Terri Conley

Terri Conley
University of Michigan | U-M

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81
Publications
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Publications

Publications (81)
Article
Gender differences in sexuality have gained considerable attention both within and outside of the scientific community. We argue that one of the main unacknowledged reasons for these differences is simply that women experience substantially worse sex than men do. Thus, in examinations of the etiology of gender differences in sexuality, a confound h...
Preprint
Five studies (using U.S. samples) examined whether men’s higher entitlement contributes to a sexual pleasure gap that disadvantages women. Participants indicated that men receive more sexual pleasure from their partners, whereas women provide more pleasure (Study 1a). Participants believed that men have more of a right to experience orgasm in both...
Article
Five studies (using U.S. samples) examined whether men’s higher entitlement contributes to a sexual pleasure gap that disadvantages women. Participants indicated that men receive more sexual pleasure from their partners, whereas women provide more pleasure (Study 1a). Participants believed that men have more of a right to experience orgasm in both...
Article
Full-text available
Previous researchers have noted the domination of Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) samples in fields like psychology. In this study we asked: how WEIRD and androcentric is contemporary sex research? We focused on two historically underrepresented groups in research, namely non-WEIRD and women/gender non-conforming sam...
Preprint
Previous researchers have noted the domination of Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) samples in fields like psychology. In this study we asked: how WEIRD and androcentric is contemporary sex research? We focused on two historically underrepresented groups in research, namely non-WEIRD and women/gender non-conforming sam...
Article
Full-text available
Male couples in open relationships tend to have as equally fulfilling relationships as monogamous male couples; however, less is known about communication differences between monogamous and open couples. Because couples with open agreements permit sex with outside partners, they must navigate different relationship issues than monogamous couples, a...
Article
Full-text available
Research on consensual non-monogamy (CNM) has largely been restricted to comparisons between monogamous and CNM people, with researchers paying little attention to various CNM styles. The current research elucidated differences among three styles of CNM: open relationships, polyamory, and swinging. Across three studies, we demonstrated that people...
Article
Full-text available
Popular wisdom and scientific evidence suggest women desire and engage in casual sex less frequently than men; however, theories of gender differences in sexuality are often formulated in light of heterosexual relations. Less is understood about sexual behavior among lesbian and gay people, or individuals in which there is arguably less motivation...
Article
Whether “consent is sexy’ is a topic that has been broadly debated, with some contending that asking for consent ‘ruins the mood’ and is, therefore, distinctly not sexy. In the current research, we investigated whether consent is sexy by comparing evaluations of written erotica based on whether the characters expressed explicit verbal consent. In S...
Article
Full-text available
Harassment is a persistent problem in contemporary online environments, with women disproportionately experiencing its most severe forms. While critical scholars posit that online gender harassment may be linked to men's anxieties about fulfilling normative masculine gender roles, this relationship has not been examined by empirical research. We su...
Article
There is a persistent gender difference in how positively young adults react to casual sex, with men reporting slightly more positive responses than women. Multiple factors have been studied as possible explanations for the gender difference, but nothing has completely accounted the variance between women and men's responses to casual sex. Although...
Article
Heterosexual women's low orgasm rates are widely acknowledged within sexuality research. However, researchers have not accounted for whether women are even pursuing orgasm (actively and purposefully attempting to orgasm) in their sexual encounters with men. Given that heterosexual sexual scripts often deprioritize women's pleasure, women may vary i...
Article
Women's low sexual desire has received a great deal of cultural and research attention. Surprisingly, pleasure women receive during partnered sexual encounters and sociocultural beliefs about sexual desire have largely been absent in the literature. The present study examined if gendered cultural scripts and pleasure from a sexual encounter predict...
Article
Full-text available
Cambridge Core - Social Psychology - The New Psychology of Love - edited by Robert J. Sternberg
Article
Monogamous individuals are believed to have better sex lives than those who are consensually non-monogamous (CNM). We compared the sexual satisfaction of CNM and monogamous individuals and also considered the relationship satisfaction of participants utilizing a non-targeted sample of CNM participants. We found that monogamous people reported sligh...
Article
Full-text available
Testosterone (T) is implicated in tradeoffs between competition for new partners and nurturance within existing pair bonds. Some evidence suggests women in committed romantic relationships have lower T than singles, similar to findings in men. However, it is unclear whether lower T predicts pair bonding or vice versa, as well as how sexual activity...
Article
Full-text available
Engaging in consensual departures from monogamy is common among bisexual, lesbian, and gay individuals. Although research has examined relationship qualities among those who engage in consensual nonmonogamy, personality-related antecedents of interest in these relationships are unclear. In the present research, the authors examined the relationship...
Article
We proposed that the premise that monogamy is the exemplary form of romantic partnership underlies much theory and research on relationship quality, and we addressed how this bias has prompted methodological issues that make it difficult to effectively address the quality of nonmonogamous relationships. Because the idea that consensually nonmonogam...
Chapter
What are sexual fantasies, and what roles do they play in relationships? Fantasies are sometimes (but not always!) a window into what people want to experience in their own relationships—what do fantasies tell us about relationships? Do they help us get closer to a monogamous partner, or do they drive us apart? Could they be a way to promote commun...
Chapter
The occurrence of the female orgasm, or lack thereof, has fueled productive research regarding gender differences in sexuality. Both scientific research and popular beliefs support the idea that men orgasm more frequently than women do and, given the biological nature of the orgasm phase of sexual responses, it is easy to assume that the gender dif...
Article
The present research prioritizes minority groups’ perspectives, specifically in the context of lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and transgender (LGBQT) and heterosexual dynamics. Study 1 elucidates LGB people’s knowledge of stereotypes about heterosexuals, whereas Study 2 examines the extent to which LGBQT people believe in stereotypes about heterose...
Chapter
Intergroup relations are, by definition, a two-way process, yet the perspectives of minority group members have been given considerably less attention than the perspectives of dominant group members in social psychology (see Shelton, Alegre, and Son, 2010 for further discussion). For decades, researchers have explored the nature of white Americans'...
Article
"In this chapter, we critically examine gender differences in orgasm and, in doing so, provide science-based suggestions for individuals and relationship partners to close the orgasm gap between heterosexual men and women. We will begin our examination of women's orgasm with providing an overview anatomy and orgasms, with a particular focus on the...
Article
Frost and Gola (2015) offer empirical evidence that same-sex and different-sex relationship partners are similar in their experiences of intimacy and, as a result, the meaning of marriage will not fundamentally change with the legalization of same-sex marriage. In this commentary, we offer another perspective: given the unique aspects of same-sex r...
Article
Objectives: In three studies, the authors examined the extent to which STIs and sexual behavior were perceived negatively compared to objectively riskier behaviors. Methods: In Study 1, participants estimated the risk of death as a result of contracting HIV from one instance of unprotected sex (with a noninjection drug user) relative to the risk of...
Article
The utility of monogamy (in practice) as a strategy for preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) was investigated. By reviewing recent literature surrounding monogamous relationships and sexual behaviors, the authors determined that monogamy might not prevent against STIs as expected. First, the authors elucidate the ways in which public h...
Article
In the current research, we suggest that shared reality, the belief that one perceives the world the same way as another group, can predict attitudes towards that group. We tested shared reality theory in the context of American ethnic minority groups' (i.e., African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinas/os) attitudes towards White Americans. In...
Chapter
People are curious about the state of other people’s love lives, especially in the early phases of a relationship. New couples are oftentimes asked questions about their forming romance: “Are you exclusive?”; “Do you have a title?”; “Are you together?”; or “Did you have thetalk?” But what do these questions really mean? What types of information ar...
Article
Previous research suggested that the gender of the casual sex proposer is an important predictor of casual sex acceptance, particularly because male proposers are perceived to have lesser sexual capabilities than female proposers (Conley, 2011). We examined this hypothesis more directly by taking advantage of unique characteristics associated with...
Article
People view monogamy as the optimal form of partnering and stigmatize consensual non-monogamous (CNM) relationships. Likewise, attachment researchers often equate romantic love (and security) with sexual exclusivity. Interestingly, a sizeable minority of people engage in CNM and report high levels of satisfaction. Across two studies, we examined ho...
Article
Full-text available
Consensual non-monogamy (CNM) encompasses romantic relationships in which all partners agree that engaging in sexual and/or romantic relationships with other people is allowed and part of their relationship arrangement (Conley, Moors, Matsick & Ziegler, 2012). Previous research indicates that individuals who participate in CNM relationships are dem...
Article
Full-text available
Concerned with the invisibility of non-gay male interests in alternatives to monogamy, the present study empirically examines three questions: Are there differences between female and male sexual minorities in a) attitudes toward consensual non-monogamy, and b) desire to engage in different types of consen-sual non-monogamy (e.g., sexual and romant...
Article
In this paper, we utilize a critical feminist lens to analyze the advantages and disadvantages found within two different romantic relationship configurations: monogamy and polyamory. While visibility of polyamorous relationships has increased in recent years, there is still a lack of information and a plethora of misinformation concerning non-mono...
Article
Full-text available
"Admit it: We have crushes, we have sexual fantasies, and sometimes we want to act on them—even when those crushes and fantasies aren’t about our current romantic partner. Most of the time, we ignore these crushes and our fantasies go unfulfilled. For some, cheating seems like an option. However, for others, it is totally okay to pursue these crush...
Article
We sought to examine the fluidity of ethnic identification and test shared reality's hypothesis concerning the effects of interpersonal relationships on ethnic identification. To investigate the effects of ethnicity of spouse on ethnic identification, Asian-American women (66 from same-ethnicity marriages, 46 from mixed-ethnicity marriages) complet...
Article
In our target article, “The Fewer the Merrier: Assessing Stigma Surrounding Consensual Nonmonogamous Relationships,” we documented a robust stigma toward consensual nonmonogamous relationships and a halo surrounding monogamous relationships. In the present piece, we respond to six commentaries of our target article with the aim of promoting future...
Article
In the context of recent debates about same-sex marriage, consensually nonmonogamous (CNM) relationships have recently begun making their way into media discussions. In the current research, we investigated whether stigma is attached to these nonnormative romantic relationships and, conversely, whether halo effects surround monogamous relationships...
Article
Consensual non-monogamy (CNM) refers to romantic relationships in which all partners agree to engage in sexual, romantic and/or emotional relationships with others. Within the general framework of CNM, subtypes of relationships differ in the extent to which partners intend for love and emotional involvement to be a part of their multiple relationsh...
Article
Harsher judgments toward women (relative to men) for engaging in similar heterosexual sexual activity have been termed the sexual double standard. Within heterosexual casual sex scenarios, we examined whether the sexual double standard can be explained by desire to avoid counterstereotypical behaviors for fear of social repercussions (i.e., backlas...
Article
This research involved comparisons of the condom use behaviours of people who are in monogamous relationships but who have engaged in extradyadic sex (i.e. committed infidelity) to those who are in consensually nonmonogamous (CNM) relationships. Consensual nonmonogamy is the practice of openly having multiple sexual or romantic partners simultaneou...
Article
Non-Whites' stereotypes of White women were examined, comparing three perspectives: (1) White women are perceived similarly to ethnically “generic” stereotypes of women; (2) stereotypes are opposite of stereotypes of participants' own ethnic group; and (3) stereotypes are derived from media images of White women. In Study 1, participants listed ste...
Article
"Mary Roach highlights a number of quirky vignettes illustrating the study of orgasm and the extreme outer limits of orgasmic response. The focus of our stigmatized sexualities lab is women’s sexuality. As such, our interests dovetail with Roach’s, but research has led us to perceive sexual matters in substantially more social and political ways. W...
Article
In this article, we critically examine the social institution of monogamy. First, we discuss the lack of an adequate and consistent definition of the construct of monogamy and consider how common monogamy is. Next, we address perceived benefits of monogamy and whether those ostensible benefits are supported by empirical evidence. We conclude that e...
Article
In the context of recent debates about same‐sex marriage, consensually nonmonogamous (CNM) relationships have recently begun making their way into media discussions. In the current research, we investigated whether stigma is attached to these nonnormative romantic relationships and, conversely, whether halo effects surround monogamous relationships...
Article
Given the prevalence and harm of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), there is a need to examine safer sex strategies in the context of romantic relationships and extradyadic sexual encounters. Sexual infidelity is associated with a variety of detrimental psychosocial outcomes; however, little research has addressed the sexual health ramificatio...
Article
Higher testosterone (T) is tied to risk-taking, especially in financial domains but also in health domains relevant to acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs). However, safer sex constructs could themselves carry the possibility of "social risk" due to sexual stigma or embarrassment, or could involve boldness or confidence because they cou...
Article
This research investigated gender differences in and behavioral sequelae of adult vs. childhood sexual victimization among a group of undergraduates in a midwestern city. We administered a survey about sexual experiences, eating habits, and weight to individuals who were first victimized in childhood ( age 18); or had not been sexually victimized....
Article
Full-text available
Many researchers have elucidated large, well-established, and reliable gender differences in sexuality, but relatively few have empirically examined conditions under which these differences can be eliminated. This article investigates some established sexuality gender differences in greater depth. We demonstrate how creative theoretical and empiric...
Article
Our research aimed to systematically investigate how women and men are portrayed in magazine advertisements, deriving hypotheses from Jean Kilbourne’s observed media analysis presented in her Killing Us Softly film series. A total of 790 advertisements in 19 magazines were coded. Results revealed support for many of Kilbourne’s hypotheses. For exam...
Article
We examined relationships between adult children and their mothers from a relational perspective. We investigated positive regard for mother relationships versus other dyadic relationships and the role that trust plays in fostering satisfaction in these relationships. In Study 1, undergraduates completed surveys about their relationships with their...
Article
In a highly influential paper, Clark and Hatfield (1989) demonstrated that, whereas men were quite likely to accept a casual sexual offer from a confederate research assistant, women never did so. The current research provides a more in-depth explanation of gender differences in acceptance of casual sex offers via 4 (quasi-) experiments. First, usi...
Article
Full-text available
Shared reality theory postulates that interpersonal relationships are regulated by the degree to which people share experiences and beliefs (Hardin & Higgins, 1996). To assess consequences of shared (and unshared) reality for interpersonal relationships, we examined the effects of the 1990s Simpson trial on actual interpersonal interactions in same...
Article
We documented the content and dimensions of non-White groups' stereotypes about White men, then ascertained differences between ethnic groups in perception of those stereotypes. Stereotypes generally fell into dimensions of Gordon Gekkos, nice guys, and frat boys. African Americans generally listed (Study 1a), recognized (Study 1b), and endorsed (S...
Article
Research shows that in most situations, women perceive themselves to be at greater risk of harm than do men. Gustafson's gender role perspective on risk perception suggests that this is because women are socialized to feel that they need protection, especially from men. Based on Gustafson's gender role perspective on sex differences in risk percept...
Article
According to the positive illusions model (Murray, Holmes, & Griffin, 1996a), people in romantic relationships are more satisfied when they view their partners more favorably than the partners see themselves. By contrast, shared reality theory (Hardin & Conley, 2001) emphasizes the benefits of perceiving a partner as the partner sees himself or her...
Article
This study addresses how people devalue romantic relationships without devaluing the individuals in the relationship. We examined perceptions of condom use in close relationships in 3 studies. Relationships of couples who used condoms were devalued, relative to relationships of those who used oral contraceptives. However, the perceptions of individ...
Article
We examined the global and domain-specific self-esteem of students who are emotionally disturbed, students who are learning disabled, and students who are in regular education classrooms. Students who were emotionally disturbed or learning disabled had lower global self-esteem than did students in regular education classes. The specific domains in...
Article
Across four studies, we assessed the relationship between participants' attitudes toward gay men and their experiences during either imagined or actual interpersonal encounters with gay men. In the first three studies, participants imagined interactions with gay men and either responded in an open-ended or a closed-ended fashion. In these imagined...
Article
In two studies, we examined multidimensional condom attitudes of college students separately for (a) condom users vs. condom nonusers, (b) women vs. men, and (c) partnered individuals vs. single individuals (Study 1). Almost all single people (97%) expected to use condoms during each incident of sexual intercourse during the next 2 months. Across b...
Article
This study was a comparison of the judgments made about a sexually active female condom proposer by men and women of 3 ethnic groups: Chinese Americans, European Americans, and Japanese Americans. Results indicate that Chinese Americans reacted more negatively to the female condom proposer than did European Americans. Japanese Americans could not b...
Article
In four studies, we documented the symbolic meanings of the progression of contraceptive use in close relationships. In Study 1A, participants perceived a couple in which one partner suggests changing contraceptive method from condoms to the pill (a normative transition script) as having a more positive relationship than a couple in which one partn...
Article
The importance of biological influences on sexual orientation is hotly debated. This article summarizes public opinions about the causes of sexual orientations and documents shifts over time toward greater endorsement of biological rather than environmental explanations. Next, empirical evidence concerning neuroendocrine and genetic explanations of...
Article
In this research, the authors integrated research on stereotyping and health to document relationship-status stereotyping about sexual risk. Drawing on research on relational schemas and implicit personality theories, the authors hypothesized that targets who were described as being in relationships would be perceived as having a lesser likelihood...
Article
We analyzed 97 gay men's and lesbians' experiences with and expectations for interactions with majority group members. Respondents described reactions to previous or imagined future interactions with an unfamiliar heterosexual person who had just become aware that the respondent was lesbian or gay. Results indicated that respondents are more proact...
Article
In two studies, lesbians, gay men and bisexuals were queried concerning mistakes that well-meaning heterosexual people have made when interacting with them. In qualitative, open-ended research, we determined that the most common mistakes concerned heterosexuals' pointing out that they know someone who is gay, emphasizing their lack of prejudice, an...
Article
In two studies, lesbians, gay men and bisexuals were queried concerning mistakes that well-meaning heterosexual people have made when interacting with them. In qualitative, open-ended research, we determined that the most common mistakes concerned heterosexuals' pointing out that they know someone who is gay, emphasizing their lack of prejudice, an...
Article
The psychological sequelae of choosing to learn or not to learn one's HIV serostatus were examined in a group of 224 men who had been tested for HIV. Correlates of this avoidance were measured (a) when both groups had been tested and given the opportunity to receive the test results, and (b) after the group that initially chose to avoid HIV-serosta...
Article
Professors can involve students in social problems through the use of dynamic classroom pedagogy. This approach is demonstrated by presenting data based on student responses to an exercise in which they were given the opportunity to take on a stigmatized role. Students were asked to wear a pink triangle pin symbolizing support for gay rights and re...
Article
Full-text available
Two critiques of D. J. Bem's (1996) "Exotic Becomes Erotic" (EBE) theory of sexual orientation are presented. First, the core proposition of EBE theory is considered; that is, the idea that adults are erotically attracted to the gender-based class of peers (males or females) who were dissimilar or unfamiliar to them in childhood. Studies cited by B...

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