How Attachment Shapes Approaches to Sexual Need Fulfillment
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Sexuality often distinguishes romantic relationships from other relationships. Because most romantic relationships are sexually monogamous, partners have important roles in meeting each others needs. Being responsive to a partners sexual needs (i.e., sexual communal norms) is associated with greater relationship quality, whereas fulfilling needs with a focus on what will be returned (i.e., sexual exchange norms) is associated with lower satisfaction. Romantic attachmentworking models of the self and partnershapes how people approach sexuality and may underlie sexual need fulfillment norms. The current research combines sexual need fulfillment and attachment theories to better understand how sexuality influences relationships. In my first paper, I tested whether perceived partner sexual responsiveness buffers the lower sexual and relationship quality that highly anxiously attached people typically experience. In my second paper, I explored whether highly avoidantly attached people endorse more sexual exchange (vs. communal) norms, and how this influences sexual and relationship quality.