Married Sex versus Single Sex. Which is Better?

Popular belief suggests that single people have more interesting, passionate and frequent sex than married people. Is this true? Sex surveys consistently indicate that married people have more sex than single people. One could conclude that, this fact alone, settles the question.  Presumably, if you are having more sex, it must be because you are finding sex more satisfying. Therefore, the belief that sex deteriorates after marriage is a myth.

If only reality were as simple as this. For better or worse, reality is much more complex. For starters, “married sex” could be akin to sex in any long-term relationship with or without marriage. That is, while it is easier for researchers to have dichotomous categories (i.e., married versus single), people more typically fall along a continuum that includes “one night stands”, dating, living together, common law arrangements and marriage. Two important factors underlie this relationship continuum – intimacy and novelty. Without our conscious involvement these two factors naturally vary inversely to one another. In other words, novelty naturally occurs at the beginning of a relationship and diminishes with time, while intimacy begins at low levels and increases with time.

The novelty that accompanies the early stages of any relationship can bring excitement to our sexual lives. This sexual novelty parallels the novelty felt throughout all aspects of a new relationship. However, with the passage of time, novelty wears and a more intimate knowledge of your partner develops.

ADHD and families

A controversial new study has found that parents who have children with an ADHD diagnosis are almost twice as likely to divorce by the time their kids are 8 years old as those without the diagnosis in the family. Families were recruited via a summer treatment program for ADHD. The researchers clarified that childhood ADHD doesn’t cause parental divorce, but it may add to existing stress. In addition, there is evidence that ADHD can be inherited, suggesting that parents of children with the disorder may have similar difficulties. Among a subset of the families with ADHD, paternal conduct problems, and oppositional behaviour and conduct problems exhibited by the child (among other factors) were predictive of marital problems.

Other studies have found no difference in divorce rates of parents who have kids with or without the diagnosi. It is possible that the families in the current study, who were involved in treatment, were experiencing more significant difficulties. The researchers suggested that families who have young children with ADHD might benefit from couples therapy in addition to treatment of their child’s behavioural difficulties.

You can read more here and here.

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Teens are posting/sharing suggestive pics

A recent survey by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unwed Pregnancy and investigated the online habits of youth and young adults. The results suggest that 18% of teen boys and 22% of girls have sent or posted nude or semi-nude pictures or videos of themselves. Thirty-nine percent of teens have posted sexually explicit messages. These posts are made despite the fact that 75% of youth state that doing so might “have serious negative consequences.”

The report urged teens to stop and think before sending such material, reminding them (as we did in a recent Family Anatomy episode on internet safety) that information posted online doesn’t “go away.” They also list some tips for parents:

  1. Talk to your kids about their online activities.
  2. Find out who your kids are talking.
  3. Think about putting limits on their internet communication.
  4. Be aware of what they’re posting.
  5. Set clear expectations about what you consider to be appropriate on the internet.

An excellent website, Commonsense Media, has a section about online behaviour and supervision, along with detailed information for parents about movie and television content. You can read more here and here (.pdf).

Let us know what you think – leave a comment!

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Note: Posts on Family Anatomy are for information only. If you need to talk to someone about family or mental health issues, you can get a referral from your family doctor.

The "Big Five" Personality Traits. Who's in Your Family?

Philosophers and people in general have been interested in personality characteristics for many centuries. Over the past 30 years, psychologists have been able to arrive at a consensus regarding the main personality variables seen in most people. Factor analytic studies have led to a wide spread consensus around the belief that there are five broad dimensions of personality.

The so-called “Big Five” personality traits include:

1. Openness to experience
2. Conscientiousness
3. Extroversion
4. Agreeableness towards others
5. Emotional stability

People who are “open to experience” are more intellectually oriented, curious, and exploratory in nature. People low on this dimension tend to be more conservative and less likely to engage in novel experiences and entertain new ideas.