In a cover story published recently in The New York Times magazine, Daniel Berger, author of the book What do Women Want? Adventure in the Science of Female Desire, which is coming out soon, analyzes women's sex drive in the light of a new drug called Lybrido that is supposed to help women overcome lack of sexual desire. He challenges the evolutionary psychologists' argument that sexual motivation is ruled by innate biology and that men simply have stronger sex drives, suggesting that sexual behavior is heavily influenced by culture and that reasons for lack of sex drive in women are in fact psychological. While that may be the case, human sexuality definitely has its biological roots.
There are several theories, both old and new, which try to explain human sexual functioning with purely or mostly biological factors. On the other hand, sex, gender and reproduction are also frequently explained with social terms and in a social context. In this paper we will not discount biology but we will conclude that psychocultural hypotheses deserve more recognition.Sexuality is an integral part of human life and development, which is affected by the complex interaction of biological, psychological and social factors. For example, it is possible for someone to develop an alternative sexual orientation with a developed biological gender.
[...] Susan Rowlands post-Jungian feminist theory equates to a clarifying revision of the psychologists archetypes theory. No longer are they inherited, innate, natural biological rather, says Rowland, the archetype is inborn potential for a certain sort of image. What the actual mental image will look like will not only depend upon the collective unconscious. Archetypal images also reflect the conscious experiences of the person as a subject in history, culture and time” (Rowland p29) A post-Jungian revision is therefore considered useful. [...]
[...] Hormones have an impact on sexual motives; they can increase or inhibit them. Hormones have an influence on events at genital level. Sexual motivation is connected genitals, where the behavior and events happen. Finally, information on the consequences of a behavior and genital reactions feed back to impact motivation and hormone levels. Early life experiences with various sexual incentives sensitize the organism to stimuli in later life. Excitation and inhibition have biological bases in the central nervous system. The amygdale is a critical brain area for these processes. [...]
[...] At the start of the paper we noted Berger's New York Times argument against evolutionary biology theory. And indeed a pure psychological theory could get beyond the biological account. Hence we will now focus on against an argument against it. Carl Jungs theory of the anima being the conscious of women and the unconscious of men and the animus being the conscious of man and the unconscious of women. Jung's theory is useful when considering animus dominated culture in terms of power. [...]
[...] Sexuality is the sole method to pass inherited characteristics from generation to generation. Sociobiology suggests that evolution forces humans to produce behaviors, which result in producing offspring. It forces humans to maximize the number of offspring. Males have a genetic program for promiscuity, striving to have sex with as many women as possible. Females' genetic program urges them to select an appropriate partner and father and settle down. The main difference between genders is in the numbers: women are able to produce a limited number of children during their fertile years. [...]
[...] (2001): The Psychology of Gender and Sexuality, An Introduction, Open University Press Buckingham Philadelphia Maccoby, E. E. (1991): Different Reproductive Strategies in Males and Females, Child Development 676-681 Hatfield, E., Luckhurst, C., Rapson, R. L. (2010): Sexual Motives: Cultural, Evolutionary, and Social Psychological Perspectives, Sexuality & Culture (2010) 14:173–190 Rowland, S. (2002) Jung: A Feminist Revision. [...]
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