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Great Myths of Intimate Relationships: Dating, Sex, and Marriage

ISBN: 978-1-118-52128-1
264 pages
May 2016, Wiley-Blackwell
Great Myths of Intimate Relationships: Dating, Sex, and Marriage (1118521285) cover image


Great Myths of Intimate Relationships provides a captivating, pithy introduction to the subject that challenges and demystifies the many fabrications and stereotypes surrounding relationships, attraction, sex, love, internet dating, and heartbreak.

  • The book thoroughly interrogates the current research on topics such as attraction, sex, love, internet dating, and heartbreak
  • Takes an argument driven approach to the study of intimate relationships, encouraging critical engagement with the subject
  • Part of The Great Myths series, it's written in a style that is compelling and succinct, making it ideal for general readers and undergraduates
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1 Sex 4

#1 Men have a stronger libido than women 5

#2 Hooking up in college is bad for women 12

#3 All marriages have been consummated 20

#4 All marriages are sexually active 24

2 Attraction and Courtship 30

#5 Being smooth is the best way to pick someone up 31

#6 Opposites attract 42

#7 People know what they want in a partner 47

3 Online Dating 52

#8 Having access to innumerable online profiles of potential partners increases the likelihood of finding Mr. or Ms. Right 53

#9 Meeting potential partners electronically prior to meeting them in person decreases the chances of a successful relationship 59

#10 Couples who are “matched” by online dating services are more likely to have satisfying relationships 66

4 Same ]Sex Relationships 71

#11 The gender to which people are attracted is stable (or: the gender to which people are attracted is fluid) 73

#12 There are no differences between same ]sex relationships and heterosexual relationships 80

#13 Children raised by other ]sex couples are better off than children raised by same ]sex couples 85

5 Predicting Success and Failure in Relationships 92

#14 Living together before marriage is a good way to determine whether you’re with the right person 94

#15 Premarital counseling or relationship education programs prevent discord and divorce 100

#16 Good communication is the key to a happy relationship 109

#17 The key to a good relationship is knowing how to solve your problems 114

#18 Having children brings couples closer 121

#19 Stress is bad for relationships 128

#20 Supporting your partner will improve your relationship 133

6 Differences, Discord, and Dissolution 142

#21 Men are from Mars, women are from Venus 143

#22 Only men perpetrate violence in intimate relationships 150

#23 Marital therapy doesn’t work 156

#24 The first cut is the deepest 161

#25 Things will improve once you’re divorced 167

Coda 174

References 175

Author Index 229

Subject Index 244

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Author Information

Matthew D. Johnson is Professor of Psychology at Binghamton University, State University of New York. His research in Clinical Psychology examines the developmental course of marital distress and family dysfunction. In doing so, his work seeks to determine the mechanisms by which relationship distress and dissolution follow the positive emotions of courtship. In 2013, he was awarded the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching from the State University of New York.

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