Human Sexual Behavior Chapter 4
Human Sexual Behavior Chapter 4 82679 - PSYC 3060 - 001
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Brenna Biggs on Saturday February 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 82679 - PSYC 3060 - 001 at Clemson University taught by Bruce Michael King in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 27 views. For similar materials see Human Sexual Behavior in Psychlogy at Clemson University.
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Date Created: 02/06/16
Human Sexual Behavior Chapter 4 Similarities and Differences In Our Sexual Responses MEASUREMENT OF SEXUAL RESPONSES Penile strain gauge: thin rubber tube filled with mercury, fits over the base of the penis and transmits a small electric current that can record change in the circumference of the penis Vaginal photoplethysmograph: fits like a tampon into the vagina, has a light and photocell to record blood volume in the vaginal walls MODELS OF SEXUAL RESPONSE Four phases of the sexual response cycle: excitement, plateau, orgasm, resolution Many questioned the adequacy of both Masters and Johnson’s model and Helen Kaplan’s model in describing women’s sexual responses Focus of older models was on genital responses, newer models emphasize the greater complexity of women’s responses MEN’S SEXUAL RESPONSE CYCLE Desire, Excitement, Plateau, Orgasm, Resolution Desire “An intrinsic motivation to pursue sex” Man can have a physiological response without feeling aroused Responses are the same regardless of whether the source of arousal is another person, of the opposite sex or of the same sex, or oneself (masturbation, fantasy) Excitement (Arousal) First physical sign of arousal is erection of the penis resulting from becoming engorged with blood Vasocongestive response usually does not result in a full erection right away Nerve impulses caused by stimulation of the penis travel to the lowest part of the spinal cord, then sends nerve impulses back to the penis in a reflex action Men with spinal cords cut above the lower erection center can get erections in this reflexive manner, but cannot feel stimulation of the penis Second erection center Located higher in the spinal cord, receives impulses from the brain Also contributes to psychologically caused erections During sexual excitement, scrotum thickens and spermatic cord shortens Elevates testicles toward the body Testicles also start to become engorged with blood and enlarge Nipple erection occurs in some men Plateau Period of high sexual arousal that potentially sets the stage for orgasm Diameter of the penis further increases, especially near the corona Testicles become fully engorged with blood Cowper’s glands secrete a few drops of clear fluid, may appear at the tip of the penis Sex-tension flush on various areas of the skin Orgasm With continued and effective stimulation, experience intense physical sensations lasting a few seconds Consists of rhythmic muscular contractions in specific parts of the body that occur every 0.8 second Often begin before a perception of orgasm begins, end before orgasm is reported to be over Contractions can be measured, but cannot measure pleasure Experts conclude that the essence of orgasm lies in the brain, not genitals Perceptual experience, occurrence is subjective Occurs in two stages Emission: rhythmic muscular contractions in the vas deferens, prostate gland, and seminal vesicles force sperm and prostate and seminal fluids into ejaculatory ducts, forming semen; sphincter muscles contract to close off the part of the urethra that goes through the prostate Expulsion: these contractions are joined by contractions in the urethra and muscles at the base of the penis to force semen from the penis—ejaculation; sphincter muscles surrounding the part of the urethra coming from the bladder are tightly contracted so urine is not mixed with semen Retrograde ejaculation: sphincter muscle that allows passage of semen through the penile urethra closes and sphincter muscle surrounding the part of the urethra from the bladder opens, forcing semen into the bladder instead of out the body Orgasm refers to the subjective pleasurable sensations; ejaculation refers to the release of semen from the body Passage of semen through the penis has nothing to do with the sensation of orgasm Orgasm and ejaculation do not always occur together Resolution A return to the unaroused state Involves a loss of erection, decrease in testicle size, movement of the testicles away from the body cavity, and disappearance of the sex flush Testicles had become swollen with blood during the plateau phase, and if orgasm is delayed or not achieved, men may now experience testicular aching; it is only temporary and is not dangerous If emotional and/or physical stimulation continues after an orgasm, a man’s physiological responses may not fall all the way to preexcitement-phase levels, but they will drop below plateau level for some period of time The man will be unable to have another orgasm until his responses build up to plateau level again Period of time after an orgasm in which it is physiologically impossible for a man to achieve another orgasm in called the refractory period It tends to grow longer as men age, and also after each successive orgasm WOMEN’S SEXUAL RESPONSE CYCLE There is greater variation in women’s sexual responses than is observed in men Desire/Interest Men have a higher level of sexual desire For men, sexual desire is determined largely by biological factors such as levels of testosterone For most women sexual desire is motivated less by biological urges than it is by relationship and intimacy needs Excitement (Arousal) The first sign of sexual arousal in women is the vaginal walls become engorged with blood, and the pressure soon causes the walls to secrete drops of fluid on the inner surfaces (vaginal lubrication) Many women may not be aware when this is happening The labia majora, which normally cover and protect the vaginal opening, flatten and begin to move apart The walls of the vagina begin to balloon out, and the cervix and uterus pull up, thus getting the vagina ready to accommodate a penis The clitoris becomes engorged with blood It is more prominent during the excitement phase than at any other time The nipples become erect during the excitement phase For many women subjective arousal is very poorly correlated with genital measures of physiological arousal Women’s sexual arousal commonly precedes sexual desire Many women do not distinguish desire from arousal—it is all one process Plateau While the inner two thirds of the vagina continue to expand like an inflated balloon and the uterus continue to elevate The tissues of the outer third of the vagina become greatly engorged with blood and swell (orgasmic platform) Results in a narrowing of the vaginal opening Also experience a sex-tension flush The clitoris pulls back against the pubic bone and disappears beneath the clitoral hood The breasts become engorged with blood and swell Obscures the nipple erection that was so prominent in the excitement phase Third, the secretion of fluids from the vaginal walls may slow down if the plateau phase is prolonged Thickening of the labia minora helps to further push the labia majora apart and expose the vaginal opening Orgasm Many people did not believe that women had orgasms Like men, women also had rhythmic muscular contractions in specific tissues that were initially 0.8 seconds apart Men and women describe orgasms similarly Resolution A woman’s physiological responses generally drop below the plateau level after orgasm and return to the not aroused state Some women are capable of having true multiple orgasms—2+ full orgasms in quick succession without dropping below the plateau level The female sexual response cycle is highly variable The blood drains from the breasts and the tissues of the outer third of the vagina, the sex flush disappears, the uterus comes down, and the vagina shortens in width and length CONTROVERSIES ABOUT ORGASM Are All Women Capable of Orgasm During Sexual Intercourse? A sizable minority of women who do not regularly have orgasm during intercourse Both psychosocial and biological factors play a role in women’s ability to reach orgasm Many have faked an orgasm Why Do Women Have Orgasms? Male orgasms have true reproductive value Do female orgasms have a purpose? Theories claim that female orgasm serves in mate selection in some manner Others claim that not only is there no good physiological evidence to support sperm competition explanations, but that these theories begin with the assumption that women’s orgasms must be adaptive because men’s orgasms are Some women have orgasms only because of the early-shared embryonic development of males and females How Many Types of Female Orgasm Are There? Types of orgasms: clitoral and vaginal All women’s orgasms were physiologically the same Vaginal orgasms: strong PC muscles, Grafenberg (G) spot Some women orgasm is not a short, intense release of sexual tension, but can last for well over a minute Do Women Ejaculate During Orgasm Some women emit fluid from the Skene’s glands located in the urethra Thought to develop from the same embryonic tissue as men’s prostate and the fluid was found to contain prostatic acid phosphatase, an enzyme found in prostate secretions Female Genital Cutting Cutting of girls’ genitals has been a common practice in many cultures Usually performed by an older village woman with a knife or razor and without anesthesia Most genitally cut women do not enjoy sex The men in these cultures believe that the elimination of sexual desire in women “frees them to fulfill their real destiny as mothers” The countries where genital cutting is practiced are strongly patriarchal, and thus there is great concern about guaranteeing the inheritance of property from fathers to legitimate sons Can Men Have Multiple Orgasms? Whenever they recorded orgasm with ejaculation from men, it was always followed by a refractory period Only when a man’s level of arousal built back up to the plateau level could he have another orgasm Can have multiple dry “mini-orgasms” PENIS SIZE: DOES IT MATTER? Many men have anxieties about the size of their penis Tends to leave the impression that penis size is related to the ability of a man to sexually please a woman Frequent intercourse does not cause a penis to get larger Penis size is not related to height, weight, build, shoe size, or the like Length of an erect penis is between 4.5 to 5.75-inches No study has found a substantial difference between white and black men The length of the walls of the vagina is about the same length as the average penis Women don’t consider the size of a penis important APHRODISIACS: DO THEY HELP? Substances that enhance sexual desire or prolong sexual performance Any temporary improvement in sexual functioning is purely a psychological effect and the effect will wear off shortly Alcohol is commonly believed to enhance sexual desire and responsivity Actually an anaphrodisiac, a suppressant of sexual functioning in both men and women Some illegal drugs also have reputations as sexual stimulants Can often result in erectile failures and difficulties reaching orgasm for both men and women There is no evidence that other natural products work as aphrodisiacs SEXUALITY AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES As difficult as a person’s physical disabilities may make it to engage in sex, a greater barrier to most people with disabilities having a sexual relationship is society’s attitude about them Many people treat adults with physical or mental disabilities as if they were asexual or childlike Persons with disabilities often have low sexual esteem and seriously limit how they express themselves sexually Sexual relations are important to many people for the shared intimacy Spinal cord-inured individuals often have the same sexual needs and desires as others People with traumatic brain injury or severe mental impairments are often unable to differentiate between appropriate times and places Results in many people having negative views of sexual behaviors in developmentally handicapped or brain-injured persons KEY TERMS Anaphrodisiacs Aphrodisiacs Rosemary Basson Desire Ejaculation Erection of the penis Excitement phase Grafenberg (G) spot Helen Kaplan Masters and Johnson Multiple orgasms Orgasm Orgasmic platform Plateau Refractory period Resolution Retrograde ejaculation Semen Sex-tension flush Sexuality Sexual response cycle Skene’s glands Vaginal lubrication Vasocongestive response
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