Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 97–120

Sexual scripts: Permanence and change

  • William Simon
  • John H. Gagnon
Article

Abstract

A general introduction to scripting theory is offered, attempting to provide links between macrolevel considerations of sociocultural development and general theories of individual development. The scripting of behavior is examined on three distinct levels: cultural scenarios (instruction in collective meanings), interpersonal scripts (the application of specific cultural scenarios by a specific individual in a specific social context), and intrapsychic scripts (the management of desires as experienced by the individual). These concepts of the scripting of behavior are then applied to sexual behavior. Interpersonal scripts are seen as the ordering of representations of self and other that facilitate the occurrence of a sexual act; intrapsychic scripts represent the ordering of images and desires that elicit and sustain sexual arousal. Issues of stability and change in sexual scripts are then examined in terms of the changing circumstances and requirements associated with movement through the life cycle.

Key words

scripts learning theory psychosexual development erotic sex and the life cycle culture and personality 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bakhtin, M. (1981).The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. In Holquist, M. (ed.), (C. Emerson and M. Holquist, Trans.) University of Texas Press Slavic Series, No. 1, Austin.Google Scholar
  2. Bourdieu, P. (1977).Outline of a theory of practice: Cambridge studies in social anthropology. Cambridge University Press, London, England.Google Scholar
  3. Burke, K. (1965).Permanence and Chance: An Anatomy of Purpose. University of California Press, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  4. Burke, K. (1969).A Grammer of Motives. University of California Press, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  5. Davis, M. S.Smut: Erotic Reality/Obscene Ideology. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  6. Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. (1977).Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Viking Press, New York.Google Scholar
  7. Emerson, C. (1983).Critical Inquiry 10: 249.Google Scholar
  8. Erikson, E. H. (1950).Childhood and Society Norton, New York.Google Scholar
  9. Durkheim, E. (1964).The Division of Labor in Society (G. Simpson, Trans.). Free Press, New York.Google Scholar
  10. Foucault, M. (1978).The History of Sexuality: Vol. I. An introduction. Pantheon, New York.Google Scholar
  11. Freud, S. (1962).Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality. Harper Colophon/Books, New York.Google Scholar
  12. Freud, S. (1963). On the relation of the poet to day-dreaming. In Rieff, P. (ed.),Character and Culture. Collier, New York.Google Scholar
  13. Gagnon, J. H., and Simon, W. (1973).Sexual Conduct: The Social Sources of Human Sexuality Aldine, Chicago.Google Scholar
  14. Greenblat, C. (1982).The Salience of Sexuality in the Early Years of Marriage. Presented at the meetings of the American Sociological Association, San Francisco.Google Scholar
  15. Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. P., Martin, C. E., and Gebhard, P. (1953).Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. Saunders, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  16. Kohut, H. (1977).The Restoration of the Self. International University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  17. Kohut, H. (1978). Thoughts on narcissism and narcissistic rage. In Orenstein, P. H. (ed.).The Search for the Self. International University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  18. Lacan, J. (1977).Ecrits, A Selection (A. Sheridan, Trans.). Norton, New York.Google Scholar
  19. Laplanche, J., and Pontalis, J. B. (1974).The Language of Psychoanalysis. (D. Nicholson-Smith, Trans.). Norton, New York.Google Scholar
  20. Laufer, M. (1976). The central masturbation fantasy, the final sexual organization, and adolescence. InThe Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, Vol. 31.Google Scholar
  21. Lichtenstein, H. (1977).The Dilemma of Human Identity. Jason Aronson, New York.Google Scholar
  22. Merleau-Ponty, M. (1970).Themes from the Lectures. Northwestern, Evanston.Google Scholar
  23. Miller, P. Y., and Simon, W. (1982). Adolescent psychosexual development. In Adelson, J. (ed.),The Handbook of Adolescent Psychology. Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  24. Siegal, A. W., and White, S. H. (1982). The child-study movement: Early growth and development. In Reese, H. W. (ed.).Advances in Child Development and Behavior Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  25. Simon, W. (1972). Reflections on the relationship between the individual and society. InHuman Futures: A Special Issue of Futures, Google Scholar
  26. Simon, W. (1982). The cultural ecology of a society in transition. InReaching Beyond Our Art: The Proceedings of the Biennial Conference of the Theater/Communications/Group. T/C/G, New York.Google Scholar
  27. Simon, W., and Gagnon, J. H. (1976). The anomie of affluence: A post-Mertonian conception.Am. J. Sociol. 82: 2.Google Scholar
  28. Stryker, S. (1980).Symbolic Interaction: A Social Structural Version. Benjamin/Cummings, Menlo Park, CA.Google Scholar
  29. Stoller, R. J. (1979).Sexual Excitement: Dynamics of Erotic Life. Pantheon, New York.Google Scholar
  30. Trilling, L. (1972).Sincerity and Authenticity. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Simon
    • 1
  • John H. Gagnon
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyState University of New YorkStony BrookUSA

Personalised recommendations