ch9-sexuality - Background on womens sexuality Theoretical...

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Background on women’s sexuality Theoretical perspectives: o Essentialism: argues that gender is a basic, stable characteristic that resides within an individual. Essentialists say that all women share the same psychological characteristics. o Social constructionism: argues that individuals and cultures construct or invent their own versions of reality based on prior experiences, social interactions, and beliefs. Vagina: a flexible canal through which menstrual fluid passes. Sexual responses (Mastors and Johnson): o Excitement phase: women become sexually aroused by touching and erotic thoughts o Vasocongestion: when blood rushes to the genital region during the excitement phase. Swelling results from the accumulation of blood. o Plateau phase: the clitoris shortens and draws back under the clitoral hood. The movement of the clitoral hood stimulates the clitoris. o Orgasmic phase: the uterus and the outer part of the vagina contract strongly, at intervals roughly a second apart. A woman generally experiences orgasm between 3 and 10 of these rapid contractions. o Resolution phase: the sexual organs return to their earlier un- stimulated size. May last 30 minutes or more. Masters and Johnson: their studies concluded that women and men are reasonably similar in the nature of their sexual responses. Also, women and men have similar psychological reactions to orgasm.
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