The Psychology of Everyday Life:Love, Marriage, and the Baby Carriage


Do men and women differ with regard to sexuality?

In William Masters and Virginia Johnson’s pioneering work on human sexuality in the 1960s and 1970s, it was assumed that the sexual response worked the same for both men and women. All people followed the four stages of sexual arousal: excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. More recent work has shown that men and women differ dramatically in the nature of their sexuality. Compared to women, men masturbate more, use more pornography, are more reactive to visual cues, and experience sexual desire more spontaneously. Women, on the other hand, are less likely to become spontaneously sexually aroused and their sexual desire is much more reactive to their surrounding circumstances. For example, the quality of a woman’s relationship with a potential sexual partner greatly affects her feelings of sexual attraction. In this way, science supports the cliché that women like to be wined and dined and men like sexy outfits.


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