Academic journal article
By van Lankveld, Jacques
The Journal of Sex Research , Vol. 49, No. 2-3
In my first editorial as editor of the Annual Review of Sex Research (ARSR; van Lankveld, 2011), I invited potential authors not only to write scholarly reviews on cutting-edge research in sexuality, but also to think ahead, to extrapolate the lines of evidence emerging from their analytic work to future research, and, for that purpose, to formulate exciting theoretical models. I attached a PDF of that editorial to invitations to authors to contribute to the 2012 issue, as well as to letters to authors who agreed to accept my invitation. Most of the contributors to this issue seem to have responded to that call. The reviews include excellent meta-analytical and narrative reviews, but also valuable new theoretical insights and recommendations for future research. The 2012 issue of the ARSR, which has--since the 2009 issue--been incorporated as a special double issue of the Journal of Sex Research, includes seven review articles, which I expect to be of great interest to sexologists and sex researchers. I am proud to present brief summaries of the review articles here.
Dewitte presents an overview of theoretical notions and empirical findings on the links between sexuality and attachment. Attachment remains an important psychological construct in theories of development of child and adult psychopathology (e.g., Berry, Barrowclough, & Wearden, 2007; Schechter & Willhelm, 2009), and the interconnection between attachment and sexuality was suggested decades ago (Hazan & Shaver, 1987). Nevertheless, on a theoretical level, the association of sexual functioning and attachment has not received much attention. The author describes how attachment-style differences can be identified in intimate and sexual relationships, and then discusses some functional similarities between the sexual and the attachment systems. She also presents specific and dynamic models that describe the emotional and cognitive-motivational processes leading from attachment schemas to sexual experiences. These models can help guide future research on the link between attachment and several aspects of sexual functioning, both within couples in long-term relationships and those in emerging sexual relationships.
The interest in sexuality in aging populations is continuing. The 2011 issue of ARSR included a review article on help-seeking behavior of aging women and men for their sexual concerns (Hinchliff & Gott, 2011). In the 2012 issue, DeLamater reviews the social and health science literature on the sexuality of men and women over age 50. An often heard hypothesis is that biology has a major impact on the sexuality of aging men and women. The author summarizes the research on the relationship of biological changes accompanying aging, physical and mental health, and psychological factors including attitudes, relationship issues, and sexual functioning with sexual behavior. What are the most salient findings? Men and women remain sexually active well into their 70s and 80s, while aging-related biological factors do not necessarily have a negative effect on sexual functioning. Good physical and mental health, positive attitudes toward sex in later life, and access to a healthy partner are all connected with continued sexual activity. The relationship between sexuality and health appears to be reciprocal, as continued sexual expression is associated with good physical and mental health.
In their meta-analysis, Katz-Wise and Hyde present a compilation of empirical studies that were conducted between 1992 and 2009 on the prevalence of victimization experiences among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals. Together, over 500,000 individuals participated in these studies. Discrimination, physical assault, and school victimization were distinguished. Many LGB individuals were found to report victimization experiences; some victimization types have increased since 1992, while others have decreased. LGB individuals were found to report higher rates of victimization than heterosexuals. …