concerning sexuality and physical boundaries)
Sexual development starts to begin a child’s very first years. Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and young school-aged kids develop a physical foundation and emotional for sexuality in many subtle ways as they grow. Babies’ earliest emotional attachments are started with their parents through physical contact that expresses their love. Being held and touched, hugged and kissed, snuggled and tickled allows babies to experience comforting, positive physical sensations associated with being loved.
By age 2 or 3, a child starts to develop a sense of being a male or female. This awareness is called gender identity. Kids this age start to understand the difference between boys and girls, and can identify themselves as one or the other. Common behaviors found in this age include:
‘ Exploring and touching private parts, in public and in private
‘ Rubbing private parts (with hand or against objects)
‘ Showing private parts to others
‘ Trying to touch mother’s or other women’s breasts
‘ Removing clothes and wanting to be naked
‘ Attempting to see other people when they are naked or undressing (such as in the bathroom)
‘ Asking questions about their own’and others”bodies and bodily functions
‘ Talking to children their own age about bodily functions such as ‘poop’ and ‘pee’
By 4 to 6 years kids By preschool, most kids have developed a strong sense of being a boy or girl, and continue to explore their bodies even more purposefully. It’s not a good idea to scold them when they touch themselves ‘ this will only prompt a sense of guilt and shame (Steven Dowshen, 2011). The sexual behaviors include:
‘ Attempting to see other people when they are naked or undressing
‘ Mimicking dating behavior (such as kissing, or holding hands)
‘ Talking about private parts and using ‘naughty’ words, even when they don’t understand the meaning
‘ Exploring private parts with children their own age (such as ‘playing doctor’, ‘I’ll show you
‘ mine if you show me yours,’ etc.)
Children who are at the age of puberty are mostly interested in pregnancy, birth, and gender roles ‘ boys usually play with boys, and girls with girls. This is also the age where their peers and the media begin to have a bigger influence on sexual attitudes. (Steven Dowshen, 2011) The sexual behaviors found in this age include:
‘ Purposefully touching private parts (masturbation), usually in private
‘ Playing games with children their own age that involve sexual behavior (such as ‘truth or dare’, ‘playing family,’ or ‘boyfriend/girlfriend’)
‘ Attempting to see other people naked or undressing
‘ Looking at pictures of naked or partially naked people
‘ Viewing/listening to sexual content in media (television, movies, games, the Internet, music, etc.)
‘ Wanting more privacy (for example, not wanting to undress in front of other people) and being reluctant to talk to adults about sexual issues
‘ Beginnings of sexual attraction to/interest in peers
As kids continue to understand and experience their bodies, and the physical changes of puberty emerge, your attitude and acceptance will continue to play an important role in their healthy development.
During this time children wants to experience different things like intercourse, kissing and hugging and it could go to as far as intercourse. During this time they wants to experiments different things and same-sex experience is one of the major thing. They undergoes physical and emotional changes, he or she seeks out relationships that enhance efforts to adapt to new needs and stresses. Adolescents seek to share their thoughts and feelings with those who are experiencing similar changes. When they reach adulthood, these relationships changes and new different relationships are formed. There are different forms of adult relationships. Those are:
I. Singlehood: In this relationship they are no with anyone and so there is no commitment. This is mostly because of the carrier. These individuals are very carrier oriented so they don’t have time for anything else. Many claim that singlehood gives them personal control over their living space and freedom from interpersonal obligations. Many are sexually active, with the preferred sexual activities for singles remaining the same as those for other adults. Some singles choose celibacy(abstaining from sexual relationships).
II. Cohabitation: cohabitation is basically living together as a couple without a marrying. Cohabitation benefits both the individual as the living cost could be divided among both of them and they both can leave the relationship at anytime. Many people claim that cohabitation is a test for marriage, though no solid evidence supports the idea that cohabitation increases later marital satisfaction.
III. Marriage: Marriage is living together as a couple with a legal document Marriage can be advantageous. Married people tend toward healthier and happier lives than their never’married, divorced, and widowed counterparts. On average, married males live longer than single males. Marriages seem happiest in the early years; although marital satisfaction increases again in the later years after parental responsibilities end and finances stabilize.’
IV. Divorce: When significant problems in a relationship arise, some couples decide on divorce, or the legal termination of a marriage. Both the process and aftermath of divorce place great stress on both partners. Divorce can lead to increased risk of experiencing financial hardship, developing medical condition. Almost half of the first marriages end in divorce. There are many reasons for this. One is high expectation of marital and sexual fulfillment.
V. Widowhood: in this type of relationship the widow is still interested in sex thought she/he don’t have any partner.
VI. Friendship: friends play an important role in the lives of young adults. Most human relationships, including casual acquaintances, are nonloving in that they do not involve true passion, commitment, or intimacy. Adult friendships tend to be same’sex, non’romantic relationships. Friends provide a healthy alternative to family members and acquaintances. They can offer emotional and social support, a different perspective, and a change of pace from daily routines.
VII. Extramarital affair: Severe problems in a marriage may lead one or both spouses to engage in extramarital affairs. Nonconsensual extramarital sexual activity (not agreed upon in advance by both married partners) constitutes a violation of commitment and trust between spouses.
The sexual behaviors change throughout you life span. It is normal that during adolescents and early adulthood you’re sexually active than when you are older. Aging brings dramatic changes and that sexuality is not a topic that concerns older adults to any great degree. Once it was thought that older people didn’t have sex, but we now know that people are sexually active throughout their lives. Sometimes, however, events bring about a dramatic shift in awareness and understanding. Closeness and connection are just as important later in life as they are earlier The highly-publicized events following the release of the medication Viagra (sildenafil) provided a vivid example of such an event. It is proven that older adults are vitally concerned with sexuality.
Decrease in sexuality is due to many factors. For example for men it could be erectile difficulties, health problems and lack of desire. For women it could be due to health reasons, lack of desire, loss of partner, hormonal changes linked to menopause.
The four types of phase difficulties and methods used to treat them.
Sexual dysfunction refers to a problem occurring during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual or couple from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual activity. While research suggests that sexual dysfunction is common (43 percent of women and 31 percent of men report some degree of difficulty), it is a topic that many people are hesitant to discuss. Fortunately, most cases of sexual dysfunction are treatable, so it is important to share your concerns with your partner and health care provider.
What are the types of sexual dysfunction?
Sexual dysfunction generally is classified into four categories:
‘ Desire disorders: lack of sexual desire or interest in sex
‘ Arousal disorders: inability to become physically aroused or excited during sexual activity
‘ Orgasm disorders: delay or absence of orgasm (climax)
‘ Pain disorders: pain during intercourse
These dysfunctions are caused due to physical and psychological disorders. Most types of sexual dysfunction can be corrected by treating the underlying physical or psychological problems. Other treatment strategies include:
Medication: When a medication is the cause of the dysfunction, a change in the medication may help. Men and women with hormone deficiencies may benefit from hormone shots, pills or creams. For men, drugs including sildenafil (Viagra) may help improve sexual function by increasing blood flow to the penis.
Mechanical aids: Aids such as vacuum devices and penile implants may help men with erectile dysfunction (the inability to achieve or maintain an erection). Dilators may help women who experience narrowing of the vagina.
Sex therapy: Sex therapists can be very helpful to couples experiencing a sexual problem that cannot be addressed by their primary clinician. Therapists are often good marital counselors as well. For the couple who wants to begin enjoying their sexual relationship, it is well worth the time and effort to work with a trained professional.
Behavioral treatments: These involve various techniques, including insights into harmful behaviors in the relationship or techniques such as self-stimulation for treatment of problems with arousal and/or orgasm.
Psychotherapy: Therapy with a trained counselor can help a person address sexual trauma from the past, feelings of anxiety, fear or guilt, and poor body image, all of which may have an impact on current sexual function.
Education and communication: Education about sex, and sexual behaviors and responses may help an individual overcome his or her anxieties about sexual function. Open dialogue with your partner about your needs and concerns also helps to overcome many barriers to a healthy sex life.
Types of sexually transmitted diseases and their treatments
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that can be transmitted through sexual contact with an infected individual. These are also termed sexually transmitted infections or STIs. STDs can be transmitted during vaginal or other types of sexual intercourse including oral and anal sex. The causative organisms behind STDs include:
‘ Viruses such as HIV virus, hepatitis B, herpes simplex and human papilloma virus (HPV)
‘ Bacteria such as gonorrhea, Chlamydia and syphilis
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) interferes with your body’s ability to effectively fight off viruses, bacteria and fungi that cause disease, and it can lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) which is a chronic, life-threatening disease. Another disease is called as hepatitis B which is a viral infection that affects your liver. Herpes simplex causes genital herpes which highly spreadable virus likewise gonorrhea, Chlamydia and syphilis are also a bacterial infection of your genital tract.
Furthermore Trichomoniasis is a common Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) caused by a microscopic parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. This organism spreads during sexual intercourse with someone who already is infected. Genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) which often do not cause any symptoms. In women, genital warts can grow on the vulva, walls of the vagina, area between the external genitals and the anus, and the cervix. In men, they may occur on the tip or shaft of the penis, the scrotum, or the anus. Genital warts can al Syphilis is a bacterial infection. The disease affects your genitals, skin and mucous membranes, but it may also involve many other parts of your body, including your brain and your heart so develop in the mouth or throat of a person who has had oral sex with an infected person.
The treatment of STDs depends on the causative organism. Treatment is essential to prevent long-term complications. Some of the main points to ensure in treating STDs include: All sexual partners of the infected person need to be checked for STDs so they can be treated to prevent further spread of any diseases. Individuals at high risk of contracting a disease such as rape victims can be given broad-spectrum antibiotics such as azithromycin and cefixime. Bacterial infections such as Chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhoea can be treated using antibiotics such as cephalosporins, penicillin and other agents.
Antiviral agents may be effective to a certain extent against herpes infection. In addition, warts may be treated using certain local treatments such as freezing therapy. For HIV infection, individuals are treated with antiretroviral agents to keep the viral load low. Trichomonas vaginalis is treated using antibiotics while parasitic infections such as lice and scabies are treated with shampoos or creams that contain insecticides.
Types of atypical sexual behaviors
Atypical behaviors are sometimes known as paraphilias. It is a sexual behavior or sexual deviation that is associated with uncommon sexual practices. This behavior is not based on love or affection but deviant sexuality a person engage in to achieve sexual arousal from unusual sexual behavior that may be focus on specific objects, physical and emotional pain, sexual attraction to children, and involving unwilling participants
These types of activity can either be coercive or noncoercive paraphilias. Noncoercive or non-invasive activity does not violate the rights of another individual and does not cause harm to anyone. Coercive or invasive activity violates the rights of another individual because they involve unwilling participants and cause harm to the victims. The victims may feel violated and vulnerable to physical abuse and may be fearful of similar recurrence in future.
The following are the atypical behaviors are classified as noncoercive:
‘ Fetishism: Sexual arousal associated with focus in inanimate objects or body parts.
‘ Transvestic fetishism: Sexual arousal deprived from wearing cloths of other sex.
‘ Sexual masochism: Association of sexual arousal with pain.
‘ Autoerotic asphyxia: Enhancement of sexual arousal by oxygen deprivation.
‘ Klismophilia: Sexual pleasure associated with receiving enemas.
‘ Coprophilia and Urophilia: Sexual aroused with contact with feces or urine respectively.
The following are the atypical behaviors classified as coercive:
‘ Exhibitionism: Sexual aroused with contact with exposing one’s genital to unwilling observer.
‘ Obscene phone call: Sexual aroused with contact with obscene phone call with unwilling recipient.
‘ Voyeurism: Sexual aroused with contact with observing naked bodies or sexual activities of people without their consent.
‘ Frotteurism: Obtaining sexual pleasure by rubbing or pressing against another person in a crowded public place.
‘ Zoophilia: Sexual contact between human and animals.
‘ Necrophilia: Sexual gratification obtained by viewing or having intercourse with a corpse.
Individuals engage in unusual sexual behavior mainly for achieving sexual arousal and sexual gratification. It is normal for individuals to fantasize about paraphilias activity during masturbation or sexual interaction and it is also normal for individuals to engage in such activity among consenting partners. However, this behavior is considered a mental disorder when it causes distress to the individual or harms others in the process.
Mostly men engage in distress sexual behavior and because men are more sexually responsive to visual stimuli it is less likely for women to engage in such behavior. Individuals with this behavior tend to engage in one form of activity that can be manifested into another form of activity and they can be engaging in different activity at the same time.
Coercion and the psychological effect
Sexual coercion is the act of using subtle pressure, alcohol, drugs or forces to have sexual contact with someone against their will. Sexual coercion is ongoing attempts to have sexual contact of some kind with another person who has already made it clear that he or she does not want to have sexual contact.It may be very hard to identify sexual coercion while being sexually coerced. These examples may assist in clearing up any confusion about the types of sexual coercion that may take place. Verbal Sexual Coercion: often words are used by someone using sexual coercion in an attempt to achieve sexual relations out of someone who has previously said no to sexual advances. The words that are used may be flattering, outright begging, calling names, arguing, lying or deliberately misleading. Examples of verbal sexual coercion may include the following:
‘ “You know you want it.”
‘ “I’m so hot for you.”
‘ “Don’t make me stop now.”
‘ “Don’t be a prude.”
Emotional Sexual Coercion: In this type of sexual coercion, a person takes advantage of trust, intimacy, or emotional instability to garner sexual favors. Emotional sexual coercion may include the following:
‘ Exploitation of emotions of the other person.
‘ Using emotional pressure
‘ Threatening that if sexual encounters do not occur, the friendship will be lost.
‘ Using guilt for not being involved in a sexual activity.
‘ Wearing one down through constant, emotional-laden phrases.
‘ Saying things like, “If I don’t get sex from you, I’ll find it elsewhere.”
‘ Saying things like, “If you LOVE me, you’ll have sex with me.”
‘ Saying things like, “You’re not a virgin – why not have sex with me?”
Social Sexual Coercion: This type of sexual coercion may involve peer pressure and/or threats of social isolation. This can include the following:
‘ Buying dinner means owing sexual favors.
‘ Using social standing or power to get sexual favors
‘ Buying gifts to make someone feel they “owe” sexual favors.
‘ Saying stuffs like, “Everyone expects that we’re having sex.”
‘ Saying stuffss like, “You’re a prude.”
‘ Saying stuffs like, “You’re a tease.”
Intoxicated Sexual Coercion: This type of sexual coercion is the most frequently used type of sexual coercion. Intoxicated Sexual Coercion involves using drugs or alcohol to loosen up the inhibitions of the victim or target of sexual coercion.
These abuses could lead a victim to form many psychological diaorders. Some of the disorders a victim goes through are:
Health problems: there is a high chance of developing a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in their lifetimes. PTSD includes the nightmares, flashbacks, frustration and anger etc’
Substance abuse: A reaserch shows that sexual abuse survivors are more likely to use drugs, alcohol and other substances.
Suicide: These victims are more likely to commit suicide than non-crime victims.
Depression: rape or verbal sexual abuse victims are more likely to experience depression than non victims.
Personality disorder: 80% of women diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, a mental illness characterized by impulsive behaviors including intense anger, suicidal tendencies, self-mutilation, promiscuity and difficulties with relationships, report some sort of childhood trauma.
Social and legal issues found in pornography and prostitution/sex work
The term ‘pornography’ has no well-defined meaning, certainly no legal definition. And if a Supreme Court justice had trouble defining the nature of sexually explicit material (Stewart, 1973). Pornography encompasses books, magazines, videos, and devices and has moved from the periphery of society into the mainstream through video cassettes, soft-porn magazines, and cable television. Prostitution is having sexual relationship with another person for money. The industry of prostitution, pornography and sex work has a huge effect on the society. For example Police officers have seen the impact pornography has had on serial murderers. In fact, pornography consumption is one of the most common profile characteristics of serial murderers and rapists. The FBI interviewed two dozen sex murderers in prison who had killed multiple numbers of times. Some eighty-one percent said their biggest sexual interest was in reading pornography. They acted out sex fantasies on real people. (McManus, 2012)
Despite the arguments for sexual freedom, numerous studies have found that consuming pornography has negative results for youth and adults. Pornography use increases violence and sexual violence. It degrades women, damages the family, and produces a highly sensual society. These reasons should be central in legitimizing public restrictions on pornography, because limiting pornography is a public good. As legal scholar Robert George declares, ‘In any society, careful deliberation by citizens committed to the common good and informed by both sound moral judgment and prudent practical understanding, needs to be brought to bear in the effort to, at the same time, preserve honorable liberties and protect public morality’ (LEWIS, 2007).
Nevertheless, there are a number of compelling statistics that suggest pornography does have profound social consequences. For example, in the 1400 child sexual molestation cases in Louisville, Kentucky, between July 1980 and February 1984, adult pornography was connected with each incident and child pornography with the majority of them. Pornography degrades both men and women. women actually never consent to being in unprofessional porn videos and are forced to do so against their will.
Furthermore prostitution and sex work have much social effects. Traditionally its is known as a sinful act. ‘sex worker’ to refer to adults (19 years and older) who exchange sexual services for money which necessarily, but not exclusively, includes direct physical sexual contact with clients. Thus, sex workers are adults who earn at least part of their income through the sale of direct sexual contact. Included in this term are those who engage in outdoor street-level sex work, as well as those who work indoors in their homes, clients’homes, or in commercial venues.
The latter includes escorts, erotic masseurs, exoticdancers, BDSM practitioners ‘ this term is an acronym that stands for bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadomasochism or sadism and masochism. It refers to a continuum of practices and expressions, both erotic and non-erotic, involving restraint, sensory stimulation, role-playing, and a variety of interpersonal dynamics. Various feminists think that prostitution is humiliating to women and provides a context in which prostitutes are robbed, beaten, and raped. Nevertheless, many people also worry that prostitution spreads STDs (Weitzer, 2009).
It is a very helpful assignment as I learned about sexuality and how sexuality could be used in psychology. Also I learned about different types of relationships and the harmful behaviors and sexually transmit diseases.
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