Chapter 04: Gender and Sexuality


Gender Development

How are we Alike? How Do we Differ?

The Nature of Gender: Our Biology

The Nurture of Gender: Our Culture

Human Sexuality

The Physiology of Sex

The Psychology of Sex

Sexual Orientation

Environment and Sexual Orientation

Biology and Sexual Orientation

An Evolutionary Explanation of Human Sexuality

Gender Differences in Sexuality

Natural Selection and Mating Preferences

Critiquing the Evolutionary Perspective

Thinking About Gender, Sexuality, and Nature-Nurture Interactions

Gender Development

Gender Differences in Aggression

Gender and Social Power

Gender Differences and Connectedness

Biology of Sex

Sexual Differentiation

Gender Roles

Gender Roles: Theories

Human Sexuality

Sexual Motivation

The Physiology of Sex

The Psychology of Sex

The Physiology of Sex

Masters and Johnson (1966) describe the human sexual response cycle as consisting of four phases:

Hormones and Sexual Behavior

Sex hormones effect the development of sexual characteristics and (especially in animals) activate sexual behavior.

Estrogen

Female animals “in heat” express peak levels of estrogen. Female receptivity may be heightened with estrogen injections.

Testosterone

Levels of testosterone remain relatively constant in males, so it is difficult to manipulate and activate sexual behavior. Castration, which reduces testosterone levels, lowers sexual interest.

Sexual Problems

Men generally suffer from two kinds of sexual problems: premature ejaculation and erectile disorder. Women may suffer from orgasmic disorders.

The Psychology of Sex

External Stimuli

It is common knowledge that men become sexually aroused when browsing through erotic material. However, women experience similar heightened arousal under controlled conditions.

Imagined Stimuli

Our imagination in our brain can influence sexual arousal and desire. People with spinal cord injuries and no genital sensation can still feel sexual desire.

Sexual Orientation

Environment and Sexual Orientation

Biology and Sexual Orientation

Sexual orientation refers to a person’s preference for emotional and sexual relationships with individuals of the same sex, the other sex, and/or either sex.

Sexual Orientation Statistics

In Europe and America, based on many national surveys, homosexuality in men is 3-4% and in women is 1-2%.

Origins of Sexual Orientation

Homosexuality is more likely based on biological factors like differing brain centers, genetics, and parental hormone exposure rather than environmental factors.

Animal Homosexuality

A number of animal species are devoted to same-sex partners, suggesting that homosexuality exists in the animal world.

Genes & Sexual Orientation

A number of reasons suggest that homosexuality may be due to genetic factors.

Sexual Orientation: Biology

An Evolutionary Explanation of Human Sexuality

Evolutionary Psychology and Human Sexuality

Gender Differences in Sexuality

Natural Selection and Mating Preferences

Critiquing the Evolutionary Perspective

Human Sexuality

Natural Selection & Mating Preferences

Mating Preferences

Critiquing the Evolutionary Perspective

Evolutionary Psychologists Reply

Sex and Human Values

“Promiscuous recreational sex poses certain psychological, social, health, and moral problems that must be faced realistically” (Baumrind, 1982).

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