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The Adult Years. Singles and Sexuality #s almost tripled from 1970 – 2002 #s almost tripled from 1970 – 2002 Former stigma is almost gone Former stigma.

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Presentation on theme: "The Adult Years. Singles and Sexuality #s almost tripled from 1970 – 2002 #s almost tripled from 1970 – 2002 Former stigma is almost gone Former stigma."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Adult Years

2 Singles and Sexuality #s almost tripled from 1970 – 2002 #s almost tripled from 1970 – 2002 Former stigma is almost gone Former stigma is almost gone Varying sexual activity levels Varying sexual activity levels Serial monogamy – a succession of sexually exclusive relationships Serial monogamy – a succession of sexually exclusive relationships But most choose long-term relationships But most choose long-term relationships

3 Cohabitation Living together in a sexual relationship without marriage Living together in a sexual relationship without marriage Nearly 60% who married in the early 90’s cohabited first Nearly 60% who married in the early 90’s cohabited first Domestic Partnership – cohabiting in a committed relationship Domestic Partnership – cohabiting in a committed relationship Much more common, now with rights Much more common, now with rights Less traditional gender-roles Less traditional gender-roles

4 Domestic Partnership Advantages Together because they want to be Together because they want to be Less traumatic to break up Less traumatic to break up Occasional legal advantages Occasional legal advantages

5 Disadvantages Not as faithful Not as faithful Occasional stigma Occasional stigma Many legal hazards Many legal hazards

6 More on Cohabitation Usually the status doesn’t last Usually the status doesn’t last 50% marry or bolt in 2 years 50% marry or bolt in 2 years Only 10% last 5 years Only 10% last 5 years Unhappiness increases as time goes on Unhappiness increases as time goes on Couples have high divorce rates Couples have high divorce rates

7 Marriage Universal institution with familial, sexual, economic and legal aspects Universal institution with familial, sexual, economic and legal aspects A source of emotional and financial support A source of emotional and financial support Usually healthier and happier Usually healthier and happier Recent study – just holding your husband’s hand quells apprehension for women in strong marriages Recent study – just holding your husband’s hand quells apprehension for women in strong marriages

8 More Marriage Two basic approaches Two basic approaches Collectivist Collectivist unites two families unites two families often arranged often arranged “rational” decisions can enhance long-term stability “rational” decisions can enhance long-term stability

9 The Individualistic View Union is a realization of individual goals and desires Union is a realization of individual goals and desires Feelings of love form basis Feelings of love form basis

10 Expectations We want much more than a stable unit to raise children We want much more than a stable unit to raise children But can we really expect: But can we really expect: happiness, happiness, financial security, financial security, sexual satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, spiritual and emotional growth, and spiritual and emotional growth, and social status? social status?

11 Modern-day Obstacles Can we really expect all that when former support networks lack their past strength? Can we really expect all that when former support networks lack their past strength? Many married couples live in big, sprawling cities, far from family, stressed for $, child-care help and emotional backing. Many married couples live in big, sprawling cities, far from family, stressed for $, child-care help and emotional backing.

12 Marital Satisfaction Gottman – certain patterns predict unhappiness and divorce – over 90% of the time! Gottman – certain patterns predict unhappiness and divorce – over 90% of the time! The ratio of + to – comments and activities The ratio of + to – comments and activities Need a ratio of 5 to 1 Need a ratio of 5 to 1

13 What are they talking about? Facial expressions of disgust, fear or misery Facial expressions of disgust, fear or misery And especially, And especially, Verbal expressions of contempt from wife, Verbal expressions of contempt from wife, And stonewalling from husband And stonewalling from husband

14 More on the Magic Ratio The 5:1 ratio trumps compatibility, whether or not they fight, etc., etc. The 5:1 ratio trumps compatibility, whether or not they fight, etc., etc. Women who initiate discussions diplomatically and men who listen have marriages that last Women who initiate discussions diplomatically and men who listen have marriages that last

15 Furthermore The ratio works regardless of the three common marital styles: The ratio works regardless of the three common marital styles: Validating – calm listeners who work out problems but can lack passion Validating – calm listeners who work out problems but can lack passion Volatile – passionate disagreements balanced with respect, but at risk for physical aggression Volatile – passionate disagreements balanced with respect, but at risk for physical aggression

16 Another Style Conflict Avoiding – these couples avoid conflict at any price, but often leave problems unresolved Conflict Avoiding – these couples avoid conflict at any price, but often leave problems unresolved

17 Sex Within Marriage Increasing satisfaction Increasing satisfaction Post Kinsey: Post Kinsey: wider variety of behaviors wider variety of behaviors more enjoyment more enjoyment more foreplay more foreplay happier sex-lives, better marriages happier sex-lives, better marriages

18 Quantity & Quality More sex corresponds with better sex More sex corresponds with better sex But the quality of sex often declines as the marriage endures But the quality of sex often declines as the marriage endures

19 Limits Men are more satisfied Men are more satisfied Some marriages are sexless Some marriages are sexless Modern life can exhaust Modern life can exhaust Children invade privacy and limit spontaneity Children invade privacy and limit spontaneity The sameness of routine marital life The sameness of routine marital life

20 Extramarital Sex Interaction between marital persons and someone besides their spouse Interaction between marital persons and someone besides their spouse While some societies allow, most prohibit While some societies allow, most prohibit

21 Why Cheat? Great variability in human behavior Great variability in human behavior To prove to themselves that they are still attractive To prove to themselves that they are still attractive As an escape from an unhappy union As an escape from an unhappy union To end an undesired marriage To end an undesired marriage For sex when unavailable For sex when unavailable For excitement or revenge (9%!) For excitement or revenge (9%!)

22 Who Cheats? The young – The young – The oversexed The oversexed Those who have more chances Those who have more chances Women are just as likely Women are just as likely It boils down to the person (cheater) not the relationship It boils down to the person (cheater) not the relationship

23 How common? Hard to tell Hard to tell Kinsey – 50% of men, 25% of women Kinsey – 50% of men, 25% of women NHSLS – 25% of men, 15% of women NHSLS – 25% of men, 15% of women The Internet has caused more affairs The Internet has caused more affairs

24 What Next? Lying and secrecy avoid trust Lying and secrecy avoid trust Strong feelings of betrayal Strong feelings of betrayal But the end is not inevitable But the end is not inevitable


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