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Title: Sexual behaviours, health, and relatedness
Author: Costa, Rui Miguel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2713 7496
Awarding Body: University of the West of Scotland
Current Institution: University of the West of Scotland
Date of Award: 2011
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Previous research showed that greater frequency and/or orgasmic consistency of penilevaginal intercourse (PVI) are the only sexual behaviours that are consistently associated with indices of better physical and psychological health, and relationship quality. Other sexual activities (notably masturbation and anal sex) tend to be unrelated or even inversely related to indices of health and relatedness. Study 1 showed that, in a sample of largely Scottish women, more use of immature psychological defence mechanisms (associated with psychopathology and relationship difficulties) was associated with lesser orgasmic consistency through PVI, but unrelated or directly related to other sexual behaviours. Study 2 replicated many findings of Study 1 in a sample of persons of diverse countries (47.6% Scottish and 4.8% from other parts of UK), and also showed that men’s immature defences are associated with greater frequency of sexual behaviours other than PVI. Study 2 also demonstrated that greater orgasmic frequency of PVI and/or lesser frequency of other sexual activities are associated with indices of better health and relatedness, namely greater heart rate variability, greater conscientiousness, and less avoidant attachment, in both sexes, and with less anxious attachment and greater handgrip strength, in women. Study 3 showed the same pattern of findings regarding conscientiousness, in a sample of mostly Scottish University students, after controlling for potentially confounding personality traits, but the behaviour of some students raises concerns regarding the validity of the findings. Study 4 confirmed the pattern of findings regarding immature defence mechanisms and relationship quality, in a sample of cohabiting British, after controlling for a variety of socio-cultural factors related to traditional ideology and negative attitudes to noncoital sex. The results provide support for the hypothesis that evolution selected biopsychological phenotypes linking capacity to seek and appreciate PVI with health and relatedness, as one strategy for promoting gene propagation
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available