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Connections Between Sexuality and Aggression
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Connections Between Sexuality and Aggression (Hardback)

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This is the only available comprehensive monograph on interrelations and interdependencies between agonistic and sexual behaviors. Integrating theory and research from biology, anthropology, neurophysiology, endocrinology, psychophysiology, and psychology, this book focuses on the mechanisms that govern the mutual influences between sexuality and aggression in behavior sequences and especially in admixtures of aggressive-sexual behaviors.

This book places human agonistic and sexual behaviors into an evolutionary context. It offers a Weltbild of human aggressive-sexual behaviors by tracing their biological and developmental origins and examines the plasticity and manipulability of connections between agonistic and sexual behaviors. Strategies for the maximization of sexual pleasures are elaborated , and intervention treatments--aiming at the control of violent behaviors--are considered. Coercive sexuality is given special attention. Prevalent motive ascriptions to rape are called into question and the motivation that dominates rape is reinterpreted in the context of pleasure maximization.

This second edition brings the coverage of pertinent research up to date. It advances the exploration of aggressive-sexual behaviors by further integrating the research contributions from various disciplines, and by refining and unifying theory capable of explaining the behavioral phenomena under consideration.


Zillmann examines issues such as sexual access through aggression, the involvement of agonistic behavior within sexuality, sex-aggression fusion, the consequences of anticipatory imagination concerning sexuality, and aspects of libido loss due to excitatory habituation. This book also:

* traces connection between sexuality and aggression in nonhuman species, especially in nonhuman primates,

* subjects human behavior to comparative and evolutionary analysis,

* examines connectedness in neurological and endocrinological terms,

* details both central and autonomic commonalities between sexual and aggressive behaviors,

* outlines sexual dimorphism and chromosomal-endocrine aberrations,

* pays special attention to adrenal commonalities in sexual and aggressive behaviors and the fusion of these behaviors, and

* examines aggressive-sexual connectedness in the analysis of motivation and emotion.

Zillmann finally proposes new explanations for the numerous documented associations between sexuality and aggression. These proposals combine biological, neuroendocrine, autonomic, and cognitive aspects of aggressive and sexual behaviors. A trichotomy of excitatory interdependencies is developed for fight, flight, and coition. In the nomenclature of emotion, this trichotomy concerns the interdependencies between aggressiveness, fear, and sexual impulsion. A considerable amount of research evidence is aggregated in support of these interdependencies.

The author ultimately examines the exploitation of the existing connections between sexual and aggressive behaviors, especially the exploitation that serves the enhancement of sexual pleasure. In this context he arrives at novel, and perhaps distressing, characterizations of sexual coercion. However, he also explores sexual boredom and discusses remedies in the framework of his theorizing. Last but not least, sexual aggression, and sexual and aggressive behaviors independently, are placed into an evolutionary context. Recognition and acknowledgment of the archaic nature of many aspects of sexual and aggressive behaviors, in contrast to the comparatively vernal development of behavior-guiding contemplation, leads him to a unique and provocative proposal of the function of aggression in the realm of sexuality.

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