Presentation on theme: "must all be taken into account"— Presentation transcript:
1 must all be taken into account Human SexualityThe scientific study of sexuality is multidimensional—biological, psychological, social, and cultural factorsmust all be taken into account
2 Human Sexual ResponseFirst mapped by sex research pioneers William Masters and Virginia Johnson during the 1950s and 1960sHuman sexual response can be described as a cycle with four stages:Stage 1: Excitement—beginning of sexual arousalStage 2: Plateau—increased physical arousalStage 3: Orgasm—male ejaculates, female vaginal contractionsStage 4: Resolution—arousal subsides
5 What Motivates Sexual Behavior Necessary for the survival of the species but not of the individualLower animals motivated by hormonal changes in the female (estrus)Higher species less influenced by hormones and more by learning and environmental influences
6 Hormones & Sexual Response Women A woman’s fertility is regulated by monthly hormonal cycles but these hormonal changes seem to have little or no effect on a female’s sexual motivation.Even when a woman’s ovaries, which produce the female sex hormone estrogen, are surgically removed or stop functioning during menopause, there is little or no drop in sexual interest.
7 Hormones & Sexual Response Men When human males experience lowered levels of testosterone because of illness or castration (removal of the testes), a drop in sexual interest tends to occur, although the effects vary among individualsIn both men and women, sexual motivation is biologically influenced by levels of testosterone in the body
8 Evolution and Mate Preferences David Buss coordinated a large-scale survey of more than 10,000 people in 37 different culturesMen and women across all 37 cultures generally agreed that they wanted a mate who was kind and understanding, intelligent, emotionally stable, and healthy, and who had a pleasing personalityMen were more likely to value youth and physical attractiveness; women valued financial security, access to material resources, high status and education, and good financial prospectsEvolutionary psychology’s explanation for these gender differences is that mating behavior is adaptive to the degree that it furthers the reproductive success of transmitting one’s genes to the next generation and beyond
10 Sexuality During Infancy & Childhood The capacity of the human body to show reflexive sexual responses is present at birth.Infants as young as three or four months of age will smile or coo as they engage in genital play.Signs of sexual activation or genital play should not cause alarm in parents, because such behaviors reflect completely normal developmental patterns.Young children become keenly attuned to parental attitudes, especially negative attitudes, concerning nudity, genital touching, and genital exploration.Awareness of sexual matters expands during middle and late childhood. By about age eight, most children are aware that certain behaviors produce erotic feelings.
11 Sexuality During Adolescence Puberty—stage where an individual reaches sexual maturity and is physically capable of sexual reproductionPrimary sex characteristics—sex organs directly involved in reproductionSecondary sex characteristics—develop during puberty, not directly involved in reproduction, but distinguish male from femaleAdolescent growth spurt—period of accelerated growth during pubertyMenarche—female’s first menstrual periodRomantic and sexual relationships become increasingly important in adolescence
12 Timing of PubertyBoth genetics and environmental factors play a role in the timing of pubertyGirls often experience menarche at about the same age as their mothers did.Generally, well-nourished and healthy children begin puberty earlier than do children who have experienced serious health problems or inadequate nutrition.In general, heavy children begin puberty earlier than do lean children, and girls involved in physically demanding athletic activity can experience delays in menarche
14 Romantic Love and the Brain Research results suggest that love activates brain areas that are involved in other positive emotions, such as happiness, but in a way that represents a unique pattern.Looking at a photo of one’s romantic partner produced heightened activity in four brain areas associated with emotion: the anterior cingulate cortex, caudate nucleus, putamen, and insula.These are the same brain areas that are activated by euphoria-producing drugs, such as opiates and cocaine.
15 Sexuality in Adulthood Majority of adults (80%) report having none or one sexual partner in the past year (marriage factor)Majority of men ages have sex about seven times per monthMajority of women ages have sex about six times per monthVaginal intercourse is nearly universal as the most widely practiced sexual activity among heterosexual couples50 percent of older Americans reported sexual activity at least once per month.
16 How Often Do You Think About Sex ? The percentages shown here were derived from a national survey based on a random sample of American adults between the ages of 18 and 59. As you can see, although most men seem to think about sex more often than most women do, there is overlap between the sexes in this respect.
17 Sexuality in Late Adulthood According to one survey, among older Americans nearly half reported engaging in sexual activity at least once a monthOlder men and women take longer to become sexually aroused and achieve orgasmFor older women, probably the biggest obstacle to enjoying sexual relations throughout old age is the lack of a sexual partnerIn late adulthood, dating fills the need for companionship and sexual intimacy