PROJECT TOPIC: THE INFLUENCE OF SEXUAL EXPRESSION ON INTIMACY IN MARRIAGE AMONG SELECTED MARRIED MEN AND WOMEN
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- Department: Sociology
- Study Level: Undergraduate
- Number of Chapters: 5
- Number of Pages: 66
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- Background to the Study
Marriage is a transient phase in one’s life and has always been emphasized as the paramount social ritual in order to meet the emotional needs of people (Dildar, Sitwat, &Yasin, 2013 ;Nayeri, Lotfi, &Noorani, 2014). In contemporary society, the incentives to marriage include the need to love and have intimate relationship with a partner, to have a companion in life, to satisfy psychological needs, and to increase joy (Soltani, Molazadeh, Mahmoodi, &Hosseini, 2013; Tavakol, Zarei, &Zeinali Pour, 2014).Intimacy includes different meanings based on age, sex, education, and culture, and there is no consensus among researchers on the root concept of intimacy which makes its definition difficult (Martin& Tardif, 2014 ;Mitchell, 2007).
Bagarozzi (2001) defines intimacy as proximity, similarity and a personal romantic or emotional communication that requires knowledge and understanding of another person to express thoughts and feelings (Bagarozzi, 2001).Intimacy is strongly associated with the quality of couples’ life and is often referred to as a basic psychological need and one of the key characteristics of marital communication which impacts on marital adjustment and mental health, such as reducing the risk of depression, increasing happiness and well-being, and providing a useful satisfactory life of a person. Besides, it is a strong predictor of physical health, such as low level of diseases and impoverishment of diseases(Boden, Fischer, &Niehuis, 2010 ;Dandurand& Lafontaine, 2013 ; Moreira, Crespo, Pereira, &Canavarro, 2010; Nainian&Nik-Azin, 2013).
In a study was shown that marital intimacy is effective on marital satisfaction (Greeff, Hildegarde, & Malherbe, 2001 ; Kim, 2013 ). Intimacy acts as a mediator between the effects of daily stress in relations between spouses (Harper, Schaalje, & Sandberg, 2000 ).Hall (2006) demonstrated that these days couples are less happy with their marriages compared to many years ago. Furthermore, maintaining of a marital relationship is a difficult task for many couples in all cultures and societies (Tomic et al., 2006; Baker et al. 2009).
Researchers agree that intimacy is an essential aspect of many interpersonal relationships such as marital relationships (Prager, 1995; Sullivan,1953 ; Waring, 1984; Sanderson & Cantor, 2001; Patrick, Sells, Giordano, &Tollerud, 2007; Jordan, 2010;McAllister, Thornock, Hammond, Holmes, & Hill, 2012;Dandurand, 2013).Moreover, a greater understanding of the process that underlies intimacy can assist in identifying what is going awry when couples complain of loss of intimate and loving feelings (Huston, Caughlin, Houts, Smith, and George).
Sexual expression is a somewhat vague term that is used to describe not only sexual activities we engage in, but ways we communicate and present ourselves to the world as a sexual being. People who pursue positive experiences, such as growth and development, in their relationships may view sexual activity as one way to create positive, intimate experiences with a partner. Therefore, compared with people with weak approach relationship goals, those with strong approach relationship goals may think more about sex, be more sensitive to their partners’ cues, create environments that promote intimate interaction, and act more readily upon potential sexual encounters.Women are more likely than men to engage in sex to enhance commitment and express love for their partners (Basson, 2002; Impett, Peplau, & Gable, 2005).
A content analysis of emotional expression in Valentine’s Day cards, for example, found that women were more likely than men to express love and fidelity (Gonzalez &Koestner, 2006). Metts (2004) suggested that expressing love prior to sexual intimacy may counter typical cultural norms and thus intensify emotional engagement.
In a study of first sexual involvement in romantic relationships.Metts (2004) found that expressions of love before sex positively predicted relationship escalation and negatively predicted regret about sex. Indeed, early love confessions appear to be stronger predictors of relationship escalation for women than for men, though interestingly, these confessions do not necessarily predict current relationship satisfaction or commitment (Metts, 2004).However, sexual desire typically peaks at the beginning of relationships when partners are just getting to know each other and often decreases over the course of relationships (Basson, 2002; Levine, 2003). We care for our health by eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep but don’t consider how our sex lives contribute to our overall health. Research has confirmed sexual expression, which also includes kissing and sensual touch, in a healthy, stable relationship can improve our physical and mental wellbeing.
Sexual activity can be another way to stay connected to ourselves, our partners, get some wonderful exercise, lower our chance of sickness, lower our stress levels and even possibly help us live longer. Sexuality is a complex, crucial aspect of life and marriage. There is no one-way to be sexual and no specific sexual frequency that is considered “normal”. For most people, sexuality is healthy as long as it causes neither member of the couple any distress or emotional turmoil. Healthy sexual functioning allows both people to enjoy pleasure and to have realistic expectations of each other.Maintaining sexual desire, attraction and trust is an ongoing process that takes effort and initiative for both individuals. When a couple’s sexual expression begins to lag and lack excitement, the key to rebuilding marital sexual desire is to enjoy non-demanding pleasuring, increasing intimacy and having fun together. Both members must be committed to revitalizing the sexual energy.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
One of the problems facing our legal System in Nigeria is the frequent dissolution of marriages. Some marriages which are not too old and some are close to become decades. Most separations are due to absence of intimate relationships and many are also due to lack of sexual expression. Based on report, from the Nigeria newspapers most especially Vanguard newspaper of recent a 17-years old marriage was dissolved Anaba&Dania, Innocent, A. &Onozure, D. (2017, 3 3). Court dissolves Emeka Ike's 17-year old marriage (Vanguard newspaper, Retrieved from www.vanguardngr.com).
The psycho-pathology befallen some patients in Neuro-psychiatric hospitals is as a result of relationship break-up among partners who are committed to one another. Psychological problems such as depression and anxiety occurring to many married partners is as a result being neglected by their partners due to lack of understanding and intimacy in their relationship. Lack of intimacy is currently the main concern rather than main concern of the experts in psychology and counseling.It is considered as one of the most important causes for divorce and as such to improve marital intimacy a great number of interventions have been proposed in literature. Dearth of intimacy is one of the most devastating problems that is difficult to be treated in therelationships (Whisman,Dixon,& Johnson ,1997).
Weinberger et al. (2008) also showed that lack of intimacy in couples is the most important predictor of divorce in elderly (Weinberger, Hofstein, &Whitbourne,2008).Therapists have described on various aspects that may negatively influence marital stability such as communication difficulty, unrealistic expectations from marriage and the spouse, lack of intimacy, and lack of expressing affection (Motavali, Ozgoli, Bakhtiari, &Alavimajd, 2010 ; Shahrestany, Doustkam, Rahbarda, &Mashhadi, 2013 ). Taking the fact for the granted that in many societies today family is the prominent source of comfort for people and taking the fact that in the modern society the family is faced with the challenges, the most important of which is the loss of marital intimacy, into account, an interventional program is helpful to prevent these problems and heighten intimacy (Farbod, Ghamari, &Majd, 2014).
1.3 Research Questions
- What is the influence of sexual expression on intimacy in marriage among selected married men and women in Ago Iwoye?
- What is the significant difference between married male and female on intimacy in marriage?
1.4 Objectives of the Study.
The main objective of the study is to evaluate intimacy in marriage and how it can be sexually expressed. The specific objectives are to:
- Examine the influence of sexual expression on intimacy in marriage among selected married men and women in Ago Iwoye.
- Assess difference between married male and female on intimacy in marriage.
1.5 Significance of the Study
It will be of great significance to teachers and lecturers by making them to develop strategies for enlightening the married and intending couples on how to improve their sexual expression adequately, through lectures, pamphlets or reaching out to schools. It will also be significant to the government in their policy making and judicial implementation, in other to reduce the rate of dissolution of marriages in Nigeria, but to encourage partners to be intimate, by making provisions and sponsoring on educative programs on social and electronic media.
It will also help to admonish the students especially those in tertiary institutions and married partners to understand the role that sexual expression plays in building intimacy in marriage, in other for them to build a long lasting relationship. Consequently, the students will learn about how to sustain their relationship in other to reduce the rate of breakups. This is because students are the future leaders.It will also be of utmost benefit or help to other researchers who will be carrying out research related to sexual expression and intimacy in marriage, in tertiary institutions in Nigeria. This study will definitely serves as a guideline to other students who will be writing project relating to the relationship between the above variables.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This research study focused on the influence of sexual expression on intimacy in marriage among selected married men and women in Ago-Iwoye. The study was carried out in Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State Nigeria. Therefore, the scope of the study was limited Ago iwoye. The sample size was one hundred (100).
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
- SEXUAL EXPRESSION: is the ability of any human to express his/her sexual uniqueness.
- MARITAL INTIMACY:To a layman marital intimacy is all about sexual intercourse between spouses but it really beyond that, it speaks of the relationship between a husband and a wife that encompasses emotions, social and physical contact.
- PSYCHOLOGICAL NEEDS:Is a psychological condition in which something is required or wanted.
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myProject.ng (2022), . The influence of sexual expression on intimacy in marriage among selected married men and women [Online] myProject.ng (2018). Available at: https://myproject.ng/sociology/the-influence-of-sexual-expression-on-intimacy-in-marriage-among-selected-married-men-and-women/index.html . ( Accessed 29, November, 2022 ).