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Chapter 3

FRHD2100 Chapter 3: Human sexuality in a world of diversity (4th Canadian edition)


Department
Family Relations and Human Development
Course Code
FRHD 2100
Professor
Tuuli Kukkonen
Chapter
3

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Chapter 3: Female and Male Anatomy and Physiology
Female Anatomy and Physiology
• External Female Sex Organs
Vulva
• External sexual structures of the female (mons veneris, labia majora, labia minora,
clitoris, and vaginal opening)
Mons Veneris
• Fatty tissue covering the joint of pubic bones
Also known as the mons pubis or mons
At puberty becomes with pubic hair
• Cushions a woman’s body during sexual intercourse
• Labia Majora
– Large folds of skin that run downward from the mons along the sides of the
vulva
– Shields the labia minora and the urethral and vaginal openings
– Outer surfaces covered with pubic hair
• Labia Minora
– Hairless, light-colored membranes located between labia majora
– Surround the urethral and vaginal openings
– Outer surfaces of the labia minora merge with the major lips
At the top they join at the hood of the clitoris
• Clitoris
– Female sex organ most sensitive to touch and sexual sensation
– Consists of a shaft and glans
– The clitoral shaft is about 2.5 cm long and .5 cm wide
– Glans is a smooth, round knob or lump of tissue
Corpora cavernosa
• Spongy tissue in the clitoral shaft that becomes engorged with blood and stiffens in
response to sexual stimulation
Prepuce
• Fold of skin covering glans of clitoris
– Homologous to the penis
• Similar in structure
• Developing from the same embryonic tissues
– Not analogous to the penis
• Not similar in function

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Vestibule
Area within the labia minora
– Contains openings to vagina and urethra
• Urethral Opening
– The opening through which urine passes from the female body
– May become infected from bacteria (cystitis= an inflammation of the urinary
bladder)
• Female Genital Mutilation
- Clitoridectomy
• Surgical removal of the clitoris
– Rite of initiation into womanhood in many of these predominantly Islamic
cultures
– Often performed as a puberty ritual in late
– Typical young woman does not see herself as a victim
-> also practice excision which is more drastic
External Sex Organs
Vaginal Opening
Introitus
-> the vaginal opening
Hymen
• Fold of tissue across vaginal opening
• Usually present at birth
• Various types of hymens
Perineum
• Skin and tissue that lies between vaginal opening and anus
• Rich in nerve endings
-> incisions made here to facilitate birth = episiotomy to prevent tearing of the vaginal
opening
• Self-Examination of the Genitals
– There are still many women in our society who have never examined their
own genitals
– This is a reflection of the negative attitudes that some women have about
their genitals
– Textbook provides step-by-step guide for women who wish to examine their
genitals

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• Structures that Underlie External Sex Organs
Sphincters
• Ring-shaped muscles that constrict body openings
Crura
Attach clitoris to pubic bone
-> contain corpora cavernosa
Vestibular bulbs
• Cavernous structures that extend downward (attached to the clitoris at the top) along the
sides of the introitus and swell during sexual arousal lengthening the vagina
Bartholin’s glands
• Glands that lie just inside the minor lips and secrete fluid just before orgasm
-> vaginal lubrication due to “sweating” of the lining of vaginal walls during sexual
excitation
Pubococcygeal muscle
• The muscle that encircles the entrance to the vagina
• Repeatedly contracting and relaxing this muscle (called Kegel exercises) is sometimes
recommended
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 vaginal opening
– Vaginal walls have three layers (inner lining/vaginal mucosa, muscular
middle layer, deep layer is fibrous covering connecting vagina to pubic bone)
– Inner two-thirds insensitive to touch
- Entire vagina sensitive to pressure
– Vaginal walls secrete substances that help maintain the vagina’s normal
acidity
such substances may arouse partners, so frequent douching can mask
these odours), discharges are the vagina’s way of cleaning itself
Vaginitis= vaginal inflammation
The G Spot and Female Ejaculation
– The Grafenberg spot is theorized to be a part of the vagina—a bean-shaped
area in the anterior (front) wall
– It is believed to lie about 2.5–5 cm from the vaginal entrance and to consist of
a soft mass of tissue that swells from the size of a dime to a loonie when
stimulated
– Stimulation may lead to female ejaculation
– Some researchers challenge its existence
– It is commonly agreed that:
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