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The Psychology of Human Sexuality, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-1-119-16471-5
472 pages
December 2017, Wiley-Blackwell
The Psychology of Human Sexuality, 2nd Edition (1119164710) cover image

Description

New edition of an authoritative guide to human sexual behavior from a biopsychosocial perspective

The thoroughly revised and updated second edition of The Psychology of Human Sexuality explores the roles that biology, psychology, and the social and cultural context play in shaping human sexual behavior. The author – a noted authority on the topic and an affiliate of the acclaimed Kinsey Institute - puts the spotlight on the most recent research and theory on human sexuality, with an emphasis on psychology.

The text presents the major theoretical perspectives on human sexuality, and details the vast diversity of sexual attitudes and behaviors that exist in the modern world. The author also reviews the history of sexology and explores its unique methods and ethical considerations. Overall, this important and comprehensive text provides readers with a better understanding of, and appreciation for, the science of sex and the amazing complexity of human sexuality.

  • Features broad coverage of topics including anatomy, gender and sexual orientation, sexual behaviors, sexual difficulties and solutions, prostitution, and pornography
  • Offers more in-depth treatment of relationships than comparable texts, with separate chapters dealing with attraction and relationship processes
  • Includes cutting-edge research on the origins of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as new treatments for sexually transmitted infections and sexual dysfunctions
  • Is written from a sex-positive perspective, with expanded coverage of cross-cultural research throughout and material that is inclusive and respectful of a diverse audience
  • Includes numerous activities to facilitate dynamic, interactive classroom environments

Written for students of human sexuality and anyone interested in the topic, The Psychology of Human Sexuality offers a guide to the psychology of human sexual behavior that is at once inclusive, thorough, and authoritative in its approach. 

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Table of Contents

About the Author xiii

Foreplay xv

Illustrations xvii

Text Boxes xvii

Tables xxix

About the Companion Website xxxi

1 Theoretical Perspectives on Human Sexuality 1

Introduction 2

What Drives Us to Have Sex? 2

Psychological Influences 2

Cultural and Societal Influences 3

Biological and Evolutionary Influences 6

Major Theoretical Perspectives on Human Sexuality 8

Psychoanalytic Theory 8

Cognitive-Behavioral and Learning Theories 10

Exchange Theories 14

Personality Theories 15

Evolutionary Theory 18

The Perspective of This Text 20

Key Terms 22

Discussion Questions: What is Your Perspective on Sex? 22

References 22

2 Sexology Research: History, Methods, and Ethics 26

Introduction 27

A Brief History of Sexology 28

Sexology as a Science 31

Sample Selection 32

Nonexperimental Research 33

Surveys 33

Direct Observation 37

Case Reports 41

Experimental Research 42

A Sample Sexperiment 42

Strengths and Limitations of the Experimental Method 43

A Note on Statistics 43

Means and Medians 43

Incidence and Prevalence 44

Correlation 44

Ethics in Sexology Research 44

Informed Consent 48

Debriefing 48

Confidentiality 49

Evaluating Sex Research 50

Key Terms 51

Discussion Questions: What is Your Perspective on Sex? 51

References 51

3 Human Sexual Anatomy 54

Introduction 55

Male Sexual Anatomy 55

A Historical and Cultural Overview of the Penis 55

External Anatomy 56

Internal Anatomy 60

Psychology of the Penis: Male Genital Concerns 63

Male Genital Health Issues 65

Female Sexual Anatomy 66

A Historical and Cultural Overview of the Vulva 66

External Anatomy 67

Internal Anatomy 72

Breasts 74

Psychology of the Breasts and Vulva: Female Bodily Concerns 75

Female Breast and Genital Health Issues 78

Conclusions 81

Key Terms 82

Discussion Questions: What is Your Perspective on Sex? 82

References 82

4 Human Sexual Response: Understanding Arousal and Orgasm 87

Introduction 88

Factors That Influence Sexual Arousal 88

The Brain 88

The Senses 90

Hormones 98

Substances 102

The Sexual Response Cycle 105

The Masters and Johnson Model 105

Psychological Models of Sexual Response 110

Key Terms 112

Discussion Questions: What is Your Perspective on Sex? 112

References 112

5 Gender and Gender Identity 117

Introduction 117

Biological Influences on Gender Identity and Sexuality 119

Biological Sex Variations 121

Psychosocial Influences on Gender Identity and Sexuality 126

Social Interactions and Norms 126

Physical Environments 128

Media 128

Variations in Gender Expression 130

Transsexualism 130

Cross-Dressing 136

Other Identities 137

Just How Different Are Men and Women? 137

Sex Differences in Psychology 138

Sex Differences in Sexuality and Attitudes Toward Sex 138

Key Terms 140

Discussion Questions: What is Your Perspective on Sex? 140

References 140

6 Sexual Orientation 145

Introduction 146

Sexual Orientation: Definitions and Types 146

Measurement and Prevalence 147

Theories of Sexual Orientation 150

Early Psychological Theories 151

Biological and Hormonal Theories 151

Evolutionary Theories 153

Biopsychosocial Theories 155

Sex Differences in the Expression of Sexual Orientation 158

Sexual Orientation Attitudes 161

Prejudice Against Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Persons 161

Sexual Orientation in Psychological Perspective 166

Sexual Orientation Myths 167

Key Terms 170

Discussion Questions: What is Your Perspective on Sex? 170

References 170

7 The Laws of Attraction 175

Introduction 176

What Attracts Us To Other People? 176

Affective Influences 177

Propinquity 179

Similarity 181

Scarcity 183

Physiological Arousal 184

Neurochemical Factors 185

Physical Attractiveness 185

Other Factors Involved in Attraction 187

Attraction Processes among Gay Men and Lesbians 188

Why Are Men and Women Attracted to Different Characteristics? 189

Evolutionary Theory 189

Social Structural Perspectives 192

Key Terms 195

Discussion Questions: What is Your Perspective on Sex? 196

References 196

8 Intimate Relationships: Sex, Love, and Commitment 200

Introduction 201

Singlehood and Casual Relationships 201

Sexuality Among Singles 201

Hookups 203

Friends with Benefits 204

Singles’ Sexual Outcomes 204

Love and Committed Relationships 207

The Nature of Love 207

The Nature of Commitment 212

Varieties of Loving and Committed Relationships 214

Why Do Some Relationships Succeed While Others Fail? 220

Characteristics of Good Relationships 220

The Dark Side of Relationships 223

Coping with Breakup 229

Key Terms 229

Discussion Questions: What is Your Perspective on Sex? 229

References 230

9 Sexual Behaviors 235

Introduction 236

Solitary Sexual Behaviors 236

Asexuality and Celibacy 236

Sexual Fantasy 238

Masturbation 241

Partnered Sexual Behaviors 246

Kissing 246

Touching 248

Oral Sex 248

Vaginal Intercourse 249

Anal Sex 250

Same-Sex Behaviors 251

Sex With Three, or Four, or More 252

Frequency and Benefits of Sex and Orgasm 255

Sexual Behavior in Psychological Perspective 257

Self-Regulation 257

Attachment Style 259

Mortality Salience 259

Key Terms 260

Discussion Questions: What is Your Perspective on Sex? 260

References 260

10 Lifespan Sexual Development 265

Introduction 265

Sexual Development From Infancy Through Adolescence 267

Infancy and Childhood 267

Puberty 268

Adolescence 270

Biopsychosocial Influences on Teenage Sexual Activity 273

Implications of Early or Late Sexual Development 274

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Contents xi

Sexuality and Aging 277

Biopsychosocial Influences on the Sexual Activities of Older Adults 281

Key Terms 283

Discussion Questions: What is Your Perspective on Sex? 283

References 283

11 Sex Education, Contraception, and Pregnancy 287

Introduction 288

Sex Education 288

Sex Education in Cross-Cultural Perspective 293

Contraception 294

History 294

Types of Contraceptives 295

Choosing the Right Contraceptive 303

Pregnancy 304

The Psychology of Trying to Have a Baby 305

Psychological Changes During Pregnancy and After Birth 306

Abortion 306

Key Terms 307

Discussion Questions: What is Your Perspective on Sex? 308

References 308

12 Sexually Transmitted Infections and Safer-Sex Practices 312

Introduction 313

Sexually Transmitted Infections 313

Bacterial Infections 314

Viral Infections 317

Other Infections 322

Factors That Increase the Spread of STIs 323

Biological 323

Psychological 324

Social and Environmental 326

The Psychological Impact of STIs 327

Implications for Romantic and Sexual Relationships 328

Preventing Infection 329

Key Terms 332

Discussion Questions: What is Your Perspective on Sex? 332

References 332

13 Sexual Dysfunction and Sex Therapy 336

Introduction 337

Causes of Sex Difficulties 337

Biological 337

Psychological 338

Social 341

Types of Sexual Dysfunction 342

Desire Problems 342

Arousal Problems 344

Orgasm Problems 346

Pain Disorders 347

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xii Contents

Sex Therapy 348

Schools of Thought 348

Specific Treatments 352

Tips For Avoiding Sexual Difficulties 358

Key Terms 359

Discussion Questions: What is Your Perspective on Sex? 359

References 359

14 Variations in Sexual Behavior 363

Introduction 364

What are Paraphilias? 364

Types of Paraphilias 366

Fetishism 366

Transvestism 368

Sadomasochism 371

Voyeurism 373

Exhibitionism 375

Pedophilia 376

Other Paraphilias 377

Paraphilia Controversies 381

Treatment of Paraphilic Disorders 382

Medical Therapies 382

Psychological Therapies 383

Social Skills Training 383

Effectiveness 383

Key Terms 384

Discussion Questions: What is Your Perspective on Sex? 384

References 384

15 Sex Laws, Sexual Victimization, and the Sexual Marketplace 388

Introduction 389

A Brief History of Sex Laws 389

Sexual Coercion and Violence 391

Sexual Assault 391

Child Sexual Abuse 393

Sexual Harassment 396

The Sexual Marketplace 398

Prostitution 398

Sex Trafficking 402

Pornography 402

Key Terms 411

Discussion Questions: What is Your Perspective on Sex? 411

References 412

Epilogue 416

Glossary 417

Index 429

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Author Information

Justin J. Lehmiller, PhD, is the Director of the Social Psychology Graduate Program and an Assistant Professor of Social Psychology at Ball State University. He is also a Faculty Affiliate of The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University and runs the popular blog Sex and Psychology.

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