Chapter 13 Sexual Communication.docx - PSYC 333 Sexual...

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PSYC 333 Sexual Communication and Consent Ch. 13 INTRODUCTION Sexual communication : the process by which intimate partners share their sexual likes and dislikes with each other and negotiate sexuality in their relationship COMMUNICATION IN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS Couple’s communication : an ongoing exchange between two partners that unfold over time and consists of verbal, behavioural and affective exchanges COUPLES’ COMMUNICATION BEHAVIOURS Distressed couples are more likely to engage in more negative behaviours and less positive ones o Demonstrate lower validation and empathy towards each other The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse by John Gottman indicating 4 negative behaviours that are strong predictors in relationship dissatisfaction o Criticism : a negative communication behaviour that entails attacking a partner’s character or personality rather than focusing specifically on the behaviour that is upsetting o Contempt : a negative communication behaviour that entails putting down and/or expressing disrespect toward one’s partner Eye rolls, name calling, mean humour o Defensiveness : a negative communication behaviour in which someone protects themselves from verbal assault by denying responsibility, making excuses or counter-complaining o Stonewalling : a negative communication behaviour that entails refusing to respond and resisting influence by not engaging in the discussion at hand Healthy to disengage in general when agreed mutually to prevent it from getting too intense but stonewalling is an action taken by one person which negatively affects the other Non-Verbal Communication Non-verbal behaviour : al communication behaviours that are not words (body posture, voice qualities, facial expressions, gestures and tone) Guerrero and Floyd (2006) non-verbal communication can help to understand dynamics in intimate relationships o Accounts for 60-65% of information exchanged in interpersonal interactions o More likely to believe message said non-verbally and stronger predictor of relationship satisfaction Page 1 of 11
PSYC 333 Sexual Communication and Consent Ch. 13 PATTERNS OF COUPLES’ COMMUNICATION Communication is a process that unfolds over time Patterns that can distinguish distressed couples from non-distressed couples Negative reciprocity : a communication pattern in which each partner tends to respond to the other with negative comments or behaviours, thereby escalating the conflict o Distressed couples are less flexible in how their interactions unfold Demand-withdraw : a communication pattern in which one partner puts pressure on the other (nagging, criticizing) and the other partner does not engage or is defensive o “The endless chase” a vicious no-win cycle Engaging in these early in a relationship leads to greater chance of divorce HOW DO RESEARCHERS STUDY COUPLES’ COMMUNICATION? Can use self-report measures or observational methods o Observational methods can use taped interviews that usually varies from 7-15 minutes o

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