Human Sexuality: Personality and Social Psychological Perspectives / Edition 1

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"Although intended as a textbook, this accessible book could as well serve in an academic collection as a useful source of background material for a variety of readers." —CHOICE

"Craig Hill's new text is a welcome addition to the textbooks available for undergraduate courses on human sexuality. It goes beyond the standard topics found in many books and seriously integrates social psychological research and theory on human sexuality. This book is just the type of serious treatment of psychological aspects of human sexuality that I have been seeking for some time for my course."
—Irene Hanson Frieze, Professor of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh

Human Sexuality: Personality and Social Psychological Perspectives presents the topics typically covered in human sexuality courses, rooting the presentation in a strong psychological perspective. Author Craig Hill focuses on personality and social psychological theory to provide students with a conceptual understanding of the psychological factors involved in sexuality, and he encourages students to build upon that foundation by challenging them to think critically about the material in various ways. He also emphasizes the scientific investigation of sexuality, offering a solid review of the research literature.

Key Features

  • Focuses predominantly on the psychological aspects of sexuality: The topics covered and the organization of the book are ideally suited for instructors who wish to emphasize psychological factors involved in sexuality.
  • Stresses the symbiotic relationship between research and theory: The book provides a more accurate and complete understanding of the way in which science generates sound evidence that informs theories pertaining to sexuality and how those theories, in turn, inform further inquiry.
  • Presents real-life examples: Personal anecdotes enable students to relate concepts and information to the lives of real people and to their own lives, making the information clearer and more meaningful to them.
  • Integrates cultural diversity throughout: Race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation are considered in the topics covered and the examples employed.
  • Helps develop critical thinking and analytic abilities: Analyze This: Looking at Different Perspectives; An Opportunity for Self-Reflection; and An Eye Toward Research boxes as well as end-of-chapter questions and caption questions allow students to delve further into the material, allowing them to think critically about current topics and their own lives.

Intended Audience

This is an excellent core text for both undergraduate and graduate courses on Human Sexuality particulary those offered in departments of psychology.

Supplementary Material

  • An Instructor's Resource CD provides PowerPoint presentations; chapter study material; classroom handouts; and suggestions for course projects, discussion questions, and internet exercises. Also included is a Computerized Test Bank with multiple-choice, true/false, and essay questions that allows for easy test creation
  • A Student Study Web Site provides e-flashcards, Internet exercises and resources, self quizzes, and links to SAGE journal articles and video clips. Also available is a link to the author's blog where students can respond to comments posted by the author and other students using the text. Go to to view the site.
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Editorial Reviews

W.P. Anderson
"Although intended as a textbook, this accessible book could as well serve in an academic collection as a useful source of background material for a variety of readers."


Gabie Smith
"Author Craig Hill has created a comprehensive text unique in its approach to the literature on sexuality and relationship status, biological factors affecting specific aspects of sexuality, and adult sexual decision-making. This text successfully communicates psychological theories and theory-guided research while maintaining its appeal to undergraduates. Moreover, the material is inclusive in its consideration of research on gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity and race. Craig Hill's Human Sexuality is a vital tool to any faculty member teaching a course in human sexuality."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412904834
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 8/8/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 389,065
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Craig A. Hill received a Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Utah to conduct research in health and organizational psychology, and has held positions at three other universities. Before his current position at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, he was an assistant scientist at The Kinsey Institute for Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at Indiana University in Bloomington. He is a tenured associate professor with 20 publications in scientific journals. He also has presented numerous conference papers and has been reviewing for social/personality and sexuality journals for over 20 years. He has taught human sexuality for seven years. In 1996, he was awarded membership in the Indiana University faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching, a program designed to recognize Indiana University's most exemplary teaching faculty and to encourage teaching excellence across the university by creating a network of distinguished scholar-mentors.

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Table of Contents

1. The Study of Sexuality
The Need for the Scholarly Study of Sexuality
The Predominant Views Used in This Book
The Nature of Theory and Understanding in Science
Historical Factors in the Scientific Investigation of Sexuality
2. Sexuality in a Historical, Religious, and Philosophical Context
The Historical Analysis of Sexuality
The Centrality of Religion in Attitudes about Sexuality
3. The Historical Course of Sexuality
Western Civilization Prior to the 20th Century
The Great Depression (1930-1939)
World War II and the Atomic Age (1940-1949)
A Return to the Past: The New Traditionalism (1950-1959)
New Frontiers (1960-1969)
The Seventies: The Walls Come Tumbling Down (1970-1979)
The Conservative Counter-Reaction (1980 to Recent Times)
Conclusions About the Historical Course of Sexuality
4. The Scientific Study of Sexuality
Early Scientific Research on Sexuality
Collecting Scientific Information on Sexuality
Evaluating the Quality of Measurement
Methods of Collecting Data
Ethics and Scientific Research with Humans
5. The Person: Individuality and Sexuality
The Personal Meaning of Sexuality
The Personality Psychology of Sexuality
6. Gender and Sexuality
The Concepts of Sex and Gender
Aspects of Gender
7. The Sexual Self and Sexual Identity
The Social Nature of the Self
Sexual Identity
8. Sexual Motivation, Arousal, and Attraction
Sexual Motivation
Factors Affecting Attractiveness of Partners
9. Love, Intimacy, and Sexuality
Romantic Relationships
The Development of Intimate Relationships
Theoretical Views of Love and Sexuality
10. Relationships and Sexuality
The Path That Relationships Usually Follow
Sexuality Within Long-Term Committed Relationships
Sexuality Outside of Traditional Relationships
11. Ethnicity, Race, Culture, and Sexuality
The Concepts of Race and Ethnicity
Sexuality and Ethnicity
12. The Biopsychology of Sexuality
The Nervous System
The Endocrine System
Control of Sex Hormone Production by the Brain
The Role of Sex Hormones in Prenatal Development
Biological Factors Involved in Sexuality
13. Sexuality in the Early Years and Adolescence
Development During Infancy
Development During Childhood
14. Adulthood: Challenges and Decisions
Challenges of Young Adulthood
Establishing Sexual Orientation
Romantic Relationships
Establishing a Family
Midlife and Beyond
Author Biography
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