11. Adult Attachment and Sexuality

  1. Patricia Noller3 and
  2. Gery C. Karantzas4
  1. Phillip R. Shaver1 and
  2. Mario Mikulincer2

Published Online: 23 APR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444354119.ch11

The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Couples and Family Relationships

The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Couples and Family Relationships

How to Cite

Shaver, P. R. and Mikulincer, M. (2012) Adult Attachment and Sexuality, in The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Couples and Family Relationships (eds P. Noller and G. C. Karantzas), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444354119.ch11

Editor Information

  1. 3

    School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Queensland, 4072, Australia

  2. 4

    School of Psychology, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Victoria, 3125, Australia

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, United States, USA

  2. 2

    New School of Psychology, Interdisciplinary Centre, Hezliya, 46150, Israel

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 APR 2012
  2. Published Print: 20 JAN 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444334500

Online ISBN: 9781444354119



  • individual differences perspectives, intimacy, love, caregiving;
  • adult attachment and sexuality;
  • Sigmund Freud, and sex and aggression;
  • Freud's psychoanalytic theory, into “object relations theory”;
  • interplay of attachment and sexual systems;
  • Bowlby's behavioral system, child–parent attachment bonds;
  • attachment behavioral system, subjective sense of security;
  • Bowlby, and “compulsive self-reliance” and “detachment”;
  • dysfunctions of sexual system, hyperactivating, deactivating strategies;
  • attachment insecurities and sexual system functioning


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • A Behavioral Systems Perspective on Attachment and Sex

  • Attachment Insecurities and Sexual System Functioning

  • Attachment Insecurities and the Role of Sex in Relationships

  • Implications for Therapy

  • Concluding Remarks

  • References