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Psychology in Action

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Masters and Johnson pioneered the use of actual laboratory measurement and observation of human physiological response during sexual arousal. III. SEXUAL BEHAVIOR – This section will explore the sexual response of males and females as well as sexual orientation. A. Sexual Arousal and Response – Masters and Johnson’s four-stage sexual response cycle- the excitement phase, plateau phase, orgasm phase, and resolution phase help us understand differences as well as similarities in male and female behavior. (Process Diagram 11.1). Instructor's Resource Guide                                Chapter 11                                       Page  81                                                                      
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Gender and Cultural Diversity: Are There Evolutionary Advantages to Female Nonmonogamy? – Two theories explaining the differences between women and men are proposed. The evolutionary perspective emphasizes genetic and biological forces and the social role approach, proposes that gender differences arise from different divisions of labor. While the evolutionary perspective suggests only males have a biological advantage to multiple sex partners, in at least 18 societies around the world it is female non- monogamy that offers survival value to women and children. B. Sexual Orientation: Contrasting Theories and Myths – Myths surrounding the causes of homosexuality are debunked followed by several studies pointing toward the role of biology and genetics which is supported by identical twin and prenatal hormone levels. IV. SEXUAL PROBLEMS – This section explores what happens when sexual functioning does not go smoothly or stops and the role biology, psychology, and social forces are discussed. Several major diseases that can be spread through sexual behavior are explored. A. Sexual Dysfunction: The Biopsychosocial Model – Biological factors contributing to sexual dysfunctions may include erectile and orgasmic dysfunctions. Performance anxiety, the double standard, and sexual scripts demonstrate the role of learning in sexual dysfunctions. These dysfunctions are sometimes treated by sex therapists. Although defining these problems can be difficult, people have been helped by sex therapy. Masters and Johnson emphasize the couple's relationship, an integration of physiological and psychosocial factors, cognitions, and specific behavioral techniques. Professional sex therapists offer important guidelines for everyone: Sex education should be early and positive, goal or performance orientation should be avoided, and communication should be open. Research Highlight: Is Cybersex Harmful? – The role of the internet and chat rooms and their influences on sexual behavior are explored.
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  • Human Sexuality, Sexual intercourse, Sexual arousal, Orgasm

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