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Sexual Arousal and Response

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Presentation on theme: "Sexual Arousal and Response"— Presentation transcript:

1 Sexual Arousal and Response

2 Factors influencing arousal and response
Hormones Brain’s capacity to create images and fantasies Emotions Sensory processes Level of intimacy between two people Sexual expression is influenced by interplay of: Social, emotional, and cognitive factors Brain neurons Spinal reflexes

3 Role of Hormones in Sexual behavior
Steroids: the sex hormones and hormones of the adrenal cortex Both sexes produce male sex hormones (androgens) and female sex hormones (estrogens) Androgens: for men, 95% are produced by the testes; for women, the ovaries and adrenal glands produce androgens in equal amounts The dominant androgen is testosterone and men produce about 20 to 40 times more testosterone than women Estrogens are produced by the ovaries by females and in small amounts by the testes for males.

4 hormones Neuropeptide hormones are the chemicals of emotion produced in the brain. They influence arousal, attraction, and response components of sexuality. Oxytocin, the neuropetide produced in the hypothalmus: “love hormone” influencing emotional and erotic attraction, attachment, and bonding Levels increase as a person moves through sexual response cycle from initial excitement to orgasm for both sexes Stimulates uterine wall contraction for women Facilitates milk “let down” during breastfeeding Autistic children have low levels of oxytocin, which is associated with reduced ability to form social attachments and express love

5 Sex Hormones in Male Sexual Behavior
Studies indicate testosterone has a greater effect on male desire than sexual functioning. However, it also is involved with sensitivity, so a deficiency can decrease sexual pleasure. Studies conducted with men who have been castrated have provided information about testosterone’s role in sexual functioning. Antiandrogens: a class of drugs used to treat sex offenders and certain medical conditions like prostate cancer

6 Sex Hormones in Female Sexual Behavior
Estrogen contributes to: General sense of well-being Maintaining thickness and elasticity of vaginal lining Vaginal lubrication Desire-though some studies show in high doses can decrease it Pleasure Orgasmic capacity Testosterone plays an important role as the major libido hormone

7 The Brain and Sexual Arousal
Mediator of thoughts, emotions, and memories Sexual arousal can occur without any sensory stimulation through fantasies Cerebral cortex; outer layer and thinking center of the brain that controls functions like reasoning, language, and imagination Limbic system; subcortical brain system composed of interrelated structures (cungulate gyrus, amygdala, hippocampus, and parts of the hypothalmus) that influence sexual behavior in humans and animals Studies show direct limbic stimulation produced intense sexual pleasure and orgasmic responses In rats, hypothalmus stimulation triggered erection and ejaculation

8 Brain and Arousal Dopamine; a neurotransmitter that facilitates sexual arousal and activity; testosterone stimulates the release of dopamine in both sexes Serotonin; inhibits sexual arousal and activity Male ejaculation causes a release of serotonin, which temporarily inhibits the release of dopamine. It also suppresses arousal by blocking oxytocin. Antidepressant medication, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), increase serotonin levels in the brain and may interfere with libido and sexual response.

9 The Senses and Sexual Arousal
Touch Most frequent source of arousal than any other stimulus Primary erogenous zones: areas of the body densely covered with nerve endings Genitals, buttocks, anus, perineum, breasts (particularly nipples), inner surfaces of thighs, armpits, navel, neck, ears, and the mouth (lips, tongue, entire oral cavity) Secondary erogenous zones: areas that have become erotically sensitive through learning and experience Vision Smell Taste Hearing What senses has greatest impact on sexual arousal and interaction? Do men and women differ in terms of what senses predominate during sexual intimacy?




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