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When Tonight Is Not the Night: Sexual Rejection Behaviors and Satisfaction in Romantic Relationships.

Authors
  • Kim, James J1
  • Muise, Amy2
  • Sakaluk, John K3
  • Rosen, Natalie O4
  • Impett, Emily A5
  • 1 University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 2 York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 3 University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 4 Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 5 University of Toronto Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. , (Canada)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Personality & social psychology bulletin
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2020
Volume
46
Issue
10
Pages
1476–1490
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/0146167220907469
PMID: 32160806
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

In most long-term romantic relationships, partners experience sexual conflicts of interest in which one partner declines the other partner's sexual advances. We investigated the distinct ways people reject a partner's advances (i.e., with reassuring, hostile, assertive, and deflecting behaviors) in Studies 1 and 2. Using cross-sectional (Study 3) and daily experience methods (Study 4), we investigated how perceptions of a partner's rejection behaviors are linked with the rejected partner's relationship and sexual satisfaction. We found robust evidence that perceived partner reassuring behaviors were associated with greater satisfaction, whereas perceived partner hostile behaviors were associated with lower levels of satisfaction. Perceived partner responsiveness was a key mechanism underlying the effects. Findings for assertive and deflecting behaviors were limited, but the effect of deflecting behaviors was qualified by levels of hostile behaviors for sexual satisfaction. Findings provide the first empirical investigation of the specific ways partners can decline one another's advances to preserve satisfaction.

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