ERIC Number: ED327881
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Verbal and Nonverbal Communication in the Initiation of Sex.
Cavanaugh, Dan; And Others
A two-part pilot study investigated and categorized the roles verbal and nonverbal communication play in the initiation of sexual intercourse. The study also explored the manner in which partners accept or reject sexual overtures, the contexts and antecedents of sexual initiation, and the changes in sexual behavior which occur as a consequence of the duration of the relationship. Two subject pools were tapped for the study, the first involving 32 undergraduates in speech classes at the University of Texas, and the second involving 15 student and nonstudent subjects. Results included that: (1) there are four major categories of nonverbal signals couples use to communicate a desire to initiate sex with their partners: touching, hugging, kissing, and looking; (2) the majority of verbal cues are indirect and require the hearer to make significant inferential leaps, as do many of the direct verbal requests for sex, which require either inferential leaps or special knowledge possessed only by the couple; (3) antecedent behaviors surrounding the initiation of sex involve "being playful," and the initiation of sex is most likely to occur in the bedroom and the bathroom; (4) the acceptance and rejection of sexual advances was most commonly signaled by reciprocating a gesture or movement, or not reciprocating, respectively; (5) verbal channels were predominantly used in indicating that only affection was desired; and (6) reported changes in sexual behavior over the course of relationships include more egalitarian initiation of sex, "less talk," and "direct communication" about sex. (Thirty-one references are attached.) (SR)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Sexual Attitudes; University of Texas
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (75th, San Francisco, CA, November 18-21, 1989).