HumanSex-Chap11 - 1 CHAPTER 11: Sexuality & the Life Cycle:...

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CHAPTER 11: Sexuality & the Life Cycle: LIFESPAN DEVELOPMENT- Development from birth through old age DATA SOURCES Self reports → most data come from surveys where adults are questioned about childhood sexual behaviour o Subject to errors due to adults trying to recall things that happened a very long time ago Alternative → interview children or observe their sexual behaviour Kinsey → interviewed 432 children, age 4 to 14 Recent innovation → “talking” computer to interview children using headphones o Child enters his/her answers using a keyboard o Very confidential (only child knows the question) o More children reported sexual experiences to a computer than in face-to-face interviews INFANCY (0 to 2 years) The capacity of the human body to show a sexual response is present from birth o Ultrasounds show that reflex erections occur in the make fetus several months before birth o Vaginal lubrication found in baby girls in the 24 hours after birth First intimate relationship is mother-infant o Involves physical contact o Hygienic care of babies involves contact with sensitive organs → produces a Self-Stimulation Infants often observed fondling their own genitals (not sure how conscious they are of what they are actually doing) Rhythmic manipulation of the genitals (associated with masturbation) does not occur until age 2 ½ to 3 years Ford & Beach (1951) → most boys & girls will progress from absentminded fingering of their genitals to systematic masturbation by age 6 to 8 Orgasms from self-stimulation are possible at a very early age Infants with optimal maternal relationships are more likely to stimulate their genitals Infant-Infant Sexual Encounters Sexual development parallels the development of their other behaviours o Earliest sex is typically one-person sex (self-stimulation) o Infant-infant encounters may involve kissing, hugging, patting, stroking, gazing Non-Genital Sensual Experiences 1 1
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Sucking on mother’s breast or on his/her own fingers may be a sensuous experience o Early intimate encounters might influence his or her reactions to intimacy & cuddling in adulthood Some infants are cuddlers, some are not o Cuddlers enjoy physical contact o Non-cuddlers show displeasure or discomfort when handled or held o Attachment Quality of relationship with parents at this age can be very important to the child’s capacity for later sexual and emotional relationships ATTACHMENT- A psychological bond that forms between an infant & the mother, father, or other caregiver o Begins in the hours immediately following birth & continues throughout the period
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This note was uploaded on 12/20/2009 for the course PSYCH 2075 taught by Professor None during the Spring '06 term at UWO.

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HumanSex-Chap11 - 1 CHAPTER 11: Sexuality & the Life Cycle:...

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