Study Guides (238,295)
Canada (115,061)
Psychology (1,167)
PSY3108 (12)

PSY3122 Human Sexual Behaviour Textbook Notes Midterm 2013.docx

16 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Ottawa
Peggy Kleinplatz

1 Human Sexual Behaviour – Textbook & Reading Notes Chapter 6: Sexual Arousal and Response • Sexual arousal and response influenced by many factors o Hormones, brain’s capacity to create images and fantasies, emotions, sensory processes, level of intimacy between two people, etc • The role of hormones in sexual behaviour o Hormones influence sexuality, sensuality, and interpersonal attraction o Androgens and estrogens = sex hormones  Steroid hormones • Secreted by the gonadal glands (testes and ovaries) and the adrenal glands o Male sex hormones and female sex hormones  Linking hormones to a sex is misleading • Both sexes produce them o Males: 95% of total androgens produced by testes, 5% produced by adrenal glands  Produce 20-40 times more testosterone than females  Testes also produce estrogens, but much smaller quantities than females o Women: ovaries and adrenal glands produce androgens in equal amounts, estrogen produced mainly in ovaries o Dominant androgen in both sexes is testosterone o Neuropeptide hormones: chemicals produced in the brain that influence sexual arousal, attraction, response  Most important: oxytocin • Oxytocin: neuropeptide in the hypothalamus that influences sexual response and interpersonal attraction o “love hormone” • Sex hormones in male sexual behaviour o Testosterone – greater effect on male sexual desire (libido) than on sexual functioning  Low testosterone might mean low libido but fully capable of erection and orgasm  Influences sensitivity of genitals – deficiency can decrease pleasure o Castration: surgical removal of testes  Orchidectomy: surgical procedure for removing testes  Reduced sexual interest and activity within the first year – some for as long as 30 years  Indicates that testosterone is important biological instigator of sexual desire o Androgen-blocking drugs – anti androgens (eg. MPA, Depo Provera)  To treat sex offenders and prostate cancer  Reduce testosterone circulating in blood stream  Reduces sexual interest and activity o Hypogonadism  Impaired hormone production in the testes that results in testosterone deficiency  Also associated with aging process in men 2  If happens before puberty, stops growth of primary and secondary sex characteristics and the person may never develop sexual interest • Sex hormones in female sexual behaviour o Estrogens help maintain thickness and elasticity of the vaginal lining, and contribute to vaginal lubrication o Role of estrogen in female sexual behaviours is still unclear o Estrogen is mood mellowing o Less ambiguity about role of testosterone in female sexuality  Major libido hormone  Desire, genital sensitivity, frequency of sexual activity • How much testosterone is necessary for normal sexual functioning? o Two forms of testosterone in both sexes  1) attached (bound) • 95% in men - bound on protein molecule – inactive • 97-99% in women  2) unattached (free) • Key component in sex drive • 5% in males metabolically active – influences libido • 1-3% in women o Women having lower testosterone than men doesn’t mean they have lower sex drives  Women’s body’s more sensitive to testosterone • Too much testosterone has adverse effects on both sexes o In men: disrupting natural hormone cycles, salt + fluid retention, hair loss, prostate cancer o In women: facial and body hair, muscle mass, reduce breast size, enlarge clitoris • Aging – men’s testosterone decreases slowly, women’s decreases abruptly with menopause • Testosterone Replacement Therapy o Common in treating sexual dysfunctions in males o Reluctance to prescribe to women  May increase breast cancer risk • Oxytocin in Male and Female Sexual Behaviour o Ejection of milk from nipple o Snuggle chemical – released during breastfeeding to facilitate mother-child bonding o Released during sexual arousal o Secreted during cuddling, physical intimacy, and touch o Increases skin sensitivity to touch and encourages affectionate behaviour o Increased levels through sexual response cycle – high levels associated with orgasmic release o Stimulates contractions of uterine wall during orgasm • The Brain and Sexual Arousal o Individual and cultural experiences mediated by our brains o Cultural variations in sexual arousal  Western – achieving orgasm, genital focused  Asian – extension of arousal for long time  Eastern Tantric – shared intimacy  Female orgasm unknown in many non-Western societies (eg Africa) 3 • Some negatively vale vaginal lubrication • Dry sex  Kissing on mouth is universal for western, rare or absent in other parts of world  Oral sex – in South Pacific, some of Asia, and Western World  Foreplay – Eastern traditions, shorter in western world, Inis Beag – foreplay is limited to mouth kissing and rough fondling of woman’s lower body  Wide variety of standards of attractiveness o Cerebral cortex: fantasies o Limbic system  Hypothalamus – arousal and orgasm • MPOA = medial preoptic area o Opiate drugs (heroin, morphine) – inhibit sexual performance o Dopamine – excitatory to MPOA and facilitates sexual arousal and response in males o Testosterone stimulates release of dopamine in MPOA in both sexes  One way it increases libido o Serotonin – inhibits sexual activity • The Senses and Sexual Arousal o Brain as most important sense organ for arousal o Touch is predominant in intimacy o All sense have potential to be involved o Touch  Erogenous zones • Areas of body that are particularly responsive to sexual stimulation  Primary erogenous zones • Areas of body that contain dense concentrations of nerve endings • Genitals, buttocks, anus, perineum, breasts (nipples), inner surfaces of the thighs, armpits, navel, neck, ears (lobes), mouth (lips, tongue, oral cavity)  Secondary erogenous zones • Areas of body that have become erotically sensitive through learning and experience • All other regions of the body o Could be transformed into an erogenous zone • Become eroticized if touched in context of sex o Vision  Western society – visual stimuli important  Physical appearance, grooming, clothing, cosmetics  Media suggests that men more aroused by visual stimuli • Social influences  But women respond to visual stimuli similarly • Less inclined to self report this though o Smell  Erotic vs offensive  Europe – values smell of genital secretions • Deodorant industry less pervasive 4  Females secrete pheromones • During fertile periods • Not sure if they are sexual attractants in humans o Taste  Minor role in sexual arousal o Hearing  Whether people make sounds is variable  Words, conversation, etc  Less for males – silent, stoic image o Aphrodisiacs  Substance that allegedly arouses sexual desire and increases the capacity for sexual activity  Powerful role of the mind in human sexual activity  Ground-up horns of animals in Asian countries • Historical origin of the term horny  Belief in our culture that alcohol has erotic properties • Actually is a depressant not a stimulant and can block sexual expression • Facilitates sexual activity by rationalizing the behaviour that would normally conflict with one’s values • Consuming significant amounts of alcohol can have serious negative effects on sexual functioning  Yohimbine?  3 prescription drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction • Viagra, levitra, cialis – could technically be classified as aphrodisiacs, but aren’t true o Don’t increase sexual desire o Anaphrodisiacs  Substances that inhibit sexual desire and behaviour  Anti-androgens, opiates, tranquilizers, anti-coagulants, anti-hypertensives, antidepressants, antipsychotics, nicotine, birth control pills, sedatives, ulcer drugs, appetite suppressants, steroids, cardiovascular medications, cholesterol reducers, allergy medicines, etc etc  Most widely used and least recognized = nicotine • Constricts blood vessels Sexual Response • Kaplan’s Three Stage Model o 1) desire o 2) excitement o 3) orgasm o Sexual difficulties fall in these 3 categories, and it’s possible to have difficulties in one and be fine in the others o Many other models don’t include desire as a distinct stage o Problem with including desire  As much as 30% of sexually experienced, orgasmic women rarely/never experience spontaneous sexual desire • 16.5% of men 5  not all sexual expression is preceded by desire • Master’s & Johnson’s Four-Phase Model o 2 fundamental physiological responses to effective sexual stimulation occur in both men and women – basic reactions that underly almost all biological responses during sexual arousal  1) vasocongestion • Engorgement with blood of body tissues that respond to sexual excitation • Arteries dilate during arousal and increase inflow beyond capacity for veins to carry it away • Erection of penis in men • Lubrication of vagina in women • Labia, testes, clitoris, nipples, even earlobes  2) myotonia • Muscle tension throughout body during sexual arousal • Voluntary flexing, involuntary contractions • Facial grimaces, spasmodic contractions of the hands and feet, and muscular spasms that occur during orgasm o Phases of response cycle follow same patterns regardless of type of stimulation – but intensity and rapidity can vary depending on type o Phases of the Sexual Response Cycle: o 1) excitement  Vasocongestion – engorgement of the sexual organs  Myotonia – increase in muscle tension, heart rate, blood pressure  Sex flush – pink/red rash that can appear on the chest or breasts during sexual arousal • More common in females  Length varies – from less than a minute to several hours  Degree of arousal can fluctuate between high to low  Females: • Clitoris swells, labia majora separate away from vaginal opening, labia minora darken, lubrication begins, uterus elevates, breasts enlarge  Males: • Penis becomes erect, testes elevate and engorge, scrotal skin thickens and tenses o 2) plateau  Surge of sexual tension that mounts until orgasm  increase in blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate  often brief – lasting a few seconds to several minutes • prolonging may lead to better orgasm  Females: • Orgasmic platform (engorgement of outer third of the vagina) forms, clitoris withdraws under its hood, uterus becomes fully elevated, areola becomes more swollen  Males: 6 • Engorgement and elevation of testes becomes more pronounced, cowper’s gland secretions may occur o 3) orgasm  Men almost always experience orgasm, women sometimes obtain plateau and not orgasm  Shortest phase – only a few seconds  Orgasm: a series of muscular contractions of the pelvic floor muscles occurring at the peak of sexual arousal  Subjective descriptions of orgasm don’t differ between men and women  Females: • Orgasmic platform contracts rhythmically 3-15 times • Uterine contractions occur • Clitoris remains retracted under hood • No further changes in breasts/nipples  Males: • Emission phase – internal sex structures undergo contractions, causing pooling of seminal fluid in urethral bulb • Expulsion phase – semen expelled by contractions of muscles around base of penis  Freud’s theory of vaginal vs clitoral orgasm adversely affected people’s thinking about female sexual response • Said vaginal orgasm was “more mature” and thus preferable o Assumption that the clitoris was a stunted penis – expressions of “masculine” rather than “feminine” sexuality  Only one kind of orgasm in females, physiologically speaking • But most female orgasms result from direct/indirect clitoral stimulation o Also can be from fantasy, during sleep, or stimulation of other body parts such as the Grafenburg spot o 4) resolution  Return to non-excited states  Begins immediately after orgasm if no other stimulation occurs  Males have refractory period • Time when no amount of additional stimulation will result in orgasm – minutes to days • Women don’t have refractory period – can have orgasm peak again from anywhere in resolution phase  Females • Clitoris descends and engorgement subsides • Labia return to un-aroused size • Uterus descends to normal position • Lack of orgasm after period of high arousal may dramatically slow resolution  Males • Erection subsides over a period of a few minutes 7 • Testes descend and return to normal size, scrotum resumes wrinkled appearance • Resolution is rapid in most men • Grafenburg spot o The female prostate o Orgasm and ejaculation in some women o Ducts from this system empty into urethra  Some women, the fluids are forced through the urethra • Fluids similar to semen o Homologous to male prostate • Aging and the Sexual Response Cycle o Older women  Excitement • Vaginal lubrication slower – minutes instead of seconds – and reduced  Plateau • Lesser degree of changes (in orgasmic platform and uterus elevating)  Orgasm Phase • Reduced number of contractions • Longer period of stimulation to reach orgasm  Resolution • Occurs more rapidly o Due to overall reduced amount of pelvic vasocongestion o Older men  Excitement • Erection takes minutes instead of seconds • More direct stimulation necessary  Plateau • Less myotonia • Complete erection not obtained until late plateau right before orgasm  Orgasm • Number of contractions reduced  Resolution • More rapid • Loss of erection more rapid • Refractory period lengthens • Greater variability in female sexual response o 3 patterns vs 1 pattern for men o Potential for additional orgasms without dropping below plateau level o There is no single pattern for sexual response for either men or women • The male refractory period o One of the most significant differences in sexual response between the sexes o Not sure exactly why this happens in men  Could be due to chemical pathways between midbrain and hypothalamus known to regulate sleep 8  Prolactin – pituitary hormone secreted after orgasm • Multiple orgasms o More than one orgasm within short time interval o Common for women -14% have them regularly  Most have capacity for them, but only this many experience them • Depends on source of stimulation – these results are based on intercourse o Spacing for men is more protracted o It is possible for some men o Men will have dry orgasms after first ejaculation Chapter 12: Sexuality During Childhood and Adolescence Sexual Behaviour During Infancy and Childhood • Sexual eroticism develops early, in infancy • Infant Sexuality o Capacity for sexual response is present from birth o In first 2 years of life discover pleasure of genital stimulation  Thrusting/rubbing against object (eg doll or pillow) o Signs such as thrusting, penile erection, vaginal lubrication are often misinterpreted or unacknowledged o Can experience what seems to be an orgasm o Many infants engage in self-pleasuring unless they get strong negative responses from caregivers about it • Childhood Sexuality o Data are scarce  Seen to be exploiting children o Most of what we know is based on adult recollections  Hard to be accurate o Responses that a child receives from kissing and hugging influences how they express sexuality in later years o Children who are deprived of “contact comfort” during first months and years of life can have problems with intimate relationships later on
More Less

Related notes for PSY3108

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.