Sexual scripts are maintained by processes that psychologists and sociologists variously describe as social learning, socialization, and social exchange. Those who deviate from culturally dominant sexual scripts encounter sanctions or punishments, whereas those who adopt gender schema in accord with dominant sexual scripts (Bern, 1981) may receive benefits such as social approval. Gender schema theory encourages recognition that individuals’ cognitive processes are reflective of their interaction with their environments (Intons-Peterson, 1988). Thus, cognitions associated with sexual scripts are actively constructed.
Before deconstructing sexual scripts, we present types of traditional male and female sexual scripts.