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Chapter: Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology: Reproductive System

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Female sexual Behavior and the Female sex act

Sexual drive in females, like sexual drive in males, is dependent on hormones. Testosterone-like hormones, and possibly estrogen, affect brain cells (especially in the area of the hypothalamus) and influence sexual behavior.

Female sexual Behavior and the Female sex act

 

Sexual drive in females, like sexual drive in males, is dependent on hormones. Testosterone-like hormones, and possibly estrogen, affect brain cells (especially in the area of the hypothalamus) and influence sexual behavior. Testosterone-like hormones are produced primarily in the adrenal cortex. Psychological factors also play a role in sexual behavior. The sensory and motor neural pathways involved in control-ling female sexual responses are similar to those found in the male.

 

 During sexual excitement, erectile tissue within the clitoris and around the vaginal opening becomes engorged with blood. The mucous glands within the vestibule, especially the greater vestibular glands, secrete small amounts of mucus. Larger amounts of mucus-like fluid are also extruded into the vagina through its wall. These secretions provide lubrication to allow easy entry and movement of the penis in the vagina during intercourse. Tactile stimulation of the female’s genitals during sexual intercourse and psychological stim-uli normally trigger an orgasm, or climax. The vaginal and uterine smooth muscle, as well as the surrounding skeletal muscles, con-tract rhythmically, and muscle tension increases throughout much of the body. After the sex act, there is a period of resolution, which is characterized by an overall sense of satisfaction and relaxation. Females are sometimes receptive to further immediate stimulation, however, and can experience successive orgasms. Orgasm is not necessary for fertilization to occur. Ovulation results from hormonal stimuli and is not dependent on the female sex act.


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