CHFD 3010 Chapter 6 - Sexual Arousal & Response...

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Sexual Arousal & Response
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Culture and Its Effect on the  Sexual Experience Standards of physical attractiveness and sexual normalcy vary widely across cultures
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The Brain and the Sexual  Response Cerebral Cortex Controls reasoning, language, imagination. Responsible for sexual fantasies Limbic System A subcortical brain system composed of several interrelated structures that influences the sexual behavior of humans associated with emotion and motivation
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The Hypothalamus  The hypothalamus is thought to be highly implicated in sexual response When certain parts are destroyed, sexual behavior in both males and females is dramatically reduced The medial preoptic area (MPOA) in the hypothalamus Electrical stimulation increases sexual behavior Damage reduces or eliminates sexual activity in males Opiate drugs (heroin and morphine) have suppressive effect on MPOA and inhibit sexual performance in both sexes
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Neurotransmitters Chemicals that transmit messages in the nervous system Influence sexual arousal and response through the hypothalamus Dopamine A neurotransmitter that increases neural activity and influences sexual arousal and response in males Testosterone stimulates the release of dopamine in both males and females Testosterone stimulates libido in both sexes
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Neurotransmitters Serotonin Inhibits sexual activity Male ejaculation causes a release of serotonin in both the MPOA and the lateral hypothalamus Lateral hypothalamus : anatomical area encompassing the sides of the hypothalamus This release of serotonin reduces sex drive by temporarily inhibiting the release of dopamine and oxytocin Antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) increase serotonin levels in the brain and also interfere with libido and sexual arousal in women and men
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The Five Senses …also contribute to the experience to sexual arousal and response. Note that every person is an individual and particular stimulations that can lead to arousal in one person can produce no reaction, or even irritation, in others.
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Touch Erogenous zones Areas of the body that are particularly responsive to sexual stimulation Primary erogenous zones : areas of the body that contain dense concentration of nerve endings: genitals, buttocks, anus, perineum, breasts, inner thighs, armpits, naval, neck, ears (especially the lobes), and the mouth (lips, tongue, and the entire oral cavity) Secondary erogenous zones: any other part of the body that has become erotically sensitive through learning and experience, or social conditioning.
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Vision Many studies indicate that men are more sexually aroused by visual stimuli than women These results often rely on “self report”. If arousal is measured by physiological devices, most
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CHFD 3010 Chapter 6 - Sexual Arousal & Response...

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