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Ch. 3: The Physiology of Human Sexual Responding

by: Maranda Holder

Ch. 3: The Physiology of Human Sexual Responding ANT2301

Marketplace > University of Florida > ANT2301 > Ch 3 The Physiology of Human Sexual Responding
Maranda Holder

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Book Notes
Human Sexuality and Culture
Young,Alyson Gail
Class Notes
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Maranda Holder on Tuesday August 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANT2301 at University of Florida taught by Young,Alyson Gail in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views.

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Date Created: 08/09/16
The Physiology of Human Sexual Responding Historical Perspectives Sexual Pioneers  Before the 1960s, the definitive published work on the sexual behavior of humans consisted primarily of large-scale surveys  In the 1960s, the sexual revolution began  Masters and Johnsons work is the foundation for our knowledge on sex Biology, Psychology, and Human Sexual Responding  For most mammals, sexual behavior is governed by biological forces of mating and reproduction  The female will send out signals to males when she is fertile  Psychological processes play a role greater than biology  Feeling pleasure, giving pleasure, expressing feelings of closeness and love, relieving stress, feeling valued by another person, expressing how much another person is valued, feeling more dominant and submissive are all reasons why people engage in sexual acts Masters and Johnson: The Excitement-Plateau-Orgasm-Resolution Model  Not all of Masters and Johnsons observations and conclusions are universally accepted  Masters and Johnson divided the process of sexual stimulation into four stages often known as the EPOR model  Excitement  Plateau  Orgasm  Resolution Excitement and Plateau: The First Two Stages  The excitement phase is the first phase in the EPOR model, in which the first physical changes in sexual arousal occur  The plateau phase is the second phase in the EPOR model, during which sexual arousal levels off and remains at an elevated level of excitement  Early arousal can occur from any type of pleasurable sexual stimulation  Aphrodisiacs are mythical substances that are thought to enhance sexual arousal and desire  Science has yet to prove these exist  Vasocongestion is the swelling of erectile tissues due to increased blood flow during sexual arousal  Sex flush is a darkening or reddening of the skin of the chest area that occurs in some people during sexual arousal  Nipples become erect, breathing becomes heavier and faster, heart rate increases, and voluntary muscles tense in a process called myotonia  For men, the penis becomes erect, the scrotal skin tightens, the testicles begin to rise up toward the underside of the penis, and the testicles themselves enlarge  For women, the clitoris become erect, the vagina becomes lubricated, the shaft of the clitoris increases in size, and the labia minora swell and may separate slightly from around the opening of the vagina  The vagina begins to change shape, becoming longer and widening out along the inner two-thirds length  The plateau phase is the second phase in the EPOR model, during which sexual arousal levels off and remains at an elevated level of excitement  The walls of the outer one-third of the vagina become engorged with blood and thicken, reducing the size of the vaginal opening  Tenting, a widening of the inner two-thirds of the vagina during sexual arousal, may occur  The clitoris becomes engorge with blood and straightens out in length  Retracts into the body, becoming less available for stimulation  Most women do not reach orgasm from heterosexual intercourse and may need additional stimulation  Pre-ejaculate fluid is release by men to reduce acidity of the vagina  While it does not contain sperm cells, pre-ejaculate fluid may transport live sperm left over in a man's urethra Orgasm  The orgasmic phase is the third stage in the EPOR model, during which sexual excitement and pleasure reach a climax  Typically lasts less than 15 seconds  Most intensely pleasurable experience of sexual arousal  Vary from person to person  Women tend to require more stimulation to get to orgasm than men  For women, orgasm is the stimulation of the clitoris or clitoral area by a partner or through self-masturbation during intercourse  Women are capable of multiple orgasms, more than one orgasm at relatively short intervals as sexual stimulation continues without a resolution phase or refectory period in between orgasms  Factors influencing the intensity and duration of orgasm are the length or arousal prior to orgasm, the length of time since the previous orgasm, alcohol and drug use, and feelings of comfort and intimacy with a partner  As orgasm approaches, respiration increases and pulse rate and blood pressure continue to rise  A loss of control over some voluntary muscles results in muscle contractions and spasms, especially the hands and feet  For women, the anus, uterus, muscles of the pelvic floor, and walls of the outer third of the vagina all contract at intervals of 0.8 seconds  Men have pelvic contractions  Ejaculation typically occurs in two steps  Emission, the buildup of sperm and semen in the urethral bulb just prior to being expelled through the urethra Gives the feeling of being past the point of no return,  called ejaculatory inevitability  Expulsion , the contraction of pelvic muscles that force semen through the urethra and out of the body through the penis  The experience of orgasm is so intense and all-encompassing that it is difficult to find words for it  Male and female orgasms seem to be similar  Orgasms may enhance biological and psychological health  Orgasm should not be the goal of sexual interaction, intimacy should be The Female Ejaculation Debate  Reports of women who ejaculate fluid from the urethra upon orgasm began in the 1970s  Some claim that the fluid expelled by women during orgasm is identical to urine and others say it is more akin to semen  Several studies found that female ejaculate resembles male prostatic fluid in chemical composition  The Skene's glands are a pair of glands on either side of the urethra that in some women may produce a fluid that is expelled during orgasm; also known as the paraurethral glands  Active in some women  40-50% of women report ejaculating during orgasm The G-Stop Controversy  The G-spot is an area of tissue on the anterior (upper) wall of the vagina that, when stimulated, may cause a women to experience enhanced sexual arousal and more intense orgasms  The G-spot and female ejaculation have been linked because many women who report ejaculating also say that stimulation of this G-spot during sexual activity enhances the likelihood of ejaculation during orgasm  Topic of controversy  An area of tissue located on the anterior wall of the vagina Often described as slightly raised area about the size of a dime that increases  in size during sexual stimulation Resolution  The resolution phase is the completion of the cycle, when the body returns to its sexually non-aroused state  Typically happens fairly quickly if orgasm is achieved, but more slowly when it is not  Heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension drop quickly  People feel relaxed, warm, content, and sleepy  For women, blood flows back out of erectile tissue throughout the genitals and breasts  For men, nipples lose erection, the penile glans lighten in color, and the penis becomes softer and smaller  The refractory period is a period of time following orgasm when a person is physically unable to become aroused to additional orgasms Criticisms of Masters and Johnson's EPOR Model  Criticisms include  The contention that Masters and Johnson neglected emotional and psychological components of sexuality  That any valid model of human sexual response must emerge from psychological interpretations of sexuality  The EPOR model was far too androcentric Too Many, Or Too Few, Stages  Various research suggests that the plateau stage is unnecessary  Kaplan and others suggested that the critical stage of sexual desire was left out Male/Female Similarities  Many people argue that males and females should be given different models Male/Female Differences  Men ejaculate  Men have a refractory period  Some women may have a refractory period as well  Women may have multiple orgasms Alternatives to Masters and Johnson Kaplan's Three-Stage Model of Sexual Response  Helen Singer Kaplan felt that Masters and Johnsons model has too many rigid, sequential stages  Kaplan's Three-Stage Model is an alternative to Masters and Johnson's EPOR model of human sexual response developed by Kaplan that features the three stages of desire, excitement, and orgasm  She says that hypoactive sexual desire, a persistantly low level of desire for sexual activity or lack of sexual fantasies, are extremely common  Reasons for this include stress, fatigue, depression, pain, fear, prescribed medication, recreational drugs, negative past sexual experiences, power and control issues in a relationship, loss of interest in the partner, low self-image, and hormonal influences  Criticized for oversimplifying and assuming desire is always there Reed's Erotic Stimulus Pathway Theory  The Erotic Stimulus Pathway Theory is a model of human sexual response based on the psychological and cognitive stages of seduction, sensations, surrender, and reflection  Seduction says that desire is created by the behaviors people engage in that they believe will attract another person and make themselves sexually attractive to others  Sensation is when sexual behavior and sexual arousal begins  Surrender is the peak of sexual pleasure  Reflection provides an opportunity for partners to interpret the sexual encounter in positive or negative terms A New View of Women's Sexual Response  New view of women's sexual problems is a model of female sexual response incorporating a larger variety of factors than previous models


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