To Dance the Dance: A Symbolic Interactional Exploration of Premarital Sexuality

To Dance the Dance: A Symbolic Interactional Exploration of Premarital Sexuality

To Dance the Dance: A Symbolic Interactional Exploration of Premarital Sexuality

To Dance the Dance: A Symbolic Interactional Exploration of Premarital Sexuality

Synopsis

This pioneering monograph integrates the major research findings of the past four decades and offers a new model for the study of human sexuality. The author examines the empirical literature on sexuality for the developmental stages of childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood and for experiences of sexual aggression. He then uses symbolic interactionism to develop a theoretical model which integrates the research across the developmental periods and for instances of sexual aggression, providing one of the most comprehensive views of sexuality development that has yet been offered. The work investigates the role of family, peers, romantic partners, and personality in the development of sexual expression and offers a unique vision of how symbolic interactionism can inform one's understanding of sexual beliefs and behaviors through the developmental stages. By acknowledging developmental differences and changes in individuals and their interpersonal relationship context, a more integrated understanding emerges of how sexuality develops. This volume is intended for students and scholars interested in the influences on the development of sexual expression of youth and young adults. It will be of great interest to readers in psychology, family studies, communication, sociology, adolescent studies, and specialized areas of sexuality research. It is appropriate for undergraduate seminars and graduate-level courses on human sexuality, close relationships, family theory, sociology, communication, social psychology, developmental psychology, and related areas.

Excerpt

When I was first introduced to symbolic interaction theory in graduate school, I had an office-mate who owned a large wall hanging depicting a couple dancing with wild, joyous abandon. As I explored how symbolic interactionism could be used for examining premarital sexuality, my thoughts often returned to the picture of the couple. Dance seemed to be the perfect metaphor for introducing how sexuality and symbolic interaction could be integrated. Picture two young, single adults dancing sensuously with each other, their bodies closely intertwined. Both are dressed seductively in tight-fitting clothes that show off their athletic bodies. Their feet follow an intricate, intertwining pattern as they flow across the floor. A tango plays, a dance well known for its sexual and romantic tension. The partners alternately lead or follow by subtle cues without exchanging words. Instead, they convey meanings by the press of a breast, the closeness of the hips, a look of the eyes.

Other couples dance by this couple. At first glance it appears that all follow the same pattern of steps. Closer inspection reveals differences across couples. One couple has problems negotiating the intricate dance and eventually leaves the floor -- angry and blaming each other at their . . .

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