The Motive for Sex
Whereas survival motives such as thirst and hunger occur in relation to the self, social motives like sex mostly involve another person. The obvious difference between sex and other motives is that sex is not necessary for your individual survival. While it is certainly necessary for the continuation of the species, you won't die if you don't have sex. Social motives do not need to be regulated in order for survival to continue; their influences are hormonal and environmental.
Hermaphrodites are individuals who are born with both male and female genital tissues — ovaries and a penis, for example. An imbalance in prenatal hormones is responsible for this abnormal development and occurs when there is an excess of the genital development hormone androgen in the female fetus or not enough of it in the male fetus.
Puberty occurs somewhere between ages eleven and fourteen and causes people to think in depth about their sexuality for the first time. Hormones in females (estrogen) produce breasts, “shapely curves,” and genital advancement, while hormones in males (testosterone) produce development of facial and underarm hair, voice changes, muscle definition, and genital growth.
These natural changes prepare the body for sexual interaction by displaying obvious external developments that tell the world (potential mates) it's ready to reproduce. While teenagers may become physically mature, all too often their response to their own sexuality involves choices that have not been analyzed with maturity, and all too often result in circumstances they are not yet prepared for.
Different cultures have different levels of tolerance for the same behaviors, such as premarital sex, masturbation, or homosexuality. The same behavior, such as intercourse with a girl who hasn't reached puberty, may be punishable by death in some cultures, while it is more acceptable in others.
Even further, specific attitudes differ significantly between men and women and involve emotion, self-worth, desire, and frustration. The following sexual attitude differences between men and women was developed after asking college students to list their concerns with all aspects of sexuality and was taken from Carol Tavris and Carole Offir's The Longest War: Sex Differences in Perspective (1977). Women listed such things as fear of pregnancy, fear of being raped, and fear of being rejected if they said no to sex. Men listed such things as not being able to have sex when they wanted to, being expected to know everything about sex, and the inability to communicate feelings and needs during sex.