Human Sexuality Study Guide

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Human Sexuality Study Guide – Text Reading

CHAPTER 4:

Love and Marriage in America:

Love and Relationships have changed so much since the Time of our Independence (1750). Marriage was a concept that was arranged between the fathers of the potential bride and groom, and the only way you would be considered a good couple is if you increase the wealth of both families. Traditionally, the brides family would give money or land to the grooms family in exchange for “allowing” the woman to marry their son.

Because life expectancy was a lot shorter in the 1700’s, if a couple did not marry young, it would be likely that they wouldn’t ever get married. Unmarried Women were called “old maids” between the ages of 22 and 27. And unmarried men were forced to pay a “bachelorhood tax” for not being married.

There was a process called “bundling” which meant that the engaged couple was encouraged to sleep in the same bed on a regular basis. They had to be fully clothed, and separated by a diving board. The point of this was to help couples become emotionally intimate faster. However, because people were becoming sexually involved during bundling, when they shouldn’t have, it fell out of favor.

Today, relationships are motivated by love and intimacy and the desire to make a lasting commitment. This is a lot different than marrying for a business advantage, which is what they did in the olden days.

The “Beautiful is Better” Bias:

The influence of physical attractiveness goes well beyond how drawn you may be to someone.

Attractive Children are more popular with Teacher and classmates, teachers are known to give higher evaluations and have higher expectations of them.

Attractive applicants for a job have a better chance of getting jobs, and receiving a higher salary. (Tall men earned $600 more a year per inch of height than shorter executives)

In court, attractive people are found guilty less often and when they are found guilty, their sentence is much more lenient.

People react more favorably to physically attracted individuals whether they are gay or straight.

A stereotype of people that are physical attractive is that they possess other desirable characteristics like intelligence, competence, social skills, confidence and even moral virtue.

Men tend to agree on who they find attractive more than women do.

Physical Attractiveness is deeply embedded in cultural values and attitudes. It is also clear that physical attractiveness plays a prominent role in romantic relationships.

The Matching Hypothesis:

Without a doubt, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it seems as though that people tend to seek romantic and sexual partners that possess a similar level of physical attractiveness. This hypothesis is known as the matching hypothesis. It is possible that people choose their partner based on the matched physical appearance because it is the “safer” choice. Meaning that the person of similar attractiveness is more likely to say yes to a relationship than somebody who is much more physically attractive. Physical attractiveness is also relative to how well a relationship works out. A couple that matches in physical attractiveness actually tends to last longer than relationships where the physical attractiveness differs significantly. Also the degree of matching among romantically linked couples depends to some degree on the nature of the couple. Gay male couples tend to match each other on measures of attractiveness less than lesbian couples who tend to show less similarity than heterosexual couples.

Types of Relationship Abuse:

All abusive relationships are very different from each other. Abusive relationships are all about the use of power and control that is achieved through wide range tactics. The abusers goal is to take complete control of the relationship. Some tactics that abusers tend to use are: Minimization and Blame, Intimidation, Sexual Abuse, Physical...
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