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Communication Across the Life Span

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Edited By Jon F. Nussbaum

As we grow up and grow old, embrace new experiences, try new roles, and adopt new technologies, our senses of time, space, connection, and identity are fundamentally explored through communication. Why, how, with whom, and to what end humans communicate reflect and shape our ever-changing life span position. And while the «life span» can be conceived as a continuum, it is also one hinged by critical junctures and bound by cultural differences that can be better understood through communication.
The chapters in this collection, chosen from among the invited plenary speakers, top research papers, and ideas discussed in San Juan, explore the multiple ways communication affects, reflects, and directs our life transition. Capturing the richness and diversity of scholarship presented at the conference, chapters explore communication technologies that define a generation; communication and successful aging; stereotyping and family communication; sexual communication and physiological measurement; life span communication and the digital divide; and home-based care contexts across the world, among others.
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Chapter Six: Future Directions in Post Sex Communication Research: Exploring Long-Term Relationships, Aging, and Physiology

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← 62 | 63 →CHAPTER SIX

Future Directions in Post Sex Communication Research

Exploring Long-Term Relationships, Aging, and Physiology

AMANDA DENES, ANNIKA C. SPEER, ANURAJ DHILLON, AND KARA L. WINKLER



Over the past decade, interpersonal and sexual communication scholars and psychologists have increasingly focused on the importance of behaviors that occur immediately after sexual activity. Though the importance of post sex behavior for relationship well-being has been noted for decades (Halpern & Sherman, 1979), recent research has further explored the various behaviors that occur after sexual activity and their effects on satisfaction (e.g., Denes, 2012; Kruger & Hughes, 2010; Muise, Giang, & Impett, 2014). Kruger and Hughes (2010) use the term “post-coital time interval” (PCTI) to refer to the time frame immediately following sexual activity. We have chosen to use the term, “post sex time interval” (PSTI), as “coitus” is a term that privileges heterosexual penetrative sex (Braun, 2000; Jackson, 1995; Wittig, 1980). Though research on the post sex time interval (PSTI) continues to grow, there are important gaps in the literature that are worthy of further investigation. One of the most important gaps involves a lack of understanding regarding post sex behavior across the life span, as well as the role of physiology in post sex behavior.

The present review offers three important future directions for scholars interested in the PSTI, with a specific focus on post sex communication and pillow talk. Pillow talk is defined as the intimate...

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