Human Sexuality: How Do Men and Women Differ? Essay

In Human Sexuality: How do Men and Women Differ? , Peplau educates his readers on the different sexual natures of males and females (Peplau, 2003). About 100 years ago, it was believed that men and women had very different sexual natures but because of more recent research we are now learning that this is not necessarily true (Peplau, 2003). Master’s and Johnson (1966) developed an experiment that forced a human sexual response cycle that can be used for both males and females (Peplau, 2003).

Research on different parts of human sexuality have come up with four differences between males and females that are wide-ranging, affect behavior and apply to all types of men and women (Peplau, 2003). Sexual desire is one difference and is the longing to be sexually involved with objects, activities, or people (Peplau, 2003). Research shows that men long to be sexually involved more than women and have a higher and stronger feeling of sexual desire (Peplau, 2003). Research also shows that, with males, visuals can help ease their sexual desires so they are likely to buy products and engage in activities more than women (Peplau, 2003).

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Males are also more likely to masturbate because they can control when it gets done (Peplau, 2003). In all examples between gays, lesbians, and heterosexuals the men push to have sex more often because their sexual desires are higher than women’s (Peplau, 2003). Another difference would be the difference in attitudes toward premarital and extramarital sex (Peplau, 2003). In an experiment done with Regan and Berscheid (1999) they asked both men and women to define sexual desire (Peplau, 2003).

The women’s responses showed that they linked sexual desire to a more committed relationship and looked at it in a more loving way whereas the males were more into the physical pleasure that intercourse brings (Peplau, 2003). Women’s sexual fantasies are proven to include people that they know and men’s are more likely to include all kinds of people and specific parts of sexual intercourse that they favor (Peplau, 2003). When it comes to sexual desires gay men are likely to have similar attitudes of heterosexual males and lesbians seem to be similar to the heterosexual woman (Peplau, 2003).

Research shows that there is a connection between a person’s sexuality and how aggressive they are (Peplau, 2003). Anderson, Cyranowski, and Espindle did an experiment testing the sexual self-concepts of men and women (Peplau, 2003). The men had similar sexual self-concepts of each other which contained signs of aggression; the women did not show these similar signs (Peplau, 2003). It is proven that women are more flexible when it comes to having sex and their sexual ways can change based on what is going on in their lives and around them (Peplau, 2003).

Men are less flexible and they are more likely to find ways to try to have sex consistently to fill their sexual desires (Peplau, 2003). The differences in sexual ways between the two genders allow us to notice how certain people act in relationships. Although the information was mostly based on one culture, white Americans, and the group of heterosexuals was small it may still be safe to say that these findings are a good start to trying to understand the sexuality of males and females (Peplau, 2003).

The article, Human Sexuality: How do Men and Women Differ? , expands of the drive reduction theory when talking about sexual desire. In the drive reduction theory sexual desire can motivate people to act in ways that minimize aversive states to maintain homeostasis in the body. It also supports what we have discussed in class about motivation. Motivation are the psychological drives that propel us in a specific direction, and sex is one of the most powerful motivators. In class we learned that social norms shape the way people express sexual desires.

Cultural display rules can affect the way people behave, and the research that was done has been mostly conducted with white Americans; if the experiment had been done using other cultures the results may have been different due to the social norms of different countries and people. An idea that was introduced that went beyond the material that we learned in class is sexual plasticity. After reading about this subject it makes perfect sense and I can use an example for the term. One of my friends was in a committed relationship for a long period of time and the couple had sex almost daily.

When they broke up, the female had no problem not continuing to have sex because the boy was no longer in her life, but the male went and got a new girlfriend and said it was because he could not handle the complete loss of sex because his desire was too high. This supports the idea of sexual plasticity because the women was able to be flexible and completely stop having sex whereas the man could not because they like to be consistent with their amount of sex (Peplau, 2003). References Peplau, L. A. (2003). Human Sexuality: how do men and women differ? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 12(2), 37-40.


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