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Sexuality notes week 8

by: Ashlyn Masters

Sexuality notes week 8 HDFS 3040-001

Marketplace > Auburn University > HDFS > HDFS 3040-001 > Sexuality notes week 8
Ashlyn Masters

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These notes cover all of chapter 6 and the start of chapter 8
Human Sexuality Over the Family Life Cycle
Carol L. Roberson
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ashlyn Masters on Thursday October 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HDFS 3040-001 at Auburn University taught by Carol L. Roberson in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Human Sexuality Over the Family Life Cycle in HDFS at Auburn University.


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Date Created: 10/13/16
Chapter 6: Sexual Arousal and Response 10/3/16 The Brain and Sexual Arousal • A variety of structures in the subcortical limbic system appear to be related to sexual arousal • Cortical areas are involved in thinking and reasoning and could expected to be involved in fantasy • Neurotransmitters o Testosterone stimulates release of dopamine in both sexes o Dopamine is related to sexual arousal and response o Many SSRI’s reduce sexual desire, genital sensitivity and reduce orgasmic capacity § This may occur in up to 75% of individuals taking SSRI’s § Not all have this effect • Hormones and sexual behavior o Sex hormones in male sexual behavior § Testosterone- related more to desire than to function § Castration may reduce sexual interest- but neither physical or chemical are sufficient to treat sex offenders o Sex hormones in female sexual behavior § Estrogen- related to function (elasticity, thickening of vaginal wall, lubrication) but less to desire § Testosterone, in contrast, appears to impact both desire and function The Senses and Sexual Arousal • Touch o Primary erogenous zones: contain dense connections of nerve endings § Genital areas, armpits, navel, neck, ears, mouth, inner surfaces of thighs § Lots of idiosyncrasies in terms of areas individual likes/dislikes o Secondary erogenous zones: erogenous zone by association with sexual behavior § Classically conditioned Chapter 6: Sexual Arousal and Response (cont.) 10/5/16 The Senses and Sexual Arousal • Vision o Both males and females response physiologically to visual erotica, but men more likely to report being aroused o Why might women be less aware of their arousal? § Less obvious of a sign- with men, there’s an obvious erection § Could also be that they are aware, but in denial • Smell o Pheromones? Some evidence suggests that compounds found in women’s urine/men’s sweat cause activation of the hypothalamus in heterosexual counterparts • Taste o More by association? • Hearing o Idiosyncratic in terms of likes, dislikes and comfort with expressing self • Other o Aphrodisiacs § Most fall into the realm of the placebo effect- if you believe it will help, it will § Good health and exercise are key components in sexual desire and response (think increased mood and increased blood flow) § Also, regular sexual activity begets more sexual activity § For example, those most likely to be sexually active at 70 were those most likely to be sexually active at 50 o Anaphrodisiacs: inhibit sexual behavior § Many common medications are implicated including tranquilizers, antidepressants, antipsychotics, birth control pills, ulcer drugs, and nicotine (vasocongestion) o Testosterone replacement therapy § More common among men than women, but appears effective for both § Concern about possible breast cancer risk for women Sexual Response Cycle (SRC) • Kaplan: desire, excitement, orgasm o Kaplan’s work came after Masters and Johnson and included a desire stage o Now it is recognized that about 1/3 of women and 1/6 of men report being uninterested in sex o What is motivation? • Masters and Johnson’s 4-phase model o Focuses on the biological more than subjective aspects of the SRC o ***Both males and females experience vasocongestion and myotonia. These are the two main components of sexual response § Vasocongestion: swelling of bodily tissues caused by increased vascular blood flow and a localized increase in blood pressure • In men: erection, swelling of testes and nipples • In women: lubrication of vagina, engorgement of clitoris and “orgasmic platform” (build up of blood in the outer 1/3 of the vagina) § Myotonia: increased muscle tension • Facial grimaces, contracts of hands and feet, muscular spasms during orgasms • Those involved with penis/vagina dispel vasocongestion • Gets rid of the blood flow o Phases of SRC § Excitement: increase heart rate, blood pressure, vasocongestion, myotonia • Men- erection, testes elevate (protection?) and engorge • Women- lubrication, clitoris swells, labia separate and darken § ***Plateau: continued building of sexual tension (IT DOES NOT LEVEL OFF) • Men- increased elevation, engorgement of testes • Women- orgasmic platform (engorgement of outer 1/3 of vagina); clitoris engorges, with arousal withdraws behind the clitoral hood and indirect stimulation most effective • Extend this period for more intense orgasms later § Orgasm: involuntary muscle contractions throughout body • Men- both emission and expulsion phases • Women- contractions of orgasmic platform (3-15 times), uterine contractions o Leads to decrease in vasocongestion (without, it can take hours for vasocongestion to subside) o Kegel exercises can increase strength of contractions • M & J believed women could only get orgasm from direct clitoral stimulation- now know they can get orgasm from fantasy alone (women may also get orgasm with stimulation of G-spot and nipples) • Subjective experience of orgasm similar for men and women § Resolution: return to baseline in terms of heart rate, blood pressure, myotonia • Men- erection subsides, testes descend, return to normal size o Have a refractory period: period during which males do not have a second orgasm § May be minutes to days depending on age, frequency of intercourse, etc. • Women- clitoris descends, labia return to normal size o Do not have a refractory period Aging and the Sexual Response Cycle • “Use it or lose it” • Older women o Excitement phase § Takes longer to become lubricated and amount of lubrication is reduced à painful intercourse; can use HRT or estrogen creams applied to vagina, vaginal lubricants o Plateau § Somewhat less buildup of orgasmic platform o Orgasm § Number of contractions reduced, but orgasms important part of sexual experience o Resolution § Faster, perhaps because less orgasmic platform Chapter 6: Sexual Arousal and Response (cont.) 10/7/16 Aging and the Sexual Response Cycle (cont.) • Older men o Excitement phase § Takes longer and more direct stimulation needed to reach erection, erection may be less firm and easier to lose § More frequent sexual activity helps o Plateau § Longer (which male and partner may appreciate) o Orgasm § May decline in frequency of contractions, force of ejaculation o Resolution § Occurs more rapidly and refractory period lengthens Multiple Orgasms • Women generally require clitoral stimulation for multiple orgasms- so those with female partners or who masturbate are more likely to have them; subsequent ones tend to be more intense • Men- evidence they can as well (some with ejaculation followed by dry orgasm or vice versa) o Subsequent ones tend to be less intense Chapter 8: Sexual Behaviors 10/7/16 Celibacy • Complete: does not masturbate, does not have sexual contact with others • Partial: masturbation, but not sexual contact with others • Celibacy may be short term, or lifelong • Text points out that a period of celibacy can allow self-pleasuring, learning to value aloneness, autonomy and privacy, focus on work, etc. Autoerotic behavior • People who engage in autoerotic behavior (masturbation) are more likely to have a partner and more likely to engage in a range of sexual activities • Erotic dreams o Don’t have much control over them o Both males and females may have nocturnal orgasms, but males are more likely to have evidence (erection upon waking, “wet dream”) • Erotic fantasy o “A fantasy is a map of desire, mastery, escape and obscuration” (Nancy Friday) o Functions § Create equilibrium between our environment and inner selves § Source of pleasure and arousal § Mentally rehearse and anticipate new sexual experience § Window into repressed needs or “forbidden wishes” § Allow a way of imagining stepping outside of gender-role expectations o Types of fantasies § Women • Fantasy of being forced to have sex, fantasize about romance o Do not fantasize about being raped o It’s more like in a romance novel when the girl thinks “No, I shouldn’t” and then the guy leans in and kisses her lightly and the girl then thinks “Ok” • Fantasize about romance, passivity and being irresistible § Men • Fantasies more active • More about what they want to do and specific sexual acts • More likely to fantasize about group sex § Both fantasize (while having sex with their partner) about having sex with a former lover (about 40% do so) • Masturbation o Functions § Relief of sexual tension § Sleep aid § Way of avoiding STIs § Outlet for fantasy § Way of learning about your body o How often is ok? § As much as you want as long as it’s not impairing function or interfering with the relationship o Is it ok if you are in a committed sexual relationship (living together or married)? If one’s partner found out, how would they feel? § Depends on the person à religious reasons, self-esteem issues, etc.


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