Patterns of Sexual Behavior”


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Module 11 – Motivation & Emotion » Sexual Motivation
Sexual Motivation
Hope I got your attention with the title of this section!
Since this is an introductory class, the content will only briefly cover sex and sexuality. If you are really interested in this topic, you can take a Sociology 21, Human Sexuality class at LAVC.
Please watch this short video on Sexual Motivation as an overview to this section of the chapter:
If you cannot see the above video screen, please click here: Sex Motivation Video
Sexual Response Cycle
William Masters and Virginia Johnson, aka Masters and Johnson, are the primary researchers in this area. They describe four stages in the sexual response cycle:
Excitement phase – initial phase where male and female genitals become engorged with blood, the breasts enlarge, the vagina expands and lubricates.
Plateau phase – excitement peaks, breathing and blood pressure increases.
Orgasmic phase – the peak of arousal.
Resolution phase – the body returns to the unaroused state.
See the charts on p. 367 which show the sexual response cycle.
Sexual Behavior
Alfred Kinsey is another major researcher who studied sexual behavior. Maybe some of you saw the movie Kinsey?
How often do we have sex? See p. 371 for the research study results, and the diagram which shows data on males and females and the frequency of sex with a partner over the last year. Interesting!
Do single people have sex more often than married couples? No. Are you surprised?
Teen Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) – teen pregnancy is much more common in American versus European countries because of the following:
Ignorance – lack of sex education
Minimal communication about birth control – teens talk less to parents and others about contraception.
Guilt – many girls surveyed regretted having had sex.
Alcohol use – those who use alcohol are often less likely to use condoms.
Mass Media norms of unprotected promiscuity – it other words, TV shows lots of sex without showing the discussions of birth control or safe sex.
What are the predictors of sexual restraint?
High intelligence – teens with above average intelligence were found to delay sex because of the negative consequences.
Religious engagement – teens with higher religious involvement tended to wait until marriage to have sex.
Father presence – teens with absent fathers had higher sexual activity.
Participation in service learning programs – lower rates of pregnancy were found in teens who volunteered as a tutoring or teacher’s aide.



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