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PSYCH 3070: Human Sexuality, week 4 notes

by: Alison Carr

PSYCH 3070: Human Sexuality, week 4 notes Psych 3070

Marketplace > Bowling Green State University > Psychlogy > Psych 3070 > PSYCH 3070 Human Sexuality week 4 notes
Alison Carr
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These notes cover the lectures of week 4.
Human Sexuality
Patrick Nebl
Class Notes
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Alison Carr on Saturday February 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psych 3070 at Bowling Green State University taught by Patrick Nebl in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Human Sexuality in Psychlogy at Bowling Green State University.


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Date Created: 02/06/16
PSYCH 3070: Human Sexuality, Spring Semester 2016 Week 4 Neural Aspects of Sexual Response  Nucleus Accumbens o “Reward center of the brain” o food, sex, drugs, etc. all cause dopamine release in this region o fMRI found increases in activation in this region while participants were viewing pictures of attractive people  Medial Preoptic Area of the Hypothalamus o One of the hypothalamus sub regions o Lesions in male rhesus monkeys reduces mating behavior o Electrical stimulation in male rhesus monkeys causes spontaneous erections o Very specific to sexuality Testosterone  Produced in gonads and adrenal glands  Salivary T measured with couple on nights they had sex and nights thee didn’t nights with sex had higher T  In males: o Plasma T levels are higher during and immediately after sexual intercourse (over control and masturbating) o T reinstates sexual behavior in hypogonadal men o Sexual motivation decreases with age along with T o Chemical castration (used to treat some paraphilics) greatly reduces self-reported sexual desire, fantasy, and arousal  In females: Masters and Johnson’s Model  EPOR Model o Excite o Plateau o Orgasm o Resolution  Phases admittedly arbitrary  Many scholars have questioned whether this model fits women’s sexual response Men’s Sexual Response  Excitement (Arousal) o The spongy tissue of the penis becomes engorged with blood (corpora cavernosa and corpus spongiosum) o This vasocongestion often doesn’t lead to a full erection during this phase o Increase heart rate, blood pressure, scrotum thickens, spermatic cords shortens, and nipple erections  Plateau o Can be very quick or last a long time o Diameter of the penis further increases o Testicles become fully engorged with blood  Increasing in size from 50-100%  Elevate and rotate (touching the perineum) o Cowper’s (bulbourethral) gland secretes a few drops of clear fluid  Orgasm o Hard to describe or measure the subjective pleasure of aspect of orgasm o Two stages  Emission  Rhythmic muscular contractions in vas deferens, prostate, and seminal vesicles force sperm and prostate/seminal fluids into ejaculatory ducts  Expulsions  Contractions of the urethra and muscles at the base of the penis force the semen from the penis (ejaculation)  Resolution o Detumescence (los of erection) as blood flow to penis returns to normal o Decrease in testicle size and movement away from the body cavity  If orgasm is not reached, potential for testicular discomfort (blue balls, but not dangerous) o Refractory period  Not a fixed amount of time  Longer as men age  Longer after each successive orgasm  A set of time where orgasm cannot happen Women’s Sexual Response  Greater variation in women’s sexual responses  Other factors might be in play, particularly when differentiating physiological and subjective arousal o Intimacy needs o The relational context of arousal o Cognitive interpretation of sexual stimuli  Excitement (arousal) o Vasocongestive response  Vaginal wall becomes engorged with blood, pressure causes walls to secrete fluid  Walls of vagina will expand and cervix pull up (pushed back)  Labia majora flatten and move apart  Clitoris becomes engorged with blood (two corpora cavernosa) and increases in diameter  Increase heart rate, blood pressure, and nipple erections  Plateau o Outer third of vagina becomes engorged with blood and swells (orgasmic platform)  Narrowing of the vaginal opening by 30-50% o Clitoris pulls back against the pubic bone and beneath the clitoral hood o Breasts become engorged with blood and swell (20-25%) o Secretion of fluids from vaginal walls may slow down after prolonged plateau phase  Orgasm o Rhythmic contractions of the outer third of the vagina, the uterus, and the anal sphincter muscles o Only one stage o Subjectively, males and females describe the experience of and orgasm very similarly  Physicians and psychologists presented with these descriptions were unable to separate female and male descriptions  50% were right and 50% were wrong  Resolution o Diversity in sexual response of this phase  May drop below plateau level (as was described with males) o 14-16% of women regularly have multiple orgasms, as many as 40% has experienced multiple orgasms at some point o As many as 10% of sexually experienced women have never experienced an orgasm Can males have multiple orgasms?  Studies have found males who are capable of experiencing the psychological aspects of orgasm as well as some of the muscular contractions while withholding ejaculation. o Called a “dry orgasm”  Males appear to be able to have multiple “dry orgasms” before experiencing a “wet orgasm” which appears to always be followed by a refractory period. Does size matter?  Prause, Park, Leung, & Miller (2015) o Length: 6.3 inches o Circumference: 4.9 inches  Prefer penis sizes only slightly larger than average  Some women have broken up with men due to penis size  But ranked about as important as cooking ability Are there different types of female orgasms?  Clitoral and vaginal orgasms o Source of stimulation  Clitoris  Inner two thirds of the vagina and Pubococcygeus muscle o Both are physiologically the same, identical rhythmic muscular contractions o Some women report a subjective difference, however o Grafenburg (G) Spot  Front wall of the vagina, halfway between back of pubic bone and front of the cervix  Some research suggests only 10% of women have one but anatomical studies seem to confirm its existence Do women ejaculate during orgasm?  Estimated between 10-40% of women  Historically, seen as a urinary incontinence  Really, fluid emitted from Skene’s glans o Located in the urethra o Same embryotic tissue as the prostate o Fluid contains prostatic acid phosphatase, an enzyme found in prostate secretions o Still some question as to the nature of the fluid Why are female orgasms so variable? Female Orgasm Orgasm  95% of males report having n orgasm in their most recent sexual encounter o Only 69% of females report having an orgasm  39.2% of females report having regular sexual problems, including inability to reach orgasm Evolved function of orgasm  an adaptation is an inherited trait that has been selected for because it contributes to the solving of an adaptive problem  Male orgasm is no evolutionary mystery o Ejaculation is a necessary component of procreation, propelling male gametes into the female’s reproductive tact so they can fertilize female gametes Female orgasm as a by-product?  A by-product is a trait that does not serve an evolutionary function that exists because it is paired with an adaptive trait o Belly button is a by-product of the umbilical cord o Male nipples are a by-product of female nipples  Males and females have similar analogous sexual morphology and highly similar embryological development of sex organs The sperm retention hypothesis  Female orgasm is an adaption which causes more sperm to be retained within the reproductive tract, increasing the likelihood of conception  Oxytocin is released during orgasm, causes the cervix to dip and muscles to contract  Approximately 35% of sperm from ejaculate is released from the female shortly after intercourse o Term “flowback” o If female orgasm is experienced 1 minute before to 45 minutes after the male has ejaculated, she releases less flowback The good genes hypothesis  Female orgasm functions to maximize the likelihood that the female will become impregnated by a mate with good genes, maximizing any resultant offspring’s likelihood of surviving and thriving o Initially explained female finches preference for colorful mates  Females are more likely to experience orgasm with males who are more physically attractive and symmetrical The “Mr. Right” Hypothesis  Female orgasm functions as a long-term mate selection device for females  A male’s ability to bring his partner to orgasm may signal his care and concern for the female’s needs and desires o Demonstrating a general willingness commit to and invest in his mate  Female orgasm is highly variable by design, with females being differentially orgasmic with different partners  Limited tests o Self-reported orgasm frequency for females is positively correlated with partner income The ling-term pair bonding hypothesis  Female orgasm promotes long-term monogamous relationships, and biparental care leads offspring who are more able to survive and thrive  Oxytocin is released during orgasm o In addition to causing muscular contractions, this hormone is also involved in emotional bonding An evolved function or by-product?  Still no clear conclusion  Female orgasm may exist because orgasm in males is adaptive  Female orgasm may exist because it serves an adaptive function such as retaining more sperm or selecting a mate o May be highly variable by design  One of David Buss’s “remaining mysteries of human mating” Faking Orgasms  Women orgasm most readily while masturbating, then via cunnilingus, and least readily through penile-vaginal intercourse  Conservatively estimated, 13% of all orgasms by females are faked (Thornhill)  Female participants asked to describe all the reasons that they or someone they know would fake an orgasm  All answers were collected and a survey on reasons for faking orgasm was created  Reasons were statistically grouped into 3 categories: o For mate retention (keeping their partner happy, to help their partner have a better time, etc.) o Hiding sexual disinterest (either with this person in general or during one time period) o To be deceitful (get something from their partner, hide an affair from partner, etc., least common reason) Sexually Transmitted Infections  This year 19.7 million Americans will contract an STI  There are 110-136 million cases on STIs in the U.S.  1 in 4 teenagers has an STI ( also high in Americans over 45) Definition o STIs are the result of either bacteria or viruses o Bacteria: single celled organisms will no nucleus and simple genetic material (prokaryotic) o Virus: protein casing around genetic material which cannot duplicate without a living host cell  Bacterial STIs o Gonorrhea  In Old Testament and described by Greek physicians, 3500 years old?  Infects mucous membrane through contact (urethra, vagina, rectum, throat, mouth, etc.)  Symptoms: pus-like discharge from urethra/vagina, irritation, and burning sensation during urination  65-90% of males display symptoms, only 20-40% of females display symptoms  untreated can spread to rest of reproductive system, potentially sterility (infertility)  Becoming highly resistant to antibiotics o Chlamydia  Lives only in mucous membranes, like gonorrhea  Early symptoms similar to gonorrhea: discharge, irritation, and burning of the urethra  Almost 90% of women and a large proportion of men don’t show these symptoms  If left untreated, chlamydia spreads through the reproductive system similarly to gonorrhea but much more potent  3 times more likely to cause sterility in woman than gonorrhea  Can be treated with antibiotics o Syphilis  Responsible for death of 100 million people in the 20 th century  Can be passed through the blood as well as mucous membrane  4 stages of symptoms (appearing 10-90 days):  Chancre sore at site where bacteria entered the body for 10-14 days  Itchless, painless rash all over the body 4-6 weeks after chancre heals  Symptoms disappear after several weeks to a year and then years of no signs  Ulcers, damage to heart and blood vessels, and dementia from invasion of central nervous system  Easily eradicated with antibiotics  Viral STIs o Herpes  2 types of the virus (Type 1 and Type 2), but both can be oral or genital  Oral herpes passed easily, genital almost always through sexual contact  3 stages of symptoms lasting 16 days:  Tingling, burning, or itching of contacted area  Painful, fluid-filled blisters form, possible flu-like symptoms  The sores develop scales and form scabs  Less severe, recurrent attacks  No cure but antivirals relive symptoms o Hepatitis  Hepatitis A  Oral contact with infected feces, usually non-sexual  Hepatitis B  Through infected blood and body fluids (saliva, semen, vaginal secretions)  Can cause a number of liver diseases  Hepatitis C  Blood to blood contact  More Americans now die of Hepatitis C than HIV/AIDS  Antivirals can manage symptoms and vaccines exist for A and B


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