Couples, Sex and Power: The Politics of Desire

Overview

This book examines power and sexuality in intimate relationships with a specific focus on sexual difficulties and symptoms. Family therapy, couples therapy and empirical studies have contributed to our understanding but there has been a tendency to focus explanations at personal and the relationship level. Feminist perspectives in contrast have revealed the importance of exploring societal factors, such as structural inequalities and prevalent assumptions about gender sexuality but have offered less detailed ...
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Overview

This book examines power and sexuality in intimate relationships with a specific focus on sexual difficulties and symptoms. Family therapy, couples therapy and empirical studies have contributed to our understanding but there has been a tendency to focus explanations at personal and the relationship level. Feminist perspectives in contrast have revealed the importance of exploring societal factors, such as structural inequalities and prevalent assumptions about gender sexuality but have offered less detailed analysis of the diversity of the 'inner world' of couples, for example the various ways in which sexuality comes to function as a 'bargaining counter' in relationships.

The book attempts to redress this by offering an integration of feminist perspectives with detailed illustrations of the dynamics of intimate relationships. A variety of evidence including the authors' own clinical work and their recent research is presented to consider how symptoms, including sexual problems, may evolve as a way of balancing power in intimate relationships. Extensive illustrations are presented including personal accounts, case studies and details of therapeutic work and change.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780335192380
  • Publisher: Open University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1998
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction 1
1 Perspectives on power 10
2 Psychological perspectives on relationships 27
3 Power bases and the social position of women 54
4 Interpersonal strategies of influence 81
5 The role of ideological power in relationships 107
6 Discourses on sexuality 126
7 Clinical case studies: Sexual and relationship problems 152
8 Implications for therapy with couples 179
Appendix 1 Research questionnaire: Power bases and influence strategies 202
Appendix 2 Brief biographical details of interviewees and interview guide 211
Bibliography 214
Index 221
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