Chapter 3 – FRHD Sexual Development

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University of Guelph
Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 2100
Cindy Clarke

Chapter 3 Female and Male Anatomy and Physiology FEMALE ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY External Vulva: the external sexual structures of the female Consists of the mons veneris, the labia majora, and minora. Mons Veneris: a mound of fatty tissue that covers the joint of the pubic bones in front of the body, below the abdomen and above the clitoris (also knows as the mons pubis, or simply the mons) At puberty it is covered with pubic hair that is often thick and curly but varies Cushions a womans body during sexual intercourse Ample supply of nerve endings in the mons Labia Majora: Large folds of skin that run downward from the mons along the sides of the vulva When close together, they hide the labia minora and the urethral and vaginal openings Outer surfaces of the labia majora, are covered with pubic hair and darker skin than that found on the thighs or labia minora Inner surfaces of the labia majora are hairless and lighter in colour Supplied with nerve endings that respond to stimulation and can produce sensations of sexual pleasure Shield the inner portion of the female genitals Labia Minora: Hairless, light-coloured membranes, located between the labia majora Surround the urethral and vaginal openings Merge with the major lips At the top they join at the prepuce (hood) of the clitoris Hottentot women purposely elongate their labia minora by tugging at them Highly sensitive to sexual stimulation When stimulated they darken and swell, indicating engorgement with blood Clitoris: a female sex organ consisting of a shaft and glans located above the urethral opening. It is extremely sensitive to sexual sensations Receives its name from the manner in which it slopes upward in the shaft and forms a mound of spongy tissue at the glans The body of the clit, termed the shaft, is about 2.5 cm long and 0.5 cm wide Shaft consists of erectile tissue that contains two spongy masses called corpora cavernosa that fill with blood and become erect in response to sexual stimulation Corpora Cavernosa: masses of spongy tissue in the clitoral shaft that become engorged with blood and stiffen in response to sexual stimulation Prepuce: the fold of skin covering the glans of the clitoris (or penis) The clitoral glans is smooth, round knob or lump of tissue Resembles a button and is situated above the urethral opening Highly sensitive to touch because of its rich supply of nerve endings The clitoris is the most sensitive to sexual sensation Both the clit and penis develop from the same embryonic tissue, which makes them similar in structure, or homologous, but are not similar in function, analogous. Homologous: similar in structure; developing from the same embryonic tissue Analogous: similar in function Clitoridectomy: removal of the clitoris Surgical removal of the clitoral hood is common among Muslims in the Middle East and Africa Vestibule: area within the labia minora that contains the openings to the vagina and the urethra Richly supplied with nerve endings and is very sensitive to tactile or other sexual stimulation Urethral Opening: the opening through which urine passes from the females body Urethral opening lies below the clitoral glans and above the vaginal opening Cystitis: an inflammation of the urinary bladder Burning and frequent urination Pus or a bloody discharge is common and there may be an intermittent or persistent ache just above the pubic bone Untreated cystitis can lead to serious kidney infections Vaginal Opening Introtius: vaginal opening Lies below and is larger than the urethral opening Hymen: a fold of tissue across the vaginal opening that is usually present at birth and remains at least partly intact until a woman engages in coitus Its presence has been taken as proof of virginity, and its absence as evidence of coitus Some women are born with incomplete hymens, and other womens are torn accidentally such as during horseback riding, strenuous exercise, or gymnastics Hymen consists of fibrous tissue and is closed, or imperforate An imperforate hymen may not be discovered until after puberty, when menstrual discharges begin to accumulate in the vagina Perneum: the skin and underlying tissue that lies between the vaginal opening and the anus Stimulation of the area may heighten sexual arousal Episotomy: a surgical incision in the perineum that may be made during childbirth to protect the vagina from tearing Structures that Underlie the External Sex Organs Vestibular bulbs and Bartholins glands are active during sexual arousal and are found on both sides Sphincters: Ring-shaped muscles that surround body openings and open or close them by expanding or contracting Crura: anatomic structures resembling legs that attach the clitoris to the pubic bone Contain corpora cavernosa, which engorge with blood and stiffen during sexual arousal Vestibular Bulb: cavernous structures that extend downward along the sides of the introitus and swell during sexual arousal Blood congests them during sexual arousal, swelling the vulva and lengthening the vagina Bartholins Glands: Glands that lie just inside the minor lips and secrete fluid before orgasm Engorgement of vaginal tissues during sexual excitement results in a form of sweating by the lining of the vaginal wall Pressure from the engorgment causes moisture from the many small blood vessels that lie in the vaginal wall to be forced out and to pass through the vaginal lining, forming the basis of the lubrication Internal Sex Organs: Vagina: the tubular female sex organ that contains the penis during sexual intercourse and through which a baby is born Extends back and upward from the vaginal opening Usually 7.5-12.5cm long at rest Vagina is most commonly pictured as a canal or barrel, but when at rest, it is like a collapsed muscular tube The vagina expands in length and width during sexual arousal It can also expand to allow the insertion of a tampon, as well as the passage of a babys head and shoulders during childbirth Vaginal Mucosa- inner lining of vaginal wall. Muscous membrane similar to the skin that lines the inside of the mouth. Feels fleshy, soft, and corrugated The middle layer of the vaginal wall is muscular The outer or deeper later is fibrous covering that connects the vagina to other pelvic structures Vaginal walls are rich with blood vessels but poorly supplied with nerve endings Entire vaginal barrel is sensitive to pressure The vaginal walls secrete substances that help maintain the vaginas normal acidity (pH 4 5) Normally the secretions taste salty Thought to contain substances that may act as a sexual attractants Douche: application of a jet of liquid to the vagina as a rinse The G Spot and Female Ejaculation The Grafenberg Spot, or G spot, is theorized to be a part of the vagina a bean- shaped areas in the anterior (front) wall that may have special erotic significance. Produces intense erotic sensations and that, with prolonged stimulation, a distinct form of orgasm that is characterized by intense pleasure and in some cases, ejaculation Difficult to locate because it is not apparent to the eye or touch Female ejaculation: Researchers believe that this fluid is urine that some women release involuntarily during orgasm Others believe that it differs from urine Nature of this fluid and its source remain unclear Cervix: the lower end of the uterus Its walls, like those of the vagina, produce secretions that contribute to the chemical balace of the vagina The opening in the middle of the cervix or os Os: the opening in the middle of the cervix Expands to permit passage of a baby from the uterus to the vagina during childbirth Sperm pass from the vagina to the uterus through the cervical canal Uterus: the hollow, muscular, pear-shaped organ in which a fertilized ovum implants and develops until birth Ovum: Egg cell 10% of women have uteruses that tip backwards Find coitus in certain positions painful
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