Romantic Love and Sexual Behavior: Perspectives from the Social Sciences

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Victor C. De Munck
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998 - Psychology - 312 pages

Westerners believe that love makes life worth living; that sex is a natural desire different in kind from love; and that only cynics reduce our love life to a calculation of economic or genetic factors. In this volume, essays explore these and other assumptions about the relationship between romantic love and sex. This represents the first interdisciplinary social science study of love and sex.

Contributors ask and answer questions such as: Is love just sex idealized, or is it a transcendent and divine emotion? Is love a cultural construct that is shared by members of the same culture, or is it a matter of personal taste? What keeps promiscuous people from using condoms even when they know they are at risk? Are black professional men so rare that their conceptions of love and sex differ from those of white professional men? Are brutal sexual fantasies an exclusively male domain, and are they always excluded from love fantasies among normal adolescents? Is divorce a culturally induced response to evolutionary reproductive strategies that compel individuals to maximize their genetic legacy? Are marriages or relationships less satisfying or stable when an actual mate falls short of the fantasy of the ideal mate? Is there a universal core to love and sex that is camouflaged by other cultural norms such as modesty and sexual segregation? Is rape perceived as more acceptable when the rapist says he was motivated by love? What do cult movements and romantic love have in common? As they attempt to answer these and other questions, the authors extend our understanding of the variety of ways that love and sex are conceptualized, connected, or separated.


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p. 38


The Future of Love
Ideologies of Lovestyle and Sexstyle
Love Madness
Romantic Love and Sexual Desire
Romantic Love and the Psychology of Sexual Behavior Open and Closed Secrets
Divorce as a Consequence of Spousal Infidelity
Race Gender and Romantic Commitment
Romantic Ideals as Comparison Levels Implications for Satisfaction and Commitment in Romantic Involvements
Narratives of Love and the Risk of Safer Sex
Contemporary Youths Negotiations of Romance Love Sex and Sexual Disease
Love and Limerence with Chinese Characteristics Student Romance in the PRC
Lust Love and Arranged Marriages in Sri Lanka
About the Editor and Contributors

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About the author (1998)

VICTOR C. de MUNCK is an Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department at the State University of New York at New Paltz.

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