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Chapter 4

Chapter 4

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Psychology 2075
William Fisher

Chapter 4: Sexual Anatomy CHAPTER OVERVIEW - The external sexual organs of the female are: the clitoris, the mons, the inner lips, the outer lips, and the vaginal opening o These are all collectively referred to as the vulva - The clitoris is highly sensitive and is very important in female sexual response - Clitoridectomy and infibulations are rituals that involve cutting of the clitoris/inner/outer lips & are practised some African nations, etc - The hymen has taken on great symbolic significance ( sign of virginity), although its absence not a reliable indicator that she is not a virgin - Important internal structures are: the vagina, the uterus (houses developing fetus), the ovaries (produce eggs & manufactures sex hormones), and the fallopian tubes (convey the egg to the uterus) - Breasts also take a function in sexual arousal - The external sexual organs of the male are: the penis, the scrotum - Penis contains corpora cavernosa and the corpus spongiosum, which when filled with blood, produce an erection - Circumcision, or surgical removal of the foreskin of the penis is a debated practice in Canada and has some health advantages - The scrotum contains the testes, which are responsible for the manufacture of sperm (in the seminiferous tubules) and sex hormones (in the interstitial cells) - Sperm pass out of the testes during ejaculation via the vas deferens, the ejaculatory duct, and the urethra - The seminal vesicles and prostate manufacture most of the fluid that mixes with the sperm to form semen - Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women o Women should do a monthly self-exam but it is no substitute for annual exams by a clinician and regular mammograms beginning at age 50 - The Pap test is used to detect cervical cancer - Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men (but generally affects older men) - Cancer of the testes, although rare, is the most common cancer in men between ages 29-35 o Men should do a monthly testicular self-exam Genital Self-Image – our attitudes and feelings toward our genitals - Although on average the genital self-image of most people is positive, some people see their own genitals quite negatively - Women with a more negative genital self-image are more self-conscious during sexual activity and report lower sexual self-esteem and sexual satisfaction as well as more sexual problems - Types of vaginal enhancement surgery: vaginoplasty (tightening vagina); hoodectomy (removal clitoral hood); labia minora reduction, labia majora remodelling, pubis tuck (removing excess skin above pubic area to elevate the pubis) - Genital cosmetic surgery so controversial because men/women feel defective in some way and don’t match the cultural ideal o Marketing of genital surgery promises better sex with no evidence (and doesn’t inform public about potential risks) - Some people have an alternative by getting a genital piercing Female Sexual Organs External Organs - Consist of the clitoris, the mons pubis, the inner lips, the outer lips, and the vaginal opening - Vulva – the collective term for the external genitals of the female The Clitoris – a highly sensitive sexual organ in the female; the glans is found in front of the vaginal entrance and the rest of the clitoris extends deeper into the body o Clitoris consists of the tip (knob of tissue situated externally in front of the vaginal opening and the urethral opening); a shaft consisting of two corpora cavernosa (spongy bodies similar to those in the male’s penis; they extend perhaps an inch into the body); two crura (longer spongy bodies that lie deep in the body and run from the tip of the clitoris to either side of the vagina under the major lips) o Homologous (develop from same source/embryonic tissue  Both penis & clitoris have corpora cavernosa, vary in size per person, erectile because internal structures contain corpora cavernosa fill with blood o It is the only part of the sexual anatomy with no known reproductive function (has function of producing sexual arousal) The Mons (a.k.a. The mons veneris for ‘mountain of Venus’) - Mons pubis – the fatty pad of tissue under the pubic hair which lies on top of the pubic bones The Labia - Outer lips (labia majora) – rounded pads of fatty tissue lying on either side of the vaginal entrance; covered by pubic hair - Inner lips (labia minora) – thin folds of skin lying on either side of the vaginal entrance; form the clitoral hood - Both inner and outer lips supplied with nerve endings and are important in sexual stimulation - Bartholin glands – two tiny glands located on either side of the vaginal entrance; inside the inner lips o Unknown function other than it can sometimes get infected - Forchette – place where the inner lips come together behind the vaginal opening - Perineum – the skin between the vaginal entrance and the anus - Introitus – the vaginal entrance The Vulvar Vestibule - Vestibule (‘entranceway’) – area of the vulva enclosed by the inner lips; contains openings to the vagina and urethra o Area is highly sensitive to pleasurable stimulation due to well supply of nerve endings o Vulvar vestibulitis when vestibule gets extremely sensitive and red where it elicits moderate/severe pain Self-Knowledge - Female’s external genitals are much less visible than male’s o Therefore women can use a mirror on the floor and sit in front of it to see their genitals The Hymen – a thin membrane that may partially cover the vaginal entrance - Types of hymen: annular; septate; cribriform; imperforate - Hymen has been taken as evidence of virginity (bleeding on wedding night is proof that the bride had been delivered intact to the groom) - Droit du seigneur (French for ‘right of the lord)/Jus primae noctis (Latin for ‘law of the first night’) when a lord claims the right to ‘deflower’ a peasant bride on her wedding night before passing her on to her husband - We know that if a women does not bleed during her first intercourse she can still be a virgin (some girls not born with hymens/tore from horseback riding, etc  means some women have been humiliated unjustly for their lack of hymen) Internal Organs - Consist of the vagina, the vestibular bulbs, the Skene’s glands, the uterus, a pair of ovaries, and a pair of fallopian tubes The Vagina (the birth canal) – the tube-shaped organ in the female into which the penis is inserted during coitus and through which a baby passes during birth - Bottom of it ends in the vaginal opening or the introitus - Resting/unaroused state = about 8-10 cm (3-4 inches), walls lie against each other like the sides of an uninflated balloon - During arousal it expands like an inflated balloon allowing space to accommodate the penis - Three [3] layers of the walls of the vagina: vaginal mucosa (inner), muscular layer (middle), covering (outer) - With age the walls become thinner and less flexible rd rd - Lower 1/3 has most of the nerve endings (near the introitus) while inner 2/3 have almost no nerve endings - In theory, any penis can fit into any vagina (especially if a baby’s head can fit through) - Vulva differences: woman who had a baby (parous) vs. woman who never had a baby (nulliparous) - Pelvic floor muscles surround the vagina, the urethra, and the anus with a set of muscles o Pubococcygeus muscle is one of these muscles important for childbirth – a muscle around the vaginal entrance The Vestibular Bulbs – erectile tissue running under the inner lips and Skene’s gland The Skene’s Gland (Female Prostate) – the female prostate; also called the paraurethral gland - Evidence indicates that it secretes fluid that is biochemically similar to male prostate fluid (this is the organ dubbed the G-spot) The Uterus (womb) – the organ in the female in which the fetus develops and is nourished and held; shape of an upside down pear - Narrow lower third (cervix) opens into the vagina; Top is the fundus the main part of the body; Entrance to uterus through the cervix is very narrow called the os (or cervical canal) - Has three [3] layers: endometrium (inner), myometrium (middle), perimetrium (outer) o Endometrium (inner): supplied with glands and blood vessels and creates the menstrual discharge o Myometrium (middle): muscular, creates the powerful contractions of labour and orgasm (also elastic to hold 9- month fetus) o Perimetrium (outer): external cover of the uterus The Fallopian Tubes – the tubes extending from the uterus to the ovaries; also called the oviducts - Very narrow tubes that are lined with hair-like projections called cilia - Are the pathway by which the egg travels toward the uterus and the sperm reach the egg (cut when getting tubal ligation) - Fertilization occurs in the infundibulum (which is by the ovaries) to eventually give off finger-like projections called fimbriae The Ovaries – two organs in the female that produce eggs and sex hormones (estrogens and progesterone) - About the size of unshelled almonds - Don’t actually connect to the fallopian tubes  egg released into body cavity and reaches the tube by moving toward the fimbriae - Each ovary contains numerous follicles (capsule that surrounds an egg; don’t confuse these follicles for hair follicles) The Breasts - Consists of 15-20 clusters of mammary glands (each with separate openings to the nipple) - Nipple is where the milk ducts open and is at the tip of the breast (consists of smooth muscle fibres that contract to make nipple erect) o Is very richly supplied with nerve endings and important in erotic stimulation o Dark area around the nipple is called the areola - Many women not satisfied with the size of their breasts (although same # of nerve endings in small vs. large breasts) o However smaller breasts are actually more erotically sensitive per square centimetre vs. larger ones - Can be a symbol of femininity or a means of attracting men - Breast augmentation surgery increased steadily; as well as breast reduction for medical/personal reasons Male Sexual Organs External Organs - Most noticeable parts of the male sex anatomy externally is the penis, the scrotum/scrotal sac (which contains the testes) The Penis – male external sexual organ, which functions both in sexual activity and in urination - End/tip called the glans; Opening at end of the glans is the meatus/urethral opening; Main part called shaft; Raised ridge at the edge of the glands is called the corona (“crown”)/coronal ridge - Entire penis is sensitive to stimulation (but corona and the rest of the glans are the most sexually excitable regions of the male anatomy) - Corpora cavernosa – 2 spongy bodies running the length of the top of the penis (on top & parallel to urethral opening) - Corpus spongiosum – a spongy body running the length of the underside of the penis (underneath & parallel to urethral opening) o Richly supplied with blood vessels and nerves o Flaccid = contain little blood; Erection/tumescence = filled with blood (engorged) and expand making penis stiff o Priapism – painful and potentially harmful medical condition in which the erect penis doesn’t return to flaccid state o Erection is
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