Actual and desired duration of foreplay and intercourse: discordance and misperceptions within heterosexual couples.A mutually satisfying sexual relationship is complex. It involves the pairing of two individuals, each with his or her own idiosyncratic id·i·o·syn·cra·sy
n. pl. id·i·o·syn·cra·sies
1. A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group.
2. A physiological or temperamental peculiarity.
3. set of tikes and dislikes. Each, in the language of Simon and Gagnon Gagnon is a surname, and may refer to:
1. Not congruent.
in·congru·ence n. with one or both partners' ideal script with respect to desired duration of sexual activities.
Past research has attempted to determine heterosexual heterosexual /het·ero·sex·u·al/ (-sek´shoo-al)
1. pertaining to, characteristic of, or directed toward the opposite sex.
2. one who is sexually attracted to persons of the opposite sex. couples' actual and desired duration of both foreplay foreplay /fore·play/ (for´pla) the sexually stimulating play preceding intercourse.
The sexual stimulation that precedes intercourse. (1) and intercourse INTERCOURSE. Communication; commerce; connexion by reciprocal dealings between persons or nations, as by interchange of commodities, treaties, contracts, or letters. . For example, early research by Kinsey Kin·sey , Alfred Charles 1894-1956.
American sexologist and zoologist noted for his 1948 study, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, popularly known as "The Kinsey Report. and his colleagues (Kinsey, Pomeroy Pomeroy may refer to:
intr.v. in·ter·vened, in·ter·ven·ing, in·ter·venes
1. To come, appear, or lie between two things: You can't see the lake from there because the house intervenes.
2. 2 decades. Laumann, Gagnon, Michael Michael, archangel
Michael (mī`kəl) [Heb.,=who is like God?], archangel prominent in Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions. In the Bible and early Jewish literature, Michael is one of the angels of God's presence. , and Michaels This article is about the U.S. crafts retail chain. For the bidding convention in the card game of Bridge, see Michaels cuebid. For the same-sex couple in Canada, see The Michaels.
Michaels is the largest arts and crafts retail chain in the United States. (1994) also investigated performance scripts. However, they chose to study "duration of last sexual event" rather than the duration of foreplay and intercourse separately. Further, none of these studies investigated participants' ideal duration of either foreplay or intercourse.
Denney Denney is a surname, and may refer to:
1. Offering several answers from which the correct one is to be chosen: a multiple-choice question.
2. format ranging from less than 5 minutes to more than 30 minutes. They found that both the reported performance and ideal sexual scripts involved between 5 and more than 30 minutes of foreplay. However, given their methodology, it is impossible to directly compare precise performance and ideal script duration. Thus, it is not known whether these individuals perceived themselves to be experiencing their desired duration of foreplay and intercourse. Further, as past research has been based on reports from only one member of a sexual couple, researchers have not compared male and female partners' reports of the duration of their performance or ideal sexual scripts for foreplay and intercourse.
Having both partners provide information allows for the examination of understanding or misperceptions within the couple. First, comparing perceptions of a partner's ideal duration of both foreplay and intercourse to the other partner's self-reported ideal duration provides an estimate of the extent to which partners understand one another's ideal sexual script. In a study of interpersonal communication Interpersonal communication is the process of sending and receiving information between two or more people. Types of Interpersonal Communication
This kind of communication is subdivided into dyadic communication, Public speaking, and small-group communication. and sexual adjustment, Purnine and Carey
Carey is the name of several places:
pleasur·a·bil their partners found various sexual activities. However, they did not investigate partner understanding of the ideal duration of foreplay and intercourse.
There are a number of factors that may contribute to misperceptions about ideal duration of foreplay and intercourse. First, sexual misperceptions may be due to a lack of sexual communication (Purnine & Carey, 1997). Certainly there is evidence that many couples do not fully disclose their sexual likes and dislikes (MacNeil MacNeill can have a number of different meanings and spellings:
Clan MacNeil is a Scottish clan. Notable people
John Russell, 1st earl of Bedford, 1486?–1555, rose to military and diplomatic importance. , 1990). Alternatively, such sexual misperceptions may be a consequence of commonly held stereotypes about differences in men's and women's desired duration of foreplay and intercourse. Barbach (1984) called these forms of stereotypes the cultural role script. An individual's notions of the cultural role script may influence judgments concerning a partner's sexual desires. For instance, consistent with the pervasive pervasive,
adj indicates that a condition permeates the entire development of the individual. stereotype stereotype (stĕr`ĕətīp'), plate from which printing is done, made by casting metal in a mold, usually of paper pulp. The process was patented in 1725 by the Scottish inventor William Ged. that men desire less foreplay than women do, women may inaccurately assume that men desire little or no foreplay (Basow, 1992; Zilbergeld, 1999). Men may believe one of two stereotypes related to women's enjoyment of intercourse. They may assume that women only enjoy foreplay and not intercourse. Thus, it may seem preferable to get intercourse over with quickly (Fink fink Slang
1. A contemptible person.
2. An informer.
3. A hired strikebreaker.
intr.v. finked, fink·ing, finks
1. To inform against another person. , 1974; Wolfe, 1981; Zilbergeld, 1999). Alternately, they may believe that women desire very lengthy intercourse to feel sexually satisfied (Fink, 1974; Wolfe, 1981). Thus, it is unclear what the common stereotypes concerning gender differences in desired intercourse duration are. Couples who have been romantically involved longer may be more likely to have shared their ideal sexual scripts and thus have a better understanding of each other's ideal duration of foreplay and intercourse and be less influenced by gender stereotypes.
We investigated the following eight research questions (RQ) regarding duration of foreplay and intercourse in heterosexual couples:
RQ1. Are there significant gender differences in the desired duration of foreplay and intercourse?
RQ2. Are there differences between the performance and ideal sexual scripts for one or both genders?
RQ3. To what extent do men and women exhibit misperceptions concerning their partner's desired duration of foreplay and intercourse?
RQ4. Do couples in long-tern1 relationships have fewer sexual misperceptions than newer couples?
RQ5. Does the cultural role script for men and women differ for either foreplay or intercourse?
RQ6. Are the cultural role scripts accurate representations of men's and women's ideal durations of foreplay and intercourse?
RQ7. To what extent are perceptions of the cultural role script associated with estimations of the partner's desired duration of foreplay and intercourse?
RQ8. Is perception of the partner's ideal sexual script more closely associated with perceptions of the cultural role script or with partner's self-reported ideal script?
PREDICTING THE PERFORMANCE SCRIPT
A couple's sexual performance script is likely affected by a host of factors, including each member's ideal sexual script, understanding of the partner's ideal sexual script, and perceptions of the cultural role scripts. If the male partner is instrumental in determining the duration of foreplay and intercourse, as many researchers believe (Baumeister Baumeister is a surname, and may refer to:
This page or section lists people with the surname Baumeister. , 2000; Blumstein & Schwartz Schwartz is a Canadian spices brand. It is also a common surname and may refer to:
Three or more years. In the context of accounting, more than 1 year.
1. Of or relating to a gain or loss in the value of a security that has been held over a specific length of time. Compare short-term. relationships as sex becomes more routine and sexual desire decreases (Klusmann, 2002). Therefore, we examined the extent to which the ideal sexual scripts of both partners, perceptions of each other's ideal scripts, perceptions of the cultural role scripts, duration of the other elements of the performance script, and the length of the couple's relationship are associated with the duration of foreplay and intercourse (RQ9).
SEXUAL SATISFACTION AND SEXUAL MISPERCEPTIONS
To develop a mutually pleasing sexual script, individuals need to be aware of their partners' sexual expectations and desires (Cupach & Metts, 1991; Purnine & Carey, 1998). In particular, couples who have misperceptions regarding each other's ideal duration of foreplay and intercourse may report decreased sexual satisfaction if these misperceptions have led to a performance script that diverges too much from one or both partners' ideal script.
Past research suggests that gender may determine the extent to which misperceptions influence sexual satisfaction. For example, Purnine and Carey (1997) found that men's understanding of their partner's preferences was positively associated with the sexual satisfaction of both partners, whereas women's understanding was not significantly related to the sexual satisfaction of either partner. MacNeil and Byers' (1997) finding that women's sexual self-disclosure Self-disclosure is both the conscious and unconscious act of revealing more about ourselves to others. This may include but is not limited to thoughts,feelings, aspirations, goals, failures, successes, fears, dreams as well as our likes, dislikes, and favorites. but not men's was linked with both partners' sexual satisfaction also supports the importance of men's understanding of their partners' ideal scripts to sexual satisfaction.
There are two compatible hypotheses regarding why men's sexual misperceptions may be more detrimental det·ri·men·tal
Causing damage or harm; injurious.
detri·men to the sexual satisfaction of both partners than women's sexual misperceptions. First, men play a more instrumental role in determining the sexual performance script (Baumeister, 2000; Blumstein & Schwartz, 1983; Grauerholz & Serpe, 1985; Lawrance et al., 1996). Thus, men are able to direct the sexual interaction in such a way as to fulfill ful·fill also ful·fil
tr.v. ful·filled, ful·fill·ing, ful·fills also ful·fils
1. To bring into actuality; effect: fulfilled their promises.
2. their own sexual desires. However, sexual activity may not fulfill their partners' sexual desires if the men misperceive mis·per·ceive
tr.v. mis·per·ceived, mis·per·ceiv·ing, mis·per·ceives
To perceive incorrectly; misunderstand.
mis what these desires are. Second, men may feel pressure to "perform well" and may measure their performance by whether their partners reach orgasm orgasm /or·gasm/ (or´gazm) the apex and culmination of sexual excitement.orgas´mic
n. and feel sexually satisfied (Basow, 1992; Masters & Johnson, 1976). Thus, correctly perceiving a woman's ideal script and thereby "providing" her with sexual satisfaction may be an important element of a man's sexual experience. Therefore, we examined the relationship between sexual misperceptions and sexual satisfaction (RQ10). We hypothesised that misperceptions by men would be more strongly associated with sexual satisfaction than would misperceptions by women.
Participants were 152 couples who completed and returned a questionnaire mailed to 1,989 male university alumni as part of a larger study on men's ejaculatory e·jac·u·la·to·ry
Relating to an ejaculation. behaviour. The response rate is difficult to determine because not all men who received questionnaires were in long-term relationships and thus had partners who were eligible to participate. We therefore determined that we had a minimum response rate of 7.6%. Male respondents In the context of marketing research, a representative sample drawn from a larger population of people from whom information is collected and used to develop or confirm marketing strategy. ranged in age from 23 to 76 years (M = 40.5, SD = 11.4). Female respondents ranged in age from 21 to 77 years (M= 38.9, SD = 10.8). Couples had been in their relationships between 6 months and 50 years (M = 14.17, SD = 11.16). Most (80.9%) of the couples reported that they were married and approximately half (55%) had children living at home. The sample was highly educated, with 100% of the male respondents and 75.7% of the female respondents having completed a minimum of an undergraduate degree “First degree” redirects here. For the BBC television series, see First Degree.
An undergraduate degree (sometimes called a first degree or simply a degree . Further, 70% of the couples had a household income of more than $50,000 Canadian Canadian (kənā`dēən), river, 906 mi (1,458 km) long, rising in NE New Mexico. and flowing E across N Texas and central Oklahoma into the Arkansas River in E Oklahoma. . Almost all of the respondents (98%) had grown up in Canada Canada (kăn`ədə), independent nation (2001 pop. 30,007,094), 3,851,787 sq mi (9,976,128 sq km), N North America. Canada occupies all of North America N of the United States (and E of Alaska) except for Greenland and the French islands of and rated their overall health as good. Although ethnicity ethnicity Vox populi Racial status–ie, African American, Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic was not assessed, in keeping with the ethnic composition of both the province and the university, it is highly likely that the sample was primarily White.
Only the components of the questionnaire that were used in the present study are described here (see Byers & Grenier Grenier is a surname, and may refer to:
The Perceptions of Sexual Behaviour Questionnaire was designed for this study to assess participants' ideal and performance scripts, perceptions concerning their partners' ideal scripts, and understanding of the ideal cultural role scripts for each gender. Participants provided the following information in minutes: (a) how long they thought most men and most women would like foreplay and intercourse to last (cultural role script); (b) how long they would like foreplay and intercourse to last (ideal script); (c) how long they thought their partners would like foreplay and intercourse to last (perceptions of partner's ideal script); and (d) the average duration of foreplay and intercourse with their present partner (performance script).
We calculated sexual misperception mis·per·ceive
tr.v. mis·per·ceived, mis·per·ceiv·ing, mis·per·ceives
To perceive incorrectly; misunderstand.
mis scores by determining the difference between perceptions of partner's ideal script and the partner's self-reported ideal script for foreplay and intercourse separately. We used the absolute values of the resulting scores for analysis.
We used the Global Measure of Sexual Satisfaction (GMSEX; Lawrance & Byers, 1998) to measure satisfaction with the sexual relationship. Participants responded to the following question: "In general, how would you describe your sexual relationship with your partner?" Respondents then rated their level of sexual satisfaction on five 7-point bipolar (1) See bipolar transmission.
(2) One of two major categories of transistor; the other is "field effect transistor" (FET). Although the first transistors and first silicon chips were bipolar, most chips today are field effect transistors wired as CMOS logic, which scales: very good to very bad, very pleasant to very unpleasant, very positive to very negative, very satisfying to very unsatisfying, and very valuable to worthless. Scores on the GMSEX can range from 5 to 35, with lower scores indicating less sexual satisfaction. Lawrance and Byers (1995, 1998) provided evidence that the GMSEX is significantly correlated cor·re·late
v. cor·re·lat·ed, cor·re·lat·ing, cor·re·lates
1. To put or bring into causal, complementary, parallel, or reciprocal relation.
2. with other measures of sexual satisfaction and has a high 3-month test-retest reliability test-retest reliability Psychology A measure of the ability of a psychologic testing instrument to yield the same result for a single Pt at 2 different test periods, which are closely spaced so that any variation detected reflects reliability of the instrument . The internal consistency In statistics and research, internal consistency is a measure based on the correlations between different items on the same test (or the same subscale on a larger test). It measures whether several items that propose to measure the same general construct produce similar scores. for the present sample was high ([alpha] = .96 for men, [alpha] = .95 for women).
We sent two questionnaires (a male and a female version) as well as background materials to 1,989 male university alumni from all faculties at a mid-sized Canadian university. We included a cover letter that encouraged male participants to have their female partner participate in the research. Ten days after the questionnaires were mailed, a reminder letter was sent to these same alumni. Those interested in participating in the study completed the questionnaires and returned them via prepaid pre·pay
tr.v. pre·paid, pre·pay·ing, pre·pays
To pay or pay for beforehand.
pre·payment n. post.
As the double entry method (Kenny Ken·ny , Elizabeth 1880?-1952.
Australian nurse who developed a simple treatment for the paralysis brought on by poliomyelitis. , 2001) revealed that our sample was interdependent in·ter·de·pen·dent
Mutually dependent: "Today, the mission of one institution can be accomplished only by recognizing that it lives in an interdependent world with conflicts and overlapping interests" , we used repeated-measures t tests, MANOVAs, and ANOVAs to accommodate for the correlation between partners' reports.
To address RQ1 and RQ2, we conducted a 2 (Gender) X 2 (Script: performance or ideal) repeated measures MANOVA MANOVA Multivariate Analysis of the Variance with duration of foreplay and intercourse as the dependent variables. As recommended by Cohen cohen
(Hebrew: “priest”) Jewish priest descended from Zadok (a descendant of Aaron), priest at the First Temple of Jerusalem. The biblical priesthood was hereditary and male. , Cohen, West, and Aiken Aiken, city (1990 pop. 19,872), seat of Aiken co., W S.C.; inc. 1835. A resort and polo center and a training area for Thoroughbreds, Aiken has apparel, printing and publishing, drug, and chemical industries. (2003), we used mean substitution Substitution
put her own son in place of Orestes; her son was killed and Orestes was saved. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 32]
robber freed in Christ’s stead. [N.T.: Matthew 27:15–18; Swed. Lit. for this and all following analyses. Five substitutions were needed for women's perceptions of the male cultural role script for intercourse; three or fewer substitutions were made for all other variables. We found a significant effect for both gender and script, F(2, 150) = 6.65, p < .01, [[eta].sup.2] = .08 and F(2, 150) = 138.27, p < .001, [[eta].sup.2] = .65, respectively. The interaction was also significant, F(2, 150) = 13.47, p < .001, [[eta].sup.2] = .15.
n the process of monitoring the progress of a patient after a period of active treatment.
follow-up plan ANOVAs revealed that for foreplay, only the main effect for script was significant and was qualified by a significant interaction, F(1, 151) = 122.55, p < .001, [[eta].sup.2] = .45 and F(1, 151) = 8.40, p < .01, [[eta].sup.2] = .05, respectively. The means and standard deviations In statistics, the average amount a number varies from the average number in a series of numbers.
(statistics) standard deviation - (SD) A measure of the range of values in a set of numbers. for the interaction are reported in Table 1. We conducted mean comparisons using repeated measures t tests and using a Bonferroni correction In statistics, the Bonferroni correction states that if an experimenter is testing n independent hypotheses on a set of data, then the statistical significance level that should be used for each hypothesis separately is 1/n to control alpha (p < .01). Both men's and women's reports of their ideal scripts for foreplay were significantly longer than their reports of their performance scripts; the discrepancy DISCREPANCY. A difference between one thing and another, between one writing and another; a variance. (q.v.)
2. Discrepancies are material and immaterial. for women was larger than the discrepancy for men. However, the men reported a longer foreplay performance script than the women did. The men and women did not differ in the duration of their ideal scripts for foreplay.
For intercourse, the follow-up ANOVA anova
see analysis of variance.
ANOVA Analysis of variance, see there indicated main effects for both script and gender, F(1,151) = 254.24, p < .001, [[eta].sup.2] = .63 and F(1, 151) = 13.35, p < .001, [[eta].sup.2] = .08, as well as a significant interaction, F(1, 151) = 11.50, p < .01, [[eta].sup.2] = .07. As we found for foreplay, both men's and women's reports of their ideal scripts for intercourse were significantly longer than their reports of their performance scripts; in this case the discrepancy was larger for men than women. The men and women did not differ in their reports of the performance script. However, male participants' ideal scripts were longer than those of female participants.
These results indicate that there are gender differences in the desired duration of intercourse but not foreplay (RQ1), with the men desiring a longer duration of intercourse than the women. However, the gender difference was small to moderate (Cohen et al., 2003). In contrast, participants reported significantly longer ideal scripts than performance scripts for both foreplay and intercourse (RQ2) and these differences were very large.
To determine the extent to which men and women are aware of their partners' ideal scripts (RQ3), we compared the male partner's ideal script with his female partner's perception of partner's ideal script and vice versa using a priori a priori
In epistemology, knowledge that is independent of all particular experiences, as opposed to a posteriori (or empirical) knowledge, which derives from experience. repeated-measures t tests. For foreplay, men's perceptions of partner's ideal scripts were positively correlated with their female partners' self-reported ideal scripts, r = .44, p < .001. Further, the difference between the men's perceptions of partners' ideal scripts and their partners' ideal scripts for foreplay was not significant, t(151) = 1.47, p > .05 (M = 17.38 and 18.93, respectively). Women's perceptions of partners' ideal scripts were also positively correlated with their partners' self-reported ideal scripts for foreplay, r = .43, p < .001. However, the women significantly underestimated the desired duration of foreplay that their partners wished to engage in by almost 5 minutes, t(151) = 5.28, p < .001, [[eta].sup.2] = .16 (M = 13.27 vs. 18.10).
We found the same pattern for intercourse. Men's perceptions of partners' ideal scripts were significantly correlated with their partners' self-reported ideal scripts, r = .33, p < .001, but did not significantly differ from them, t(151) = -.435, p > .05 (M = 14.78 and 14.34, respectively). Women's estimates were positively correlated with their partners' self-reported ideal scripts, r = .37, p < .001, but again, women significantly underestimated the duration of intercourse involved in their partners' ideal scripts by more than 3 minutes, t(151) = 3.00, p < .01, [[eta].sup.2] = .06 (M = 15.36 and 18.45). Thus, whereas the men appeared to have an accurate understanding of their partners' ideal scripts, the women underestimated the duration of both foreplay and intercourse in their partners' ideal scripts.
We used zero-order correlations to examine the relationships between sexual misperceptions and the length of a couple's relationship (RQ4). Relationship length was not associated with women's or men's sexual misperceptions about their partners' ideal scripts for foreplay or with women's misperceptions about their partners' ideal scripts for intercourse, r = .03 to -.12, p > .05. However, length of relationship was negatively related to men's misperceptions concerning their partners' ideal scripts for intercourse, r = -. 18, p < .05, but accounted for only 3% of the variance The discrepancy between what a party to a lawsuit alleges will be proved in pleadings and what the party actually proves at trial.
In Zoning law, an official permit to use property in a manner that departs from the way in which other property in the same locality in the extent of misperception. Thus, it appears that relationship length has little impact on sexual misperceptions concerning a partner's ideal duration of foreplay and intercourse.
We also used zero-order correlations to examine the relationship between sexual misperceptions and sexual satisfaction (RQ10). Neither own nor partner's sexual misperceptions were related to the sexual satisfaction of men or women, r = -. 14 to. 12, p > .05. Due in part to this unexpected finding, and also because of the discrepancies between the performance scripts and the ideal scripts, we examined whether the extent of discordance discordance /dis·cor·dance/ (dis-kord´ans) the occurrence of a given trait in only one member of a twin pair.discor´dant
n. between an individual's performance and ideal scripts for foreplay and intercourse was related to sexual satisfaction. The extent of the discrepancy between the performance and ideal scripts was not related to either own or partner's sexual satisfaction, r = -.11 to .04, p > .05.
Perceptions of the Cultural Role Script
To investigate gender differences in perceptions of the cultural role script (RQ5), we conducted a 2 (Gender of Actor) X 2 (Gender of Respondent In Equity practice, the party who answers a bill or other proceeding in equity. The party against whom an appeal or motion, an application for a court order, is instituted and who is required to answer in order to protect his or her interests. ) repeated-measures MANOVA with duration of foreplay and intercourse as the dependent variables. The main effects for both gender of actor and gender of respondent were significant, F(2, 150) = 99.79, p < .001, [[eta].sup.2] = .57 and F(2, 150) = 4.57, p < .05, [[eta].sup.2] = .06, respectively. The interaction was not significant, F(2, 150) = .38, p > .05.
Follow-up ANOVAs revealed that for foreplay, the main effects for both gender of actor and gender of respondent were significant, F(1,151) = 160.76, p < .001, [[eta].sup.2] = .52 and F(1, 151) = 9.17, p < .01, [[eta].sup.2] = .06, respectively. Participants perceived the foreplay cultural role script for women as longer than the foreplay cultural role script for men (M = 18.53 and 10.82, respectively). Further, male participants perceived that there was a longer cultural role script than did female participants (M = 15.91 and 13.49, respectively). For intercourse, neither the main effect for gender of actor nor the main effect for gender of respondent were significant, F(1, 151) =. 138, p > .05 (M= 15.39 and 15.15) and F(1,151) = 1.72,p > .05 (M = 14.67 and 15.87). Thus, both gender of actor and gender of respondent affected perceptions of the cultural role script for foreplay but not for intercourse. For example, whereas men and women were seen as typically desiring a similar duration of intercourse, women were seen as desiring a longer duration of foreplay than were men. Similarly, although the men and women had similar beliefs about the desired length of intercourse, the women estimated a shorter desired duration of foreplay than the men. However, whereas the effect for gender of actor was very large, the effect for gender of respondent was small to moderate.
We next used a priori repeated-measures t tests to determine whether the reported cultural role scripts were accurate (RQ6). To do this, we compared, for foreplay and intercourse separately, perceptions of the cultural role scripts for men and women to the ideal scripts reported by male and female participants. For foreplay, the differences between the men's estimates of the cultural role script for women and female participants' reported ideal scripts was not significant, t(151) = -.58,p > .05 (M= 19.66 and 18.93, respectively). However, the women's estimates of the cultural role script for women was significantly shorter than female participants' self-reported ideal script, t(151) = 2.67, p < .01, [[eta].sup.2] = .04 (M = 17.41 and 18.93). Estimates of the cultural role script for men by both male and female participants were significantly shorter than the average male participant's self-reported ideal script for foreplay, t(151)= 8.63, p<.001, [[eta].sup.2]=.33 (M= 12.17 and 18.10) and t(151) = 9.39, p < .001, [[eta].sup.2] = .37 (M = 9.46 and 18.10), respectively.
For intercourse, the differences between men's and women's estimates of the cultural role script for women and women's self-reported ideal scripts were not significant, t(151) = -1.21, p > .05 (M = 15.57 and 14.34) and t(151) = -.979, p > .05 (M = 14.74 and 14.34), respectively. Again, however, both men's and women's estimates of the cultural role script for men were significantly shorter than male participants' self-reported ideal scripts, t(151) = 3.74, p < .001, [[eta].sup.2] = .08 (M= 16.18 and 18.45) and t(151) = 3.77, p < .001, [[eta].sup.2] = .09 (M = 14.60 and 18.45), respectively. Thus, whereas both genders' estimates of the foreplay and intercourse cultural role script for women were relatively accurate, both genders underestimated men's desired duration for foreplay and intercourse. Particularly large effect sizes were seen for estimates of men's desired duration of foreplay.
Cultural Role Scripts and Partners' Perceptions
Next we investigated whether perceptions of partners' ideal scripts were related to perceptions of the relevant gender's cultural role script (RQ7). Further, we examined whether perceptions of partner's ideal script were more closely associated with perceptions of the relevant gender's cultural role script or with the partner's self-reported ideal script (RQ8). Male participants' estimates of the duration of the foreplay cultural role script for women were positively associated with their estimates of their partners' ideal scripts, r = .78, p < .001. The same relationship was found between women's perceptions of the cultural role script for men and women's perceptions of partner's ideal script, r = .70, p < .001. Perceptions of partner's ideal script were also positively related to the partner's self-reported ideal script, r = .44 and .43, p < .001. However, for both male and female participants the correlation between perceptions of partner's ideal script and the cultural role script was significantly greater than the correlation between perception of partner's ideal script and the partner's actual ideal script, t(149) = 5.45, p < .01 and t(149) = 4.07, p < .01, respectively.
Similarly, for both men and women, perceptions of partner's ideal script for intercourse were related to both the relevant gender's cultural role script (r = .84 and .69, p < .001) and to the partner's ideal script (r = .33 and .37, p < .001). However, there was a stronger relationship between perceptions of partner's ideal script for intercourse and perceptions of the relevant gender's cultural role script than between perceptions of partner's ideal script for intercourse and partner's reported ideal script for intercourse: t(149) = 10.95, p < .01 for the men; t(149) = 4.91, p < .01 for the women. That is, not only were perceptions of partner's ideal script related to perceptions of the relevant gender's cultural role script, but both men's and women's beliefs about their partners' desired duration of foreplay and intercourse were also more strongly associated with their stereotypes than with their partners' actual desires.
Predictors of the Performance Script
We used two separate multiple regression Multiple regression
The estimated relationship between a dependent variable and more than one explanatory variable. analyses to predict the performance scripts for foreplay and intercourse (RQ9). We used the average of the partners' reports of the performance scripts as the dependent variable. We hypothesized that the following 10 variables would be important predictors of the foreplay performance script: men's and women's ideal scripts for foreplay, perceptions of partner's ideal scripts for foreplay, perceptions of men and women's cultural role scripts for foreplay, length of relationship, and performance scripts for intercourse. However, an examination of the correlations among these measures revealed multicollinearity Noun 1. multicollinearity - a case of multiple regression in which the predictor variables are themselves highly correlated
statistics - a branch of applied mathematics concerned with the collection and interpretation of quantitative data and the use of probability (see Table 2; Cohen et al., 2003). Men's and women's cultural role scripts for foreplay for their own gender were highly related to their own ideal scripts for foreplay. In addition, men's and women's perceptions of partner's ideal script for foreplay were highly correlated with the cultural role script for foreplay for the other gender. Thus, we removed the following four variables from the analyses: men's perceptions of men's cultural role script for foreplay, women's perceptions of women's cultural role script for foreplay, and men's and women's perceptions of partner's ideal script for foreplay.
The remaining six predictors were significantly associated with the foreplay performance script, accounting for 62% of the variance, F(6, 145) = 38.81, p < .001 (see Table 3). All variables, with the exception of length of relationship and the intercourse performance script, were uniquely related to the performance script for foreplay. Thus, engaging in lengthier foreplay was associated with both partners having longer ideal foreplay scripts as well as with perceptions that the other gender desires lengthier foreplay.
We found the same pattern of multicollinearity for the variables used to predict the intercourse performance script (see Table 2). Thus, men's perceptions of men's cultural role script for intercourse, women's perceptions of women's cultural role script for intercourse, and men's and women's perceptions of partner's ideal script for intercourse were dropped from the analysis. We used the performance script for foreplay in place of the performance script for intercourse. The set of predictors was significantly associated with the performance script for intercourse and accounted for 52% of the variance, F(6, 145) = 26.69, p < .001 (see Table 3). All variables, with the exception of the foreplay performance script, were significantly related to the performance script for intercourse on a bivariate bi·var·i·ate
Mathematics Having two variables: bivariate binomial distribution.
Adj. 1. basis. Men's ideal script for intercourse, women's ideal script for intercourse, and men's perceptions of the female cultural role script for intercourse were uniquely associated with the duration of intercourse. Thus, lengthier intercourse was associated with both partners having longer ideal sexual scripts for intercourse and with the male partner perceiving women to want lengthier intercourse.
The present study compared the actual and desired duration of foreplay and intercourse of heterosexual men and women in long-term relationships with each other. We found that men's and women's estimates of the duration of intercourse they were experiencing were similar, but that the men's estimates of the foreplay performance script were 2 minutes longer than women's. Both men and women reported that their performance scripts were significantly briefer than were their ideal scripts, indicating that they would like to engage in lengthier foreplay and intercourse than they were experiencing. This finding extends past research that has not examined concordance concordance /con·cor·dance/ (-kord´ins) in genetics, the occurrence of a given trait in both members of a twin pair.concor´dant
n. either between men's and women's performance and ideal scripts (that is, the degree to which men and women perceive themselves to be experiencing their ideal duration of foreplay and intercourse) or between partners (Denney et al., 1984; Hunt, 1974; Kinsey et al., 1948; Kinsey et al., 1953). Our examination of sexual misperceptions, stereotypes, and predictors of the performance script provides insight into why couples are not experiencing their desired duration of foreplay and intercourse.
Sexual Misperceptions and Stereotypes
Men's perceptions of their partners' desired duration of foreplay and intercourse tended to be relatively accurate, as was their understanding of the cultural role script for women. In contrast, women significantly underestimated their partners' ideal duration of foreplay and intercourse. They also adhered to a cultural role script that was an underestimation of the duration of foreplay and intercourse desired by the average man. It may be that men are more accurate than women are in estimating their partners' ideal duration of foreplay and intercourse because women are more open about their sexual likes and dislikes than men are, at least in dating relationships (Byers & Demmons, 1999; MacNeil & Byers, 1999). Thus, it may be that women's greater sexual self-disclosure provides men with more information upon which to base their perceptions of their partners' sexual desires. However, as we did not assess the extent of sexual self-disclosure, it may be that the men and women in these long-term relationships did not differ in the extent of their sexual self-disclosure. Further, Ross Ross , Sir Ronald 1857-1932.
British physician. He won a 1902 Nobel Prize for proving that malaria is transmitted to humans by the bite of the mosquito. , Clifford, and Eisenman (1987) found that women have a better understanding of their partners' sexual behavior sexual behavior A person's sexual practices–ie, whether he/she engages in heterosexual or homosexual activity. See Sex life, Sexual life. preferences than men do, suggesting that in terms of sexual preferences, men may self-disclose more than women. However, Ross and colleagues also did not assess self-disclosure directly. Thus, it may be that men self-disclose more about sexual preferences while women self-disclose more about their desired duration of sexual activity. It may also be that fewer misperceptions are not the result of greater sexual self-disclosure. Consistent with this view and previous research, misperceptions were not for the most part related to the length of the couple's relationship (Ross et al., 1987), even though self-disclosure between partners is thought to increase in depth and decrease in breadth as intimacy This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims.
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Alternatively, men's greater accuracy may stem from their understanding of the cultural role script for women. Men's estimates of their partners' ideal durations of foreplay and intercourse were significantly more similar to their estimates of the average woman's ideal duration of foreplay and intercourse than to the actual preferences stated by their partners. Similarly, women's estimates of their partners' ideal duration of foreplay and intercourse were much more similar to their estimates of the cultural role script for men than to their partners' ideals. This suggests that people use stereotypes to guide their understanding of their partners' preferences more than they use the explicit or implicit information provided to them by their partner. Using stereotypes in this way may not be a problem insofar in·so·far
To such an extent.
Adv. 1. insofar - to the degree or extent that; "insofar as it can be ascertained, the horse lung is comparable to that of man"; "so far as it is reasonably practical he should practice as the partner's ideal script matches the cultural role script. Our results suggest that many women's preferences regarding duration of foreplay and intercourse do match the cultural role script for women. Thus, men may be accurate in their perceptions of their partners' ideal durations of foreplay and intercourse even when they are unaware of their partner's idiosyncratic desires because their understanding of the cultural role script for women is accurate. However, if an individual's ideal script does not conform to Verb 1. conform to - satisfy a condition or restriction; "Does this paper meet the requirements for the degree?"
coordinate - be co-ordinated; "These activities coordinate well" the gender script, use of the cultural role script to estimate the partner's desires is likely to lead to misperceptions regarding the partner's preferences. We found that women underestimated the average man's desired duration of foreplay and intercourse. Thus, women are likely to be inaccurate in their estimates of their partners' ideal duration of foreplay and intercourse if they rely on their perceptions of the cultural role script for men to make these estimates.
We found that men and women shared a view of the cultural role script for men that did not match the actual desires of the men in this study. As did the women, the male participants underestimated the average man's desired duration of foreplay and intercourse. Further, in keeping with predictions based on cultural stereotypes, both genders believed that women desire a longer duration of foreplay than do men (Basow, 1992; Zilbergeld, 1999). They also believed that men and women do not differ in their desired duration of intercourse. Our results show otherwise; the men and women desired an equal duration of foreplay and the men desired a longer duration of intercourse than the women did. Thus, although there are differences in the ideal scripts of men and women, these are not accurately captured by men's and women's understanding of the cultural role scripts. Inaccurately perceiving the gender differences in ideal duration of foreplay and intercourse may hinder hin·der 1
v. hin·dered, hin·der·ing, hin·ders
1. To be or get in the way of.
2. To obstruct or delay the progress of.
v.intr. a couple's attempts at forming a mutually enjoyable sexual script. For instance, if a woman holds these inaccurate stereotypes, she may unnecessarily attempt to shorten (audio, compression) Shorten - A form of lossless audio compression. the duration of foreplay she engages in. She may assume it is unavoidable as a woman to experience less foreplay than desired due to her perceptions of men's shorter ideal duration.
Interestingly, neither participants' misperceptions nor the degree of discordance between their actual and desired durations of foreplay and intercourse were associated with either their own or their partners' sexual satisfaction. In contrast, Purnine and Carey (1997) found that men's misperceptions regarding their partners' sexual preferences were related to both their own and their partners' sexual satisfaction. It may be that certain sexual activities are instrumental in a couple's sexual enjoyment, whereas the duration of these activities is more flexible. Put simply, our results suggest that even though the quality of a sexual activity may be important to sexual satisfaction, the quantity of time spent in that activity may not be.
Predicting the Performance Script
We examined the extent to which aspects of men's and women's sexual scripts were associated with the couples' performance scripts. Our results suggest that both the foreplay and intercourse performance scripts are negotiated, or at least that both partners' sexual preferences influence these scripts. Both partners' ideal scripts and cultural role scripts for foreplay were associated with the performance script for foreplay. Similarly, both partners' ideal scripts and cultural role scripts for intercourse were associated with the performance script for intercourse.
The unique predictors of the foreplay and intercourse performance scripts differed somewhat, however. For foreplay, we found that both men's and women's ideal scripts and their sexual stereotypes about the opposite gender uniquely accounted for the duration of foreplay experienced. This suggests, unlike past research and theory that have suggested men are more instrumental than women in sexual situations (Baumeister, 2000; Blumstein & Schwartz, 1983; Grauerholz & Serpe, 1985; Lawrance et al., 1996), that both genders are involved in determining the foreplay performance script. Further, it appears that both genders attempt not only to satisfy themselves but also to satisfy their partners, since, as noted above, cultural stereotypes seem to be used as a guide for ascertaining partner preferences. For intercourse, men's and women's sexual desires and men's sexual stereotypes of what women desire, but not women's stereotypes about the male script, uniquely predicted the performance script. This suggests that men put more emphasis on satisfying their partners than do women. This is consistent with the belief that "performing well" is an important element of men's sexual experience (Basow, 1992).
In short, our results suggest that couples try to take each other's wishes into account in determining the duration of their performance scripts. However, they are basing their estimates of their partners' desires on potentially faulty fault·y
adj. fault·i·er, fault·i·est
1. Containing a fault or defect; imperfect or defective.
2. Obsolete Deserving of blame; guilty. perceptions--that is, the cultural role script--rather than on an understanding of their partners' actual desires. This may help explain why there were such large discrepancies between the performance and ideal scripts.
These findings need to be considered in light of the limitations of this study. First, as with many sexuality surveys, we experienced a low response rate. Thus, the individuals who chose to complete our questionnaire may not be representative of the general population in that they are likely more comfortable with sexuality. However, our findings concerning the average couple's performance script for foreplay and intercourse are comparable to the findings of larger studies (Huey, Kline-Graber, & Graber, 1981; Hunt, 1974; Laumann et al., 1994). Further, such self-selection Self-selection
Consequence of a contract that induces only one group to participate. bias may actually make our findings more notable because it is likely that more sex-positive individuals would rely less on sexual stereotypes and hold fewer misperceptions about their partners than would the general public. A second limitation of this study is that participants were primarily university educated, had high family incomes, had been raised in Canada, and were highly sexually satisfied. Research is needed with individuals from more diverse backgrounds as well as with individuals in same-sex relationships same-sex relationship n → gleichgeschlechtliche Beziehung f and those who are experiencing relationship and/or sexual distress. Third, people have been shown to overestimate o·ver·es·ti·mate
tr.v. o·ver·es·ti·mat·ed, o·ver·es·ti·mat·ing, o·ver·es·ti·mates
1. To estimate too highly.
2. To esteem too greatly. duration of intercourse (Levitt, 1983), although it is not known whether they overestimate or underestimate foreplay duration. However, the fact that partners in our study provided relatively similar estimates of the duration of foreplay and intercourse performance scripts provides some evidence for the reliability of these data. Further, overestimates of the duration of foreplay and/or intercourse would not likely affect the relationships among the variables.
Despite these limitations, our results illustrate that men and women are not experiencing their desired duration of foreplay and intercourse. Contrary to stereotypes and research concerning sexual behavior preferences, men appear to have a more accurate understanding of their partners' desired duration of foreplay and intercourse than do women. Further, being in a relationship longer does not ensure greater accuracy. We found that both men and women hold inaccurate stereotypes concerning the duration of foreplay and intercourse that men wish to experience, stereotypes that are strongly related to misperceptions among partners.
Duration is only one of a number of aspects of the performance script. We did not find that misperceptions related to duration were important for the sexual satisfaction of our highly sexually satisfied couples. It may be that misperceptions related to duration would have a greater effect on sexual satisfaction if they resulted in foreplay and intercourse that were significantly shorter (or longer) than the average of 12 minutes of foreplay and 7 minutes of intercourse reported by our participants. Alternately, other aspects of the sexual interaction (e.g., expressions of affection, the nature of the sexual activities, the effectiveness of stimulation) may be more important for sexual satisfaction than the duration of the sexual encounter (Lawrance & Byers, 1995; Pumine & Carey, 1997).
Nonetheless, it is important to investigate how couples negotiate their performance script, including its duration, as well as factors that prevent them from experiencing their ideal duration of foreplay and intercourse. In particular, the effect of sexual communication on sexual misperceptions and on the discrepancy between the ideal and performance scripts needs to be examined because sexual communication is often prescribed pre·scribe
v. pre·scribed, pre·scrib·ing, pre·scribes
1. To set down as a rule or guide; enjoin. See Synonyms at dictate.
2. To order the use of (a medicine or other treatment). as the way to negotiate a mutually agreeable sexual script (Cupach & Metts, 1991 ; Metts & Spitzberg, 1996; Rosen & Leiblum, 1988).
Table 1. Men's and Women's Actual and Ideal Duration of Foreplay and Intercourse Mean (SD) in minutes Script Females Males Foreplay Performance script 11.25 (a, b) (7.43) 13.35 (a, c) (9.26) Ideal script 18.93 (b) (13.32) 18.10 (b) (11.42) Intercourse Performance script 7.03 (e) (6.13) 7.86 (f) (6.29) Ideal script 14.34 (d, e) (11.08) 18.45 (d, f) (12.19) Note. N = 152. Means that share the same superscript differ at p < .01 using repeated measures t tests. Table 2. Intercorrelations Among the Script Variables for Foreplay and Intercourse Foreplay Scripts 2 3 4 5 6 1. Men's ideal script .28 * .68 * .43 * .68* .70 * 2. Women's ideal script .44 * .54 * .15 .24 * 3. Men's perceptions of partner's ideal script .38 * .44 * .78 * 4. Women's perceptions of partner's ideal script .34 * .29 * 5. Men's perceptions of male cultural role script .53 * 6. Men's perceptions of female cultural role script 7. Women's perceptions of male cultural role script 8. Women's perceptions of female cultural role script Foreplay Intercourse Scripts 7 8 2 3 4 1. Men's ideal script .33 * .31 * .32 * .69 * .37 * 2. Women's ideal script .38 * .86 * .33 * .72 * 3. Men's perceptions of partner's ideal script .28 * .44 * .34 * 4. Women's perceptions of partner's ideal script .70 * .62 * 5. Men's perceptions of male cultural role script .29 * .15 6. Men's perceptions of female cultural role script .22 * .25 * 7. Women's perceptions of male cultural role script .48 * 8. Women's perceptions of female cultural role script Intercourse Scripts 5 6 7 8 1. Men's ideal script .79 * .66 * .38 * .35 * 2. Women's ideal script .15 .29 * .62 * .90 * 3. Men's perceptions of partner's ideal script .51 * .84 * .29 * .36 * 4. Women's perceptions of partner's ideal script .24 * .33 * .69 * .71 * 5. Men's perceptions of male cultural role script .55 * .26 * .14 * 6. Men's perceptions of female cultural role script .21 * .33 * 7. Women's perceptions of male cultural role script .66 * 8. Women's perceptions of female cultural role script Note. N = 152. * p < .01. Table 3. Predictors of the Duration of Couples' Performance Scripts for Foreplay and Intercourse Foreplay Predictors R [beta] sr Men's ideal script .67 ** .39 ** .26 ** Women's ideal script .49 ** .23 ** .21 ** Women's perceptions of male cultural role script .53 ** .27 ** .24 ** Men's perceptions of female cultural role script .57 ** .18 * .12 * Length of relationship .00 .00 .00 Foreplay performance script NA NA NA Intercourse performance script .11 -.01 -.01 Intercourse Predictors r [beta] sr Men's ideal script .56 ** .22 * .15 * Women's ideal script .54 ** .30 ** .23 ** Women's perceptions of male cultural role script .49 ** .14 .10 Men's perceptions of female cultural role script .55 ** .28 ** .20 ** Length of relationship .29 ** .05 .04 Foreplay performance script .11 .01 -.00 Intercourse performance script NA NA NA Note. N = 152. For foreplay, [R.sup.2] = .62, F(6,145) = 38.81, p < .001; for intercourse, [R.sup.2] = .52, F(6, 145) = 26.69, p < .001. * p < .05. ** p <.01.
(1) We used the term foreplay because it is easily understood by participants and has been used in other research.
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This research was completed as part of the doctoral requirements in psychology by the first author under the supervision of the second author. We would like to thank Guy Grenier, who had the forethought fore·thought
1. Deliberation, consideration, or planning beforehand.
2. Preparation or thought for the future. See Synonyms at prudence. to include a measure that examined individuals' sexual scripts in his larger study on men's ejaculatory behaviour. We also appreciate the insightful suggestions provided by members of the University of New Brunswick's Sexuality Research Group, including Shannon Archibald, Jacqueline Cohen, Hilary Randall, and Angela Weaver
The Weavers are small passerine birds related to the finches.
These are seed-eating birds with rounded conical bills, most of which breed in sub-Saharan Africa, with fewer species in tropical . Finally, we are extremely grateful to the couples who participated in this research. Address correspondence to Dr. Sandra sandra (sänˑ·dr),
adj Byers, University of New Brunswick The University of New Brunswick (UNB) is a Canadian university located in the province of New Brunswick. The university has two main campuses: the principal campus founded in 1785 in Fredericton and a smaller campus which was opened in Saint John in 1964. , Psychology Department, Fredericton, New Brunswick New Brunswick, province, Canada
New Brunswick, province (2001 pop. 729,498), 28,345 sq mi (73,433 sq km), including 519 sq mi (1,345 sq km) of water surface, E Canada. E3B 6E4; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.