Common patterns of sense making: A discursive reading of quantitative and interpretative data on sexual boredom

Article


Tunariu, A. and Reavey, Paula 2007. Common patterns of sense making: A discursive reading of quantitative and interpretative data on sexual boredom. British Journal of Social Psychology. 46 (4), pp. 815-837.
AuthorsTunariu, A. and Reavey, Paula
Abstract

This paper explores the notion of sexual boredom through combining the use of qualitative and quantitative methods. Drawing on ideas from discursive psychology, we provide an interpretative reading of both numerical and textual data obtained via a postal questionnaire. Within the mixed‐methods strategy adopted here, the questionnaire is treated as a medium that can deliver interesting material about prevalent linguistic resources, their content and pattern of use, available to romantic partners in making sense of sexual boredom. A total of 144 women and 66 men from the general population completed a set of structured questions, including a Sexual Boredom Scale (SBS; Watt & Ewing, 1996), followed by an open‐ended question prompting more elaborated views on the topic. Statistical analysis found gender to explain some of the variation across SBS scores. An interpretative analysis of respondent ratings of disagreement/agreement and the actual meaning content of the scale's statements also reveals ranked and gendered regularities. Written responses to the open‐ended question were subjected to a thematic analysis, revealing how specific changes to quality of sex, intensity of sexual interest and degree of romantic relatedness with a current partner are used by participants to delineate key dimensions of sexual boredom. Overall, the unfolding narratives of sexual boredom are greatly indebted to a static view of relationship satisfaction founded on wishful expectations for consistent, idealized displays of sexual excitement and interest from oneself and one's partner. The interplay between these understandings and a missing discourse of sexuo‐erotic calmness is also considered.

JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Journal citation46 (4), pp. 815-837
ISSN0144-6665
Year2007
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1348/014466607X177669
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1348/014466607X177669
Publication dates
PrintDec 2007
Online24 Dec 2010
Publication process dates
Deposited22 Jan 2019
Copyright information© 2007 The British Psychological Society
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