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Sexuality and Insult Behavior

Charles P. Flynn
The Journal of Sex Research
Vol. 12, No. 1 (Feb., 1976), pp. 1-13
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3811461
Page Count: 13
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Sexuality and Insult Behavior
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Abstract

Employing ethnographic data from the Human Relations Area Files and other sources, this paper sets forth a number of generalizations and tentative hypotheses concerning some possible relations between sexuality and patterns of insult behavior. Available data suggest the hypothesis that sex-related insults, particularly those which refer to the genitals, are a cultural universal. There are, however, considerable variations between cultures in what kinds of sex-related insults are considered severe or innocuous. It is hypothesized that the perceived severity of a sex-related insult is directly related to the salience and seriousness with which different cultures view the sexual acts referred to in the insult. Cultural differences might also exist in the extent to which husbands consider adultery an insult and the ways in which they respond to insults.

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