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The Role of Partner Novelty in Sexual Functioning: A Review.

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Abstract

Abstract This review investigates whether sexual desire and arousal decline in response to partner familiarity, increase in response to partner novelty, and show differential responding in men and women. These questions were considered through the perspective of two leading evolutionary theories regarding human mating strategies: Sexual Strategies Theory and Attachment Fertility Theory. The hypotheses emerging from these theories were evaluated through a critical analysis of several areas of research including: habituation of arousal to erotic stimuli, preferences regarding number of sexual partners, the impact of long-term monogamous relationships on sexual arousal and desire, and prevalence and risk factors associated with extra-dyadic behavior. The current literature best supports the predictions made by Sexual Strategies Theory, in that sexual functioning has evolved to promote short-term mating. Sexual arousal and desire appear to decrease in response to partner familiarity and increase in response to partner novelty in both men and women. Evidence to date suggests this effect may be greater in men.

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... There are several qualitative studies that point to the facilitating role of re-partnering for sexual activity (Benson & Coleman, 2016;Clarke, 2006;Fileborn et al., 2015;Koren, 2014;. Besides, there can be an erotic fascination with a new partner-this is a process that enhances sexual desire and that is likely to emerge at the beginning of the relationship formation (Morton & Gorzalka, 2015). Furthermore, elderly people after relationship dissolution may desire to re-experience relational intimacy (i.e., the feelings related to being close and connected), which can boost sexual expression in the newly established relationship (Baumeister & Bratslavsky, 1999;Clarke, 2006;Fileborn et al., 2015;Koren, 2014;. ...
... In this respect, very little is known about how the relationship form affect mid-and laterlife sexual activity and how these associations are modified by health status, the quality of which varies across relationship types (Umberson et al., 2013). There are good reasons to assume that long-term relationships that are mostly represented by marriages may be associated with a lower frequency of sexual activity due to partner familiarity, which may be responsible for a decline in sexual desire and arousal, while dating is associated with an increased sexual frequency (Morton & Gorzalka, 2015). The decline in sexual activity in long-term marriages could be, in addition, facilitated by health deterioration at older age (Karraker & DeLamater, 2013). ...
... One possible explanation for both daters and LAT persons could be related to the effect of partner novelty on later-life sexual expression (Morton & Gorzalka, 2015), which may persist longer in those couples compared to their cohabiting and married counterparts. Daters and LAT partners have to negotiate the time they spend together (Koren, 2014), so partner novelty may be preserved. ...
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Despite a growing amount of research on sexuality in mid and later life, relatively little is known about the associations among sexual activity, relationship types, and health. This paper analyzes data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) for the subpopulation of respondents residing in the Czech Republic (N = 1304, 49% women; Mage = 69.1, SDage = 8.0). Hierarchical ordinal regression models showed that persons who stayed in newly formed or less traditional relationship types, such as dating, Living-Apart-Together (LAT) relationships, and cohabitation, reported a higher frequency of sexual activity than married people. Overall, the dating and LAT relationship group displayed the highest sexual frequency and the lowest incidence of chronic diseases. People in marriages and cohabitation were comparable with respect to the number of chronic diseases. The findings suggest that sexual activity is intertwined with later-life relationships and sexual frequency may vary according to the relationship type. Future research may benefit from probing the extent to which partnered sex is important for maintaining bonds between older partners with separate households.
... Although findings from studies examining the Coolidge effect in nonhuman species have been extrapolated to human mating, there is a relative paucity of research examining it in humans (Dewsbury, 1981;Morton & Gorzalka, 2015). This lack of research may result partly from the marked ethical barriers of studying the Coolidge effect in people. ...
... Alternatively, women were more likely than men to select a man whom they repeatedly saw as their short-term dating partner. These findings are in line with the Coolidge effect; if men prefer to mate with novel women over previously mated partners, this would increase the likelihood of gaining access to multiple partners (Morton & Gorzalka, 2015), which, in turn, would increase the man's potential for reproductive success. Our findings also extend Little et al. (2014) who demonstrated men's preference for novel female faces and women's preferences for familiar male faces. ...
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We examined sex differences in preferences for sexual variety and novelty to determine whether the Coolidge effect plays a role in human sexuality. In two experimental studies that employed different manipulations, we found converging evidence that men showed a greater preference for variety in potential short-term mates than did women. In the first study, men (n = 281) were more likely than women (n = 353) to select a variety of mates when given the opportunity to distribute chances to have sex with different individuals in hypothetical situations. This sex difference was evident regardless of the targets’ attractiveness and age. Further, men found it more appealing if their committed romantic/sexual partners frequently changed their physical appearance, while women reported that they modified their physical appearance more frequently than did men, potentially appealing to male desires for novelty. In the second study, when participants were given a hypothetical dating task using photographs of potential short-term mates, men (n = 40) were more likely than women (n = 56) to select a novel person to date. Collectively, these findings lend support to the idea that sex differences in preferences for sexual variety and novelty are a salient sex-specific evolved component of the repertoire of human mating strategies.
... There is abundant evidence that novelty increases arousal in men and women (Both, Laan, & Everaerd, 2011;Dawson et al., 2013;Morton & Gorzalka, 2015). Using both films and fantasy over the course 18 trials, the first study of habituation in women showed that women clearly habituated and then showed dramatic increases in genital arousal in response to a novel stimulus at the end (Meuwissen & Over, 1990). ...
... This is an empirical question that could likely be addressed with existing data if researchers have asked participants about their frequency of pornography viewing outside of the laboratory. Morton and Gorzalka (2015) argued that, based on current evidence, men may require more novelty, but Bergner (2013) argued in his popular book that the evidence points to women needing more novelty to become aroused. It is possible that since cisgender women, on average, report lower desire for sex (Dawson & Chivers, 2014), they might be more responsive to novel stimuli compared to men who might maintain spontaneous sexual desire at a higher level. ...
... The capitalization of the adaptive advantages from joint parental investment within the stable monogamic couple therefore calls for an effective regulation of the male propension to form stable long-term couples vs. the male desire for sexual variety in short-term relationships [60]. Ultimately, the stability of a long-term couple built on a mutually rewarding physical and psychological intimacy, and more specifically, the stability of the cooperative process that supports it, requires some balancing of the (mostly male) drive for sexual opportunism [61], and especially so for subjects with high mating value [62]. ...
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We introduce a typological characterization of possible human heterosexual couples in terms of the concordance-opposition of the orientations of their active and receptive areas as defined by the tie-up theory. We show that human mating incentives, as characterized by widely adopted approaches, such as Becker’s marriage market approach, only capture very specific instances of actual couples thus characterized. Our approach allows us to instead explore how super-cooperation among partners vs. convenience vs. constriction may be regarded as alternatives modes of couple formation and cohesion, leading to very different types of couples with different implications in terms of stability and resilience. Our results may have interesting implications for future experimental research and for individual and family counseling.
... Indeed, sexual satisfaction is typically highest during the first year of a committed relationship and subsequently declines (Schmiedeberg & Schröder, 2016), though the excitement of secret sex could potentially allow sexual satisfaction and attraction to last longer before declining. In fact, greater partner familiarity is associated with decreased sexual arousal and desire (Morton & Gorzalka, 2015). ...
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The literature on relationship secrecy suggests that secrecy may have detrimental and beneficial effects on romantic relationships, such as lower relationship satisfaction but higher sexual attraction. Like secrecy, relationship acceptance appears to have inconsistent effects as well; for instance, while a lack of relationship acceptance can be a barrier to commitment, individuals who perceive their relationship to be stigmatized may simultaneously utilize sex as a means of increasing intimacy and closeness to compensate. On this basis, we tested SEM models along with individual multilevel models across three studies (N = 4,271) of monogamous and polyamorous participants. Results suggest that commitment negatively predicts secrecy and secrecy positively predicts time spent on sex, while commitment positively predicts acceptance and acceptance negatively predicts the time spent on sex. Findings suggest that commitment may be driving effects on secrecy and acceptance, while secrecy and acceptance are impacting time spent on sex in relationships.
... The degree to which individuals are sexually excited by certain sexual stimuli or are worried about their sexual response may also vary depending on their life situation (McCabe et al., 2016;Morton & Gorzalka, 2015). In a recent population-based study of 2708 participants, single individuals reported more SE related to partner characteristics and behaviors than participants who were in a committed partnership. ...
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The dual control model of sexual response proposes two factors, sexual excitation (SE) and sexual inhibition (SI), that aim to predict sexual behavior and response. While SE and SI are described as stable traits that influence sexuality-related outcomes such as sexual function or sexual risk taking, only a few studies have presented data on the stability of these factors. The aim of this study was to evaluate the temporal stability of SE and SI, and to investigate whether changes in sexual function or partnership status influence SE and SI in a longitudinal sample of women. To address these research questions, the Sexual Excitation/Sexual Inhibition Inventory for Women (SESII-W) was administered five times over the course of 4 years. The SESII-W includes two main scales of SE and SI which consist of five (Arousability, Partner characteristics, Sexual power dynamics, Smell, and Setting) and three subscales (Concerns about sexual function, Arousal contingency, Relationship importance), respectively. Data from 553 women (Mage = 31.38 years, SD = 10.25, range = 18–67) who participated in at least two assessment points were included in this study. Bivariate correlations between baseline and the fifth follow-up assessment indicated a high temporal stability of SE and SI in women (.47 < r < .71). A series of generalized linear models were conducted to investigate the impact of time, changes in sexual function, partnership status, and changes in partnership status on SE and SI. Partner characteristics (SE) that showed small increases over time. Across different subscales, improvements in sexual function were associated with higher SE and lower SI. Changes in partnership status and partnership status itself were predictors of one SE- and three SI-related scales. This study suggests a relatively high temporal stability of SE and SI in women and supports the dual control model’s assertion that both factors are stable individual traits. Certain life events such as a new partnership or sexual difficulties may, however, impact time stability of both factors.
... Just as quickly as desire can flourish, women may experience a decline in sexual desire within the first two years of a relationship even if the relationship is thriving and they feel sexually satisfied (Acker & Davis, 1992;Basson, 2000;Baumeister & Bratslavsky, 1999;Birnbaum, 2017;Chivers et al., 2010;Sternberg, 1986;Tiefer, 2007). A new partner can spur spontaneous sexual desire even when a woman experienced desire difficulty with a previous partner (Dennerstein, Lehert & Burger, 2005;Morton & Gorzalka, 2015;Durr, 2009). ...
... Relationship dynamics are critical factors in understanding desire in general, but low desire in particular here, among many women. Women often report a return of sexual desire to previous levels when they acquire a new partner [95]. Their motivations for sex do not appear to change as a function of age: They report desiring sex primarily for pleasure, love, and commitment [96]. ...
Article
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Research on girls’ and women’s sexual desire has focused primarily on experiences of low desire, rather than positive experiences or high levels of desire. Recent conceptualizations of low desire have incorporated distress as a central feature because not all forms of low sexual desire are problematic for women. Despite a need to rely primarily on cross-sectional data, research indicates that sexual desire does not necessarily dwindle across the life course and that rates of low desire might be fairly consistent over time. A small body of work suggests that girls’ rates of problematic low desire resemble rates found among samples of women, making clear that there is a substantial minority who consistently experience distressing low levels of sexual desire. What emerges from this review is that women’s sexual desire is difficult to capture meaningfully using standardized measures and that understanding this issue depends on more nuanced approaches to assessment and analysis.
... These individuals need not concern themselves with their partner's sexual desires because they are more concerned with satisfying a physical appetite than the emotional and relational aspects of the sexual experience (Jackson & Kirkpatrick, 2007). Holistically, the short-term sexual motivation focuses more closely on gratification (Lofgren-Martenson & Mansson, 2010), novelty (Morton & Gorzalka, 2015), pleasure (Grubbs, Braden, Kraus, Wilt, & Wright, 2017), and has little concern with a partner's identity (Fisher, 2006), Conversely, long-term sexual quality seems more connected to motivational systems of romantic attraction and attachment to a specific sexual partner. Romantic attraction is what helps someone to focus their sexual interest on a specific individual, often leading them to commit to an exclusive relationship (Fisher, 1998). ...
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Although research has suggested a net negative influence of sexual media on sexual quality, enough researchers have found results suggesting that sexual media has no effect or a positive influence that the matter warrants further investigation. We present an organizational framework utilizing primarily the acquisition, activation, application model (3AM), and the Antecedents-Context-Effects model (ACE) to reconcile these apparently contradictory claims. By synthesizing these theories, we suggest that to truly understand the impact of sexual media on sexual quality, four factors must be taken into account: (1) the content of the sexual media being viewed, (2) the difference between short-term and long-term sexual quality, (3) the influence of exclusivity, formativeness, resonance, and reinforcement in moderating the extent to which the portrayed sexual script is applied (influences attitudes and behavior), and (4) the couple context for congruency of use, script application, and moral paradigms. While acknowledging the many nuances that should be considered, we ultimately argue that when considering these factors simultaneously, the overall scripts presented in sexual media are congruent with pursuing factors for short-term sexual quality and incongruent with pursuing factors for long-term sexual quality.
... According to George Homans, "The more often […] a person has received a particular reward, the less valuable any further unit of that reward becomes for him" (Homans, 1974:29). In terms of sexual relations, previous research has shown that sexual desire and arousal do decline in response to partner familiarity (Morton & Gorzalka, 2015;O'Donohue & Geer, 1985). Familiarity with the spouse can be indirectly measured through the duration of marriage. ...
Article
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Marital infidelity is a serious problem because it can lead to separation and even divorce. Yet, little is known about racial and gender differences in levels of extramarital sex in the United States in the last three decades (1991 to 2018). This study represents the first analysis of the racial and gender differences in levels and determinants of extramarital sex in the United States. We use data from all the 15 waves of the General Social Survey in which respondents were asked if they have ever had sex with someone other than their husband or wife when they were married. Descriptive and multivariate (logistic regression) analyses were conducted to determine the levels and determinants of racial and gender differences in extramarital sex in the last three decades. There are small changes in percent of extramarital sex between 1991 (14.63 percent) and 2018 (16.48 percent). However, despite some fluctuations observed across the 15 General Social Survey waves, the prevalence of extramarital sex has remained significantly higher for blacks compared to whites, and higher also for men than women. The results show the importance of race and gender in explaining extramarital sexual behavior in the United States. We discuss these findings in relation to previous studies and suggest directions for future research.
... According to George Homans, "The more often […] a person has received a particular reward, the less valuable any further unit of that reward becomes for him" (Homans, 1974:29). In terms of sexual relations, previous research has shown that sexual desire and arousal do decline in response to partner familiarity (Morton & Gorzalka, 2015;O'Donohue & Geer, 1985). Familiarity with the spouse can be indirectly measured through the duration of marriage. ...
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Background: Marital infidelity is a serious problem because it can lead to separation and even divorce. Yet, little is known about racial and gender differences in levels of extramarital sex in the United States in the last three decades (1991 to 2018). Aim: This study represents the first analysis of the racial and gender differences in levels and determinants of extramarital sex in the United States. Methodology: We use data from all the 15 waves of the General Social Survey in which respondents were asked if they have ever had sex with someone other than their husband or wife when they were married. Descriptive and multivariate (logistic regression) analyses were conducted to determine the levels and determinants of racial and gender differences in extramarital sex in the last three decades. Results: There are small changes in percent of extramarital sex between 1991 (14.63 percent) and 2018 (16.48 percent). However, despite some fluctuations observed across the 15 General Social Survey waves, the prevalence of extramarital sex has remained significantly higher for blacks compared to whites, and higher also for men than women. Conclusion: The results show the importance of race and gender in explaining extramarital sexual behavior in the United States. We discuss these findings in relation to previous studies and suggest directions for future research.
... Over time, beneficial erobots designed with these principles could discover that human erotic preferences fluctuate and evolve, including during our interactions with them, and adapt accordingly. They could progressively recognize the diversity of human preferences (e.g., in forms, personality, and behaviours) and come to learn that, paradoxically, people enjoy-to various degrees-predictability, habit, and familiarity in their eroticism, but can also eventually habituate to (or grow bored of) being repeatedly exposed to the same thing, and resort to seeking novelty [19,45,184,211]. To maximize the realization of such uncertain preferences, beneficial erobots would have an incentive to ask humans for consent and/or commands prior, during, and after erotic interactions to improve their model-while never assuming perfect knowledge of our preferences or goals, and spiralling out of control. ...
Article
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Technology is giving rise to artificial erotic agents, which we call erobots (erôs + bot). Erobots, such as virtual or augmented partners, erotic chatbots, and sex robots, increasingly expose humans to the possibility of intimacy and sexuality with artificial agents. Their advent has sparked academic and public debates: some denounce their risks (e.g., promotion of harmful sociosexual norms), while others defend their potential benefits (e.g., health, education, and research applications). Yet, the scientific study of human–machine erotic interaction is limited; no comprehensive theoretical models have been proposed and the empirical literature remains scarce. The current research programs investigating erotic technologies tend to focus on the risks and benefits of erobots, rather than providing solutions to resolve the former and enhance the latter. Moreover, we feel that these programs underestimate how humans and machines unpredictably interact and co-evolve, as well as the influence of sociocultural processes on technological development and meaning attribution. To comprehensively explore human–machine erotic interaction and co-evolution, we argue that we need a new unified transdisciplinary field of research—grounded in sexuality and technology positive frameworks—focusing on human-erobot interaction and co-evolution as well as guiding the development of beneficial erotic machines. We call this field Erobotics. As a first contribution to this new discipline, this article defines Erobotics and its related concepts; proposes a model of human-erobot interaction and co-evolution; and suggests a path to design beneficial erotic machines that could mitigate risks and enhance human well-being.
... Nonetheless the individual domains have been validated which enabled us to report findings for each of these 19 . To eliminate the impact of change in partner status on sexual function 35 , we restricted our analysis to participants who did not change their relationship status during the study. The decision to use and choice of ET was determined by each participant's clinical needs, personal medical history and personal preference. ...
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Objective: Premenopausal risk-reducing bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (RRBSO) may impair sexual function, but the nature and degree of impairment and impact of estrogen therapy on sexual function and sexually related personal distress after RRBSO are uncertain. Methods: Prospective observational study of 73 premenopausal women at elevated risk of ovarian cancer planning RRBSO and 68 premenopausal controls at population risk of ovarian cancer. Participants completed the Female Sexual Function Index and the Female Sexual Distress Scale-Revised. Change from baseline in sexual function following RRBSO was compared with controls at 12 months according to estrogen therapy use. Results: Baseline sexual function domains did not differ between controls and those who underwent RRBSO and subsequently initiated (56.2%) or did not initiate (43.8%) estrogen therapy. At 12 months, sexual desire and satisfaction were unchanged in the RRBSO group compared with controls. After RRBSO, nonestrogen therapy users demonstrated significant impairment in sexual arousal (β-coefficient (95% confidence interval) -2.53 (-4.86 to -0.19), P < 0.03), lubrication (-3.40 (-5.84 to -0.96), P < 0.006), orgasm (-1.64 (-3.23 to -0.06), P < 0.04), and pain (-2.70 (-4.59 to 0.82), P < 0.005) compared with controls. Although sexually related personal distress may have been more likely after RRBSO, irrespective of estrogen therapy use, there was insufficient data to formally test this effect. Conclusions: The findings suggest premenopausal RRBSO adversely affects several aspects of sexual function which may be mitigated by the use of estrogen therapy. Further research is needed to understand the effects of RRBSO on sexual function and sexually related personal distress, and the potential for estrogen therapy to mitigate against any adverse effects.
... Anyone, male or female, who has experienced orgasms, knows that they vary in duration, intensity, pleasure and possible perceived visceral activity even with loved sexual partners. While the greater the emotional bond with the sexual partner the more likelihood of the greater physical intensity of the orgasm [63], however, in long term relationships sexual arousal and desire decreases [64]. Ecstatic sexual excitement and orgasm can occur even from extra-pair sexual liaisons [8]. ...
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Abstract The present review examines the continued claims in a number of published articles that the oxytocin released by the human female orgasm is a component to enhance reproductive fitness by facilitating the rate or the amount, or both, of sperm transported to the ovum. The errors in these accounts, both of omission and commission, which undermine the claimed support for this proposed function of oxytocin are highlighted and discussed. Other functions of oxytocin present better candidates for its possible orgasmic actions.
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Androgens, both in excessive and depleted states, have been implicated in female reproductive health disorders. As such, serum testosterone measurements are frequently ordered by physicians in cases of sexual dysfunction and in women presenting with hirsutism. Commercially available androgen assays have significant limitations in the female population. Furthermore, the measurements themselves are not always informative in patient diagnosis, treatment, or prognosis. This article reviews the limitations of serum androgen measurements in women suspected to have elevated or reduced androgen action. Finally, we consider when therapeutic use of androgen replacement may be appropriate for women with sexual interest/arousal disorders.
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The Coolidge effect is the renewal of sexual behavior after the presentation of a novel sexual partner and possibly occurs as the result of habituation and dishabituation processes. This re-motivation to copulate is well studied in males and is commonly related to sexual satiety, which involves several neurobiological changes in steroid receptors and their mRNA expression in the CNS. On the other hand, there are few reports studying sexual novelty in females and have been limited to behavioral aspects. Here we report that the levels of rat proceptive behavior, a sign of sexual motivation, declines after 4 h of continuous mating, particularly in females that were unable to regulate the time of mating. Such reduction was not accompanied by changes in lordosis, suggesting that they were not due to the vanishing of the endocrine optimal milieu necessary for the expression of both components of sexual behavior in the female rat. These and previous data support important differences between sexual behavior in both sexes that would result in natural divergences in the Coolidge effect expression. We here also review some reports in humans showing peculiarities between the pattern of habituation and dishabituation in women and men. This is a growing research field that needs emphasis in female's subjects.
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As a crucial component to preventing sexual boredom and maintaining sexual and relationship satisfaction, sexual novelty is a relational characteristic that warrants considerable empirical attention; however, there is relatively little research on the role that sexual novelty plays in long-term, committed relationships. As such, we developed a brief, reliable measure of sexual novelty to stimulate additional research in this area. Participants consisted of 518 U.S. citizens in committed relationships of 6 months or longer who were recruited online through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to complete surveys assessing “sexual relationships.” Across two samples, the unidimensional Sexual Novelty Scale (SNS) demonstrated high internal consistency and test-retest reliability, as well as convergent and divergent validity. Our results indicate that the 5-item Sexual Novelty Scale is a brief, reliable, and valid measure of the extent to which partners in committed romantic relationships engage in sexually novel behaviour.
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Chapter
Men spoke of primary partnerships where their perception of a lack of an enthusiastic sexual partner, lack of relational management, and their primary partners’ disinterest in their feelings resulted in a loss of self-esteem and emasculation. Outside partnerships offered opportunities to validate their masculinity via sexual prowess, and functioned as a space where partners lavished them with attention, praise, and care. Men exercised the Infidelity Workaround. They outsourced the unsatisfying aspects of the primary partnership to a more interested third party while retaining the status of being married, avoiding the emotional upset of toppling their current lives, and circumventing the stigma, pain, and expense of a divorce. Men sought to outsource the emotional aspect of their primary partnerships via sexual outside partnerships.
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Evolutionary psychologists have hypothesized that men and women possess both long-term and short-term mating strategies, with men's short-term strategy differentially rooted in the desire for sexual variety. In this article, findings from a cross-cultural survey of 16,288 people across 10 major world regions (including North America, South America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, Middle East, Africa, Oceania, South/Southeast Asia, and East Asia) demonstrate that sex differences in the desire for sexual variety are culturally universal throughout these world regions. Sex differences were evident regardless of whether mean, median, distributional, or categorical indexes of sexual differentiation were evaluated. Sex differences were evident regardless of the measures used to evaluate them. Among contemporary theories of human mating, pluralistic approaches that hypothesize sex differences in the evolved design of short-term mating provide the most compelling account of these robust empirical findings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Buss and Schmitt [Psychol. Rev. 100 (1993) 204–232] found that men report preferring more sex partners than women do. Pedersen, Miller, Putcha-Bhagavatula, and Yang et al. [Psychol. Sci. 13 (2002) 157–161] reanalyzed the data of Buss and Schmitt and also collected their own. They found no sex differences in either data set. We show that, when appropriate graphical and statistical methods are used, men clearly report preferring more partners. At all comparable locations on curves showing cumulative number of desired partners, men report preferring more than three times as many partners as women do. Furthermore, the data show that men and women who desire between one and about five desired partners over their lifetime come from a normal distribution, with a standard deviation of about 5. Thus it is incorrect to conclude that men and women who desire more that one lifetime sexual partner come from a different population than those who want only one. We discuss the implication of the data for sexual strategies theory [Psychol. Rev. 100 (1993) 204–232] and attachment fertility theory (AFT; Miller & Fishkin, 1997).
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In this article, we provide a discursive reading of twelve men's understandings of sexual boredom in long-term romantic relationships. The empirical study of sexual boredom in psychological arenas has retained a firm commitment to psychological measures of individual performance and has accentuated men's ‘natural’ tendency towards boredom due, for example, to a specialized adaptive psychological mechanism. From a social constructionist perspective we argue that the phenomenon of sexual boredom needs to be seen as a discursive construction mediated through the ideas or imperatives that are currently popular within the self-help genres and other forms of sexual merchandise, which regulate the wider cultural norms and practices of (compulsory) sex, (gendered) sexual desires, (hot) monogamy and (ideal) romantic love. Drawing on approaches from discursive psychology (an approach that attends to how language is used) we examine the tensions and conflicts which characterize these participants’ attempts to negotiate their positions in relation to sexual boredom, and the strategies they adopt in order to distance themselves from (owning) it. Here we discuss how such negotiations are set against ideals of ‘modern’ man's sexual proficiency (readiness and skilfulness), liberal views of sexual relations (embracing a democratic form of intimacy) and romantic (true) love, that the participants propose are required to maintain monogamous long-term relationships. All the participants construct the notion of boring sex (dull, mechanical, over-rehearsed sex) as an inevitable feature of all sexually exclusive relationships, and sexual boredom (boredom with boring sex) as a trade-off for long-term companionship and ‘true love’.
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We describe across three studies (N = 628) the development and initial validation of the Sexual Boredom Scale (SBS), a self‐report measure of the tendency to experience boredom with the sexual aspects of one's life. The 18‐item scale demonstrates high internal consistency (rs = .92 to .95) and one‐month test‐retest (r = .81) reliability. Validity evidence for the SBS is supported by positive correlations with the following measures: the Sexual‐Depression and Sexual‐Preoccupation subscales of the Sexuality Scale (Snell & Papini, 1989); the Index of Sexual Satisfaction, a measure of dyadic sexual discord (Hudson, Harrison, & Crosscup, 1981); the Boredom Proneness Scale (Farmer & Sundberg, 1986); and the Boredom Susceptibility, Experience Seeking, and Disinhibition subscales of the Sensation Seeking Scale (Zuckerman, 1979). The SBS was nonsignificantly correlated with sexual esteem, thrill and adventure seeking, and social desirability, and negatively associated with global life satisfaction. Overall, men possessed significantly greater sexual boredom scores than did women. Age differences, clinical applications, and directions for future study are discussed.
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The nature and frequency of men's and women's sexual fantasies were investigated by surveying 307 students (182 females, 125 males) at a California state university or junior college via a paper‐and‐pencil questionnaire. The questionnnaire was inspired by modern evolutionary theory and was designed to investigate sex differences in sexual fantasies. Substantial sex differences were found in the salience of visual images, touching, context, personalization, emotion, partner variety, partner response, fantasizer response, and inward versus outward focus. These data, the scientific literature on sexual fantasy, the historically‐stable contrasts between male‐oriented pornography and female‐oriented romance novels, the ethnographic record of human sexuality, and the ineluctable implications of an evolutionary perspective on our species, taken together, imply the existence of profound sex differences in sexual psychologies.
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This study aimed to assess the relative importance of demographic, interpersonal, and personality factors in predicting sexual infidelity in heterosexual couples. A total of 506 men (M age = 32.86 years, SD = 10.60) and 412 women (M age = 27.66 years, SD = 8.93), who indicated they were in a monogamous sexual relationship, completed a series of questionnaires, including the Sexual Excitation/Inhibition (SES/SIS) scales and the Mood and Sexuality Questionnaire, and answered questions about, among others, religiosity, education, income, relationship and sexual satisfaction, and sexual compatibility. Almost one-quarter of men (23.2%) and 19.2% of women indicated that they had "cheated" during their current relationship (i.e., engaged in sexual interactions with someone other than their partner that could jeopardize, or hurt, their relationship). Among men, a logistic regression analysis, explaining 17% of the variance, revealed that a higher propensity of sexual excitation (SES) and sexual inhibition due to "the threat of performance concerns" (SIS1), a lower propensity for sexual inhibition due to "the threat of performance consequences" (SIS2), and an increased tendency to engage in regretful sexual behavior during negative affective states were all significant predictors of infidelity. In women, a similar regression analysis explained 21% of the variance in engaging in infidelity. In addition to SIS1 and SIS2, for which the same patterns were found as for men, low relationship happiness and low compatibility in terms of sexual attitudes and values were predictive of infidelity. The findings of this study suggest that, for both men and women, sexual personality characteristics and, for women, relationship factors are more relevant to the prediction of sexual infidelity than demographic variables such as marital status and religiosity.
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Knowledge about the regulation of sexual emotion may add to the understanding of sexual problems such as diminished sexual desire and hypersexuality. To investigate the regulation of sexual arousal by means of attentional focus in healthy sexually functional men and women. Using a habituation design with attentional strategies, it was investigated whether a focus on hot, emotional information of sexual stimuli would sustain or amplify sexual responses, whereas a focus on cool, cognitive information would weaken sexual responses. Genital response (in women measured by vaginal photoplethysmography assessing vaginal pulse amplitude, and in men measured by mechanical penile strain gauge assessing penile circumference) and subjective report of sexual arousal and absorption. Attenuation of sexual feelings by attentional focus was observed, with stronger sexual feelings under the hot focus condition than under the cool focus condition. Also, sexual feelings diminished during repeated erotic stimulation, and increased with the introduction of novel stimulation, indicating habituation and novelty effects. Contrary to the expectations, the hot attentional focus did not preclude habituation of sexual arousal. Attentional focus has substantial regulatory effects on subjective sexual arousal. Taking a participant and emotion-oriented focus rather than a spectator and stimulus-oriented focus while viewing erotic stimuli, enhances feelings of sexual arousal. Implications for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire, sexual arousal disorder, and hypersexuality are discussed, as well as future directions for studying regulation of sexual emotion.
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To investigate the rate of the decline of marital coital rates with duration of marriage longitudinal recorded data abstracted from diaries and calendars kept by 21 couples were examined. A substantial decline in coital rates during the first year of marriage, at least in couples who had no premarital intercourse, was found. Coital rates were only about half as high after a year of marriage as they were in the first month of marriage. Thereafter, there was a slower rate of decline with increased marriage duration. It seems likely that the rate of decline in the first year is partially dependent on whether premarital intercourse had occurred. It is suggested that the “honeymoon effect” occurs in each marriage contracted by a person. The arrival of a baby seems to depress (perhaps permanently) the coital rate of its parents. A tentative mathematical description of the decline is offered.
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This study presents data on marital sex based on the 1988 National Survey of Families and Households. With this representative sample of United States adults (n = 7,463), we show how the incidence and frequency of marital sex change over the life course. Consistent with previous research, this study shows a decline in marital sexual incidence and frequency. Several factors contribute to this decline, including biological aging, diminished health, and habituation to sex. In multivariate analyses, age was the single factor most highly associated with marital sexual frequency. Marital happiness was the second most important predictor. Some factors found to be related to sexual frequency are associated with life changes that reduce or increase the opportunity to have sex, including pregnancy, the presence of small children, and sterilization. Controlling for age and many other factors, we found that cohabitors, married individuals who had cohabited before marriage, and those who were in their second or later marriage had more frequent sex than their counterparts who had not experienced these events. The effect of missing responses on the validity of aggregate information on sexual frequency is considered.
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Family scholars have focused on the onset of sexual activity early in the life course, but little is known about the cessation of sexual activity in relationships in later life. We use event‐history analysis techniques and logistic regression to identify the correlates of sexual inactivity among older married men and women. We analyze data for 1,502 married people from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationally representative sample of 3,005 noninstitutionalized American men and women ages 57 to 85. We find 29% of the married persons report no sexual activity for the previous 12 months or more. Relationship duration, chronological age, and poor physical health are all independently associated with sexual inactivity. Characteristics such as marital happiness, premarital cohabitation, and remarriage are also associated with levels of inactivity or activity. Analyses also point to gender differences in the correlates of sexual inactivity.
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Sex and mating are central to evolutionary processes. Understanding the factors, including the evolved mechanisms, affecting men’s and women’s sexual decision making, is of interest to scientists, and the public at large. But “getting it right” is critical to researchers trying to develop more effective interventions to address today’s important health issues (e.g., preventing HIV, the sexually transmitted virus that causes AIDS, in high-risk populations).
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The present study examines the relationship between adult attachment style, differentiation, and infidelity. Results indicated that attachment anxiety and avoidance showed significant relationships with infidelity at both the bivariate and multivariate levels of analysis. Differentiation also showed significant results at the bivariate level, whereas the differentiation subconstruct, fusion with others, contributed significantly to the overall model. The knowledge of a parental affair increased the chances of individuals participating in extradyadic relationships as well as other demographic characteristics. The impact of results on clinical implications and therapeutic interventions are discussed as well as future areas of research.
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This brief article responds to Marianne Brandon's piece on bringing monogamy into the treatment room. First I reflect on the ways in which monogamy might be involved in the issues that bring people to sexual and relationship therapy. Then I consider various forms of open non-monogamy that would be useful for us to be aware of. Finally I give some additional reflections on how we might work with monogamy with our clients.
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The purpose of this study was to examine factors that may underlie current marriage trends. A community sample of 217 unmarried adults aged over 30 years was surveyed regarding their reasons for being single, desire for marriage and life satisfaction. Results suggest, first, that unmarried adults attribute being single to both barriers and choices. Second, men desire marriage more than do women and the never-married want to marry more than the divorced. Divorced women have the least desire for marriage. Divorced individuals also report more life satisfaction than never-married individuals. Mediational analyses suggest that men have more desire for marriage than do women because they have less social support and that never-married individuals have more desire for marriage and lower life satisfaction than divorced individuals because they have lower self-esteem. Implications for counseling and future research are discussed.
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Several experiments were performed in order to provide quantitative and qualitative descriptions of the copulatory behavior of syrian golden hamsters (Mesocricetits auratus) observed under laboratory conditions. The results of these studies indicate that: I. The male copulatory pattern may be generally classified as a multiple intromission, multiple ejaculation pattern with no copulatory lock and an absence of thrusting during intromission. The exception to this is the appearance of
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Nine pairs of meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, each received five laboratory tests of copulatory behaviour. Each test was continued until attainment of a satiety criterion of 30 min with no intromissions. Tests of a possible Coolidge effect were conducted on three tests of each pair. The copulatory pattern was characterized by intra-vaginal thrusting, no lock, and multiple ejaculations. Whereas the first ejaculation always was preceded by multiple intromissions, later ejaculations typically required just a single insertion. Mean ejaculation frequency was 5·9. A Coolidge effect was demonstrated as ‘satiated’ males resumed copulation upon introduction of a new female.
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This study explored evolutionary hypotheses concerning extrapair sex (or EPCs: extrapair copulations). Based on recent notions about sexual selection, we predicted that (a) men's number of EPCs would correlate negatively with their fluctuating asymmetry, a measure of the extent to which developmental design is imprecisely expressed, and (b) men's number of times having been an EPC partner of a woman would negatively correlate with their fluctuating asymmetry. In a sample of college heterosexual couples, both hypotheses were supported. In addition, men's physical attractiveness independently predicted how often they had been an EPC partner. Women's anxious attachment style positively covaried with their number of EPC partners, whereas their avoidant attachment style negatively covaried with their number of EPC partners.
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Gender differences in the proportion of sexual fantasies involving someone other than a current partner (extradyadic fantasies) were explored using an anonymous questionnaire administered to 349 university students and employees (ages 18 to 70) who reported that they were currently in heterosexual relationships. Eighty‐seven percent of the sample (98% of men and 80% of women) reported having extradyadic fantasies in the past 2 months. A hierarchical regression analysis revealed that, compared to women, a larger percentage of men's sexual fantasies were extradyadic even after controlling for the effects of relationship length, number of prior sex partners, any prior incidents of actual extradyadic sexual behavior or “cheating” on the current partner, and socioeconomic status. In addition, it was found that the proportion of extradyadic fantasies increased as a function of relationship length for both genders, while prior incidents of extradyadic sexual behavior and a larger number of prior partners were associated with a higher proportion of extradyadic fantasies for women only.
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The factors related to the occurrence of extramarital coitus (EMC) among persons whose marriages terminate in separation or divorce and the impact of participation in EMC on postmarital adjustment were examined. It was hypothesized that premarital coital experience, quality of marital sex, length of marriage, religiosity, and physical attractiveness would affect the occurrence of EMC. Additionally, tests were performed to assess whether participation in EMC increased, decreased, or had no effect on postmarital adjustment. The data are from a study of 205 individuals, separated no longer than 26 months, who completed in‐depth, face‐to‐face interviews about their marriage, its failure, and its aftermath. Most respondents who experienced EMC report that it was an effect, rather than a cause, of marital problems. Yet respondents tend to report that their spouse's infidelity was a cause of marital problems. Guilt is a significant by‐product of EMC for men and women, but men experience somewhat less guilt. Guilt is inversely related to satisfaction with EMC. Women report a significantly greater emotional involvement with their extramarital partners than men. Females who blamed their spouse or another person for the breakup of their marriage were significantly less likely to have had EMC, but no such relationship was found among males. Religiosity does not predict EMC, but among those who have had EMC, religiosity is positively related to how long after marriage EMC first occurred. There is no relationship between the presence or absence of EMC and marital quality at time of separation. Furthermore, EMC does not appear to be related to postmarital adjustment. Other variables such as marital quality, lifestyle attitudes, perceived consequences of EMC, perceived responsibility for family members, and perception of opportunity to engage in EMC need to be studied to further elucidate the occurrence of extramarital relationships.
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Despite the assumption that marriage enhances psychological well-being, little evidence exists that the social role of marriage, rather than the characteristics of individuals who get married, accounts for the benefits of marriage. We use a sample of 18-, 21-, and 24-year-old men and women who either remained unmarried or got married and remained married over a 7-year period to examine whether, after controlling for premarital rates of disorder, marriage enhances mental health. In addition, we consider whether or not females derive more mental health benefits from marriage than males. The results indicate that, with controls for premarital rates of mental health, young adults who get and stay married do have higher levels of well-being than those who remain single. In addition, although men - but not women - who become married report less depression, women - but not men - who become married report fewer alcohol problems. Thus, when both male-prevalent and female-prevalent outcome measures are used, both men and women benefit from marriage.
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This study aimed to qualitatively assess the content of sexual dreams and determine their relationship to waking life sexual experience and fantasy. Dream reports were collected from 97 female and 33 male university students with a mean age of 20.6 years who, in addition to reporting their most recent dream with sexual content, completed the Index of Sexual Fantasy (Hurlbert & Apt, 1993), the Sexual Daydreaming Scale (Giambra, 1978), and two surveys to account for sexual and orgasmic behaviour and experience. Reports of sex dreams were dominated by references to clothing and emotion, with the most common targets of sexual relations being friends and/or acquaintances. Aggression was present in 19% of the collected dreams and 8% contained direct references to rape. Men were observed to report greater daytime sexual fantasizing with more frequent reports of multiple partners, sexual propositions, and sexual thoughts in their dreams. Findings offer partial support for the continuity hypothesis of dreaming (Hall & Nordby, 1972) in relation to human sexuality, at least within the current subsample of young men. It is suggested that many sex dreams may serve as an outlet for sexual fantasies and desires. Limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed.
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The aim of this study was to gain a greater understanding of how women in emerging adulthood describe and make sense of their experience of sexual desire in long-term relationships. Twenty semi-structured interviews were conducted with women in long-term relationships (2.5 years or longer) in emerging adulthood (ages 18–29) regarding their experiences of sexual desire. In order to ensure a range of experiences, we recruited two groups of women: those who were “wondering where the passion has gone” and those who felt “the passion was stillalive”. Data were analyzed using grounded theory methodology. Women provided various explanations for why they continued to experience high desire orexperience a decrease in desire. Similarities and differences between the two groups of women are explored and implications of this study's results are discussed.
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Research over the past decade has documented clear, robust changes in women's sexual preferences and interests across the ovarian cycle. When fertile, women are particularly attracted to a number of masculine male features (e.g., masculine faces, voices, scents and bodies) and other traits, and especially when they evaluate men's “sexiness” rather than their attractiveness as long-term partners. The current research extended this line of research by examining changes in women's self-reported sexual interests across the cycle. We asked 68 normally ovulating women in committed romantic relationships to fill out questionnaires about their sexual preferences and interests (at that time, not in general) twice across their cycles: once when fertile and once during the luteal phase. Relative to during the luteal phase, fertile women expressed (a) greater emphasis on the physical attractiveness of a partner; (b) greater arousal at the sight or thought of attractive male bodily features; (c) greater willingness to engage in and interest in sex with attractive men, even ones who they do not know well (interest in sexual opportunism). These findings importantly extend our understanding of women's fertile-phase sexuality.
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Male and female students and nonstudents were exposed to videotapes featuring common, nonviolent pornography or innocuous content. Exposure was in hourly sessions in six consecutive weeks. In the seventh week, subjects participated in an ostensibly unrelated study on societal institutions and personal gratifications. Marriage, cohabitational relationships, and related issues were judged on an especially created Value-of-Marriage questionnaire. The findings showed a consistent impact of pornography consumption. Exposure prompted, among other things, greater acceptance of pre- and extramarital sex and greater tolerance of nonexclusive sexual access to intimate partners. It enhanced the belief that male and female promiscuity are natural and that the repression of sexual inclinations poses a health risk. Exposure lowered the evaluation of marriage, making this institution appear less significant and less viable in the future. Exposure also reduced the desire to have children and promoted the acceptance of male dominance and female servitude. With few exceptions, these effects were uniform for male and female respondents as well as for students and nonstudents.
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We report the findings of two studies (N = 142; N = 28) investigating women’s preference for men in short- and long-term mating scenarios and perceptions of honesty of dating adverts written by men high or low in Machiavellianism. Overall, men low on Machiavellianism (viz., dads), were preferred as long-term mates; and men high on Machiavellianism (viz., cads) as short-term mates. Fertile women preferred cads for a short-term relationship and dads as a long-term partner. Higher ratings were given to all adverts when females were fertile, suggesting generally higher levels of desire for a partner when the possibility of conception is highest. In contrast to previous work suggesting traits like Machiavellianism may facilitate a deceptive or exploitative mating strategy in men, the present results suggest (1) women are attuned to differences in men’s personality as a function of fertility and (2) affirms that women prefer cads for short-term mating and dads for long-term mating.
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Sexual health professionals embrace a mind-body paradigm for the treatment of sexual dysfunction. Yet even with our inclusive approach, sexual disorders remain treatment challenges. Clearly we are missing something – a variable that is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore: monogamy is not necessarily natural for primates. This paper represents a long-overdue discussion about the monogamy dilemma and how it impacts our patients, our treatments and ourselves. This is not an exploration of whether monogamy is moral, ethical or beneficial. Rather, it is an examination of the possible impact that human non-monogamous nature has on the diagnosis and treatment of sexual dysfunction.
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According to cultural stereotypes, men are more eager for sex than are women; women are more likely to set limits on such activity. In this paper, we review the work of theorists who have argued in favor of this proposition and review the interview and correlational data which support this contention. Finally, we report two experimental tests of ihis hypothesis. In these experiments, conducted in 1978 and 1982, male and female confederates of average attractiveness approached potential partners with one of three requests: "Would you go out tonight?" "Will you come over to my apartment?" or "Would you go to bed with me?" The great majority of men were willing to have a sexual liaison with the women who approached them. Women were not. Not one woman agreed to a sexual liaison. Many possible reasons for this marked gender difference were discussed. These studies were run in 1978 and 1982. It has since become important to track how the threat of AIDS is affecting men and women's willingness to date, come to an apartment, or to engage in casual sexual relations.
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Low sexual desire in women is a common occurrence in loving long-term relationships and the most challenging of all the sexual problems confronting practitioners. The seemingly widespread phenomenon calls for innovative intervention. This paper reports on the findings of a study (reported more fully elsewhere) on the subjective experience of ten heterosexual women who presented with low sexual desire in their relationships, it then focuses on the implications of the findings to suggest management strategies. Findings confirmed that a lack of spontaneous desire is inevitable with time even in satisfying relationships and that, as a result, women often made a conscious decision to engage in sex, based on reasons unrelated to sexual desire. The undesired sexual experiences were tolerated with degrees of unpleasantness. The implications of the findings are that management strategies should include the accurate diagnosis of lack of responsive desire and should consider the emotional intimacy paradox in the relationship as a prerequisite for sexual connection when encouraging differentiation. The willingness to engage in sex for reasons other than having sexual desire (and the attendant discomfort attached thereto) is an important issue for the practitioner to keep in mind when planning intervention.
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The authors review the theory of romantic, or pair-bond, attachment as it was originally formulated by C. Hazan and P. R. Shaver in 1987 and describe how it has evolved over more than a decade. In addition, they discuss 5 issues related to the theory that need further clarification: (a) the nature of attachment relationships, (b) the evolution and function of attachment in adulthood, (c) models of individual differences in attachment, (d) continuity and change in attachment security, and (e) the integration of attachment, sex, and caregiving. In discussing these issues, they provide leads for future research and outline a more complete theory of romantic attachment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Male rats were ranked in dominance orders, were allowed to copulate to exhaustion and then were tested for sexual rearousal in five different treatment conditions. Novel females rearoused 60 per cent of the males to ejaculation. Five-minute encounters with dominant or subordinate males stimulated 33 per cent to ejaculation with a familiar female. Fifteen per cent ejaculated with the familiar female after a 5 min rest and 15 per cent after an encounter with an unknown male. The degree of rearousal was not related to fighting or to mounting during male-male encounters, nor did the dominant males show a higher degree of sexual potency.
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ABSTRACT A relationship between personality processes and evolution can be seen when behaviors associated with sexual maturation, mating, and parenting are examined This article stipulates the types of proximal cues implicated in the shaping of personality variables that become important in the development of the individual's reproductive behavior
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The common chimpanzee has been considered to be a promiscuous species, although transient consort relationships and male possessive behavior have been described byTutin (1975, 1979). A prolific adult male chimpanzee was housed with from four to seven adult female chimpanzees (depending on the females' maternal status) and copulations were recorded from August 7, 1978 until February 16, 1979, during morning feeding periods. Ten females composed the fluctuating available partners. Sixty-four observed copulations involved six females. One female was clearly preferred, including occasions when she was not maximally tumescent (e.g., completely detumescent, pregnant) and other available females were maximally tumescent. The remainder of the observed copulations, with one exception, involved females who had recently been reintroduced into the one-male breeding group. Such copulations took place on and continued temporarily after the day of reintroduction for two females, and after the resumption of menstrual cycling for two females who had been reintroduced while still lactating. Nonpreferred females were impregnated during the period of data collection, even though copulations with them were not observed. These data suggest that the male chimpanzee can form an individual mating preference regardless of the hormonal status of his available partners without lessening his reproductive success with nonpreferred females, but also tends toward maximization of his reproductive success by copulating with novel females.
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Why do some women pursue relationships with men who are attractive, dominant, and charming but who do not want to be in relationships--the prototypical sexy cad? Previous research shows that women have an increased desire for such men when they are ovulating, but it is unclear why ovulating women would think it is wise to pursue men who may be unfaithful and could desert them. Using both college-age and community-based samples, in 3 studies we show that ovulating women perceive charismatic and physically attractive men, but not reliable and nice men, as more committed partners and more devoted future fathers. Ovulating women perceive that sexy cads would be good fathers to their own children but not to the children of other women. This ovulatory-induced perceptual shift is driven by women who experienced early onset of puberty. Taken together, the current research identifies a novel proximate reason why ovulating women pursue relationships with sexy cads, complementing existing research that identifies the ultimate, evolutionary reasons for this behavior.
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The copulatory patterns of rice rats (Oryzomys palustris) were studied in sixty-nine tests, each continued to a satiety criterion of ½ hr without an intromission. Females were in hormone-induced oestrus. The basic motor patterns resemble those of laboratory rats but are less exaggerated. There is a low ejaculation frequency with all tests terminating in fewer than four complete series. Copulation is resumed with a change of female. The second series is faster than either the first or the third as it contains fewer intromissions. Pursuit of the female by the male during the PEI is in dramatic contrast to the behaviour of all other species given systematic study. Female resistance plays an important role in the termination of copulation.
Article
We examined the claim that sperm competition is an important selection pressure operating in human populations. We recruited 222 men and 194 women to complete a survey of their sexual behaviour. Of these, 28% of men and 22% of women reported engaging in extrapair copulations (EPCs). A review of the literature suggests that rates of extrapair paternity are in the region of 2%. These values suggest that the risk of sperm competition in humans is relatively low, in line with comparative studies of relative testis sizes of humans and other primates. Testis volume was positively correlated with the number of sperm ejaculated. However, we found no support for a recent controversial claim that the within-population frequency distribution of testis size reflects a balanced polymorphism between men who specialize in sperm competition through EPCs and men who are monogamous.
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The sociobiological analysis of male and female mating strategies leads to the prediction that men would be more inclined to fantasize sex with anonymous and multiple partners than women, whose fantasies would suggest a desire for close-bonded and famous partners. These expectations were confirmed with reference to a nationwide quota poll of 788 British people, representative of four age groups. The most striking difference appeared in the ‘group sex’ item (a ratio of 4.2). As a proportion of total fantasy output, women were more likely than men to fantasize same-sex and famous partners. There were indications of a convergence of male and female fantasies towards middle-age, which might be interpreted as resulting from a liberation from the effects of testosterone and oestrogen respectively.
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Penile response in six adult males was monitored while pornography was presented repeatedly for six trials over a period of 2 weeks. A significant decrement in penile response to the repeated stimuli occurred, although novel stimuli continued to elicit a response. Two further subjects were exposed to the same procedure, except that immediate sexual reinforcement followed each trial. After six trials, responding for these two subjects had increased, suggesting that extinction rather than satiation or habituation may be involved when decreased responding over trials is found in laboratory studies of pornography.
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Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is a highly prevalent sexual health problem but poorly investigated at the primary care level. This article examines the prevalence of sexual dysfunction and its possible risk factors associated with women at high risk of FSD in a hospital-based primary practice. A validated Malay version of the Female Sexual Function Index (MVFSFI) was utilized to determine FSD in a cross-sectional study design, involving 163 married women, aged 18-65 years, in a tertiary hospital-based primary care clinic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Sociodemographic, marital profile, health, and lifestyle for women at high risk of FSD and those who were not at high risk were compared and their risk factors were determined. Prevalence of FSD in Malaysian women based on the MVFSFI, and its risk factors for developing FSD. Some 42 (25.8%) out of 163 women had sexual dysfunction. Prevalence of sexual dysfunction increased significantly with age. Sexual dysfunctions were detected as desire problem (39.3%), arousal problem (25.8%), lubrication problem (21.5%), orgasm problem (16.6%), satisfaction problem (21.5%) and pain problems (16.6%). Women at high risk of FSD were significantly associated with age (OR 4.1, 95% CI 1.9 to 9.0), husband's age (OR 4.3 95% C.I 1.9 to 9.3), duration of marriage (OR 3.3, 95% CI 1.6 to 6.8), medical problems (OR 8.5, 95% CI 3.3 to 21.7), menopausal status (OR 6.6, 95% CI 3.1 to 14.3), and frequency of sexual intercourse (OR 10.7, 95% CI 3.6 to 31.7). Multivariate analysis showed that medical problem (adjusted OR 4.6, 95% CI 1.6 to 14.0) and frequency of sexual intercourse (adjusted OR 7.2, 95% CI 2.1 to 24.0) were associated with increased risk of having FSD. Those who practiced contraception were less likely to have FSD. Sexual health problems are prevalent in women attending primary care clinic where one in four women were at high risk of FSD. Thus, primary care physician should be trained and prepared to address this issue.
Article
The high prevalence of sexual desire complaints in women have led a number of researchers and theorists to argue for a reconceptualization of female sexual desire that deemphasizes the drive model and places more focus on relational factors. Lacking in this effort has been a critical mass of qualitative research that asks women to report on their causal attributions for low desire. In this study, the authors conducted open-ended interviews with 19 married women who had lost desire in their marriage and asked what causal attributions they made for their loss of sexual desire and what barriers they perceived to be blocking its reinstatement. Three core themes emerged from the data, all of which represented forces dragging down on sexual desire in the present sample: (a) institutionalization of the relationship, (b) over-familiarity, and (c) the de-sexualization of roles in these relationships. Interpersonal and intrapersonal sexual dynamics featured more prominently than did relationship problems in women's attributions. The authors discuss the results in terms of clinical implications in the psychosocial component of treatment for hypoactive sexual desire disorder.