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Lecture 4

ANT211H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Masturbation, Thalamus, Takers


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANT211H5
Professor
Sherry Fukuzawa
Lecture
4

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Toleen Hubaishy Anthro 29.9.16
Lecture 4
SEX DIFFERENTIATION: BRAIN & BEHAVIOUR
Sexual Response – much more complicated and considerably less understood.
Should not be confused with sexual development
Subjective sense of sexual excitement or arousal
oWhat people find sexually arousing is a reflection in regards to their
culture and society (what they are exposed too and used to)
Interaction between
oCognitive information processing
oCentral brain mechanisms
oPeripheral physiological processes
Psychosomatic circle
Central brain mechanisms
oNeural signals
oPeripheral sexual responses
oExcitory
oInhibitory
oPsychological response to a stimulation (largely culturally mediated)
Cognitive
oAutomatic
Are often physiological responses to sexual images or stimulation
that is not consciously mediated by the individual
oControlled
Something that the individual is conscious of
COPULATION
(a sexually dimorphic behavior)
Males: pelvis thrusting
oTestosterone is crucial during a critical developmental period in order
for them to perform pelvic thrusting (the length of this critical period
varies in length along different species)
Females: lordosis – arch their back and their necks in order to allow the
penis into being intermitted into the vagina
ounder the influence of gonadal hormones
oHas organizing and activating function
oFemales that were injected with testosterone before a week of their
life develops this thrusting behavior within them as they grow older
(they do not grow a penis, however it is a behavioral alteration)
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Toleen Hubaishy Anthro 29.9.16
E.G.Rats
Males
oCastrated at 1 day old – no copulation
oCastrated after 1 week – will copulate with testosterone in adulthood
Females
oGiven organizing and activating shots of testosterone – lose capacity for
lordosis; will exhibit male copulatory behaviour
Testicular function: relevant to sexual differentiation
Early testosterone influences neural organization underlying male
copulation
oTestosterone levels do affect male sexual behavior (boys with higher
levels have a significantly larger engagement in sexual behavior
throughout their lifetimes)
oNot correlated with age
Early testicular function leads to masculinization
Lack of gonadal function leads to feminization
Studies usually focus on males as females are the default sex thus there is
more of a change in males
Activating androgens at puberty for humans
Males (testosterone)
9-10 years old (shortly before puberty)
Masturbation starts (definitely increases in males when testosterone is
developed throughout their bodies)
Maximum capacity for sexual arousal & response
Females (estrogen)
Less clear relationship between sex interest and hormones
Variable masturbation
oThey cannot find a relationship between female masturbation with
estrogen rates
oMany researchers have suggested that cultural variables play a larger
role in female studies (most research regards to females is due to
surveys as they do not have that extra trait in which makes them more
sexually driven (unlike men who have testosterone because they are
not the default gender))
Impact of steroidal contraceptives
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