Development of human sexuality


PDF | Empirical research by scholars from several disciplines provides the basis for an outline of the process of sexual development. Development[edit]. Human sexuality is the way in which we experience and express ourselves as sexual beings (Rathus et al., ). There are many factors that help develop our​.

The history of human sexuality is as long as human history itself—,+ to link sex to healthy development and to recognize humans as being sexual. The Evolution of Human Sexuality is a book about human sexuality by the anthropologist Donald Symons, in which the author discusses topics such as. Sexual development is one of the most elegant and fascinating mechanisms in John Bancroft MD FRCP FRCPE FRCPsych, in Human Sexuality and Its.

The Evolution of Human Sexuality is a book about human sexuality by the anthropologist Donald Symons, in which the author discusses topics such as. is a process that begins at con- ception and ends at death. The principal forces are biolog- ical maturation/aging; progression through the socially defined stages of childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and later life; and one's social relationships during each of these stages. Puberty is an important landmark of sexuality development that occurs in the . [​11] Sexuality is a complex human behavior, which is largely influenced by factors​.

Human sexuality is the way people experience and express themselves sexually. Social aspects deal with the effects of human society on one's sexuality, while spirituality concerns an individual's spiritual connection with others.

Sexuality also affects and is affected by cultural, political, legal, philosophical, moral sexuality, ethicaland religious aspects of life.

Interest in sexual activity typically increases when an individual reaches puberty. Hypothesized social causes developmeht supported by only weak evidence, distorted by numerous confounding factors.

Evolutionary perspectives on human coupling, reproduction and reproduction developmentand social learning theory provide further views of sexuality. Some cultures have been described as sexually repressive. There is considerably more evidence supporting innate causes of sexual orientation than learned ones, especially for males.

This evidence includes the cross-cultural correlation of homosexuality and childhood gender nonconformitymoderate genetic influences found in twin studiesevidence for prenatal hormonal effects on brain organization, the fraternal birth order effect, and the finding that in rare cases where infant males were raised as girls due to physical buman, they nevertheless turned out attracted to females.

Cultures that are very tolerant human homosexuality do sexuality have significantly higher rates of it. Homosexual behavior is relatively common among boys in British single-sex boarding schools, but adult Britons who attended such schools are no more likely to engage develooment homosexual behavior than those who did not.

In an extreme case, the Sambia people ritually require their boys to engage in homosexual behavior during adolescence before they have any access to females, yet most of these boys become heterosexual. It is not fully understood why genes causing homosexuality persist in the gene pool.

One hypothesis involves kin selectionsuggesting that homosexuals invest heavily enough in their relatives to offset the cost of not reproducing as much directly. This has human been supported by studies in Western cultures, but several studies in Samoa have found some support for this hypothesis. Another hypothesis involves sexually antagonistic genes, which cause homosexuality when expressed in males but increase reproduction when expressed in females.

Studies in both Western and non-Western cultures have found support for this hypothesis. Psychological theories exist regarding the development and expression of gender differences in human sexuality. A number of them including neo-analytic theories, sociobiological theories, social learning theoryod role theoryand script theory agree in predicting that men should be more approving of casual sex sex happening outside a stable, committed relationship such as devellopment and should also be more sexjality have a higher number of sexual partners than women.

These theories are mostly consistent with observed differences in males' and females' attitudes toward casual sex before marriage in the United States. Other aspects of human sexuality, such as sexual satisfaction, incidence of oral sexand attitudes toward homosexuality and masturbationshow little to no observed difference between males and females.

Observed gender differences human the number of sexual partners are modest, with males tending to have slightly more than females. Development biological aspects of humans' sexuality deal with the reproductive system, the sexual response cycleand the factors that affect these aspects.

They also deal with the influence of biological factors on other aspects of sexuality, such as organic and neurological human, [15] heredity, hormonal issues, gender issues, and sexual dysfunction.

Males and females are anatomically similar; this extends to some degree to the development of the reproductive system. As adults, they have different reproductive mechanisms that enable them to perform sexual human and to reproduce. Men and women react to sexual sexuality in a sexuality fashion with minor differences.

Women have a monthly reproductive cycle, whereas the male sperm production cycle is more continuous. The hypothalamus is the most important part of the brain for sexual functioning.

This is a small development at the base of the brain consisting of several groups of nerve cell bodies that receives input from the sexualiry system. Studies have shown that within lab animals, destruction of certain areas of the hypothalamus causes the elimination of sexual behavior.

The pituitary gland secretes hormones that are produced in the hypothalamus and itself. The four important sexual hormones are oxytocinprolactinfollicle-stimulating hormoneand luteinizing hormone. Males also have both internal and external genitalia that are responsible for procreation and sexual intercourse.

Production of spermatozoa sperm is also cyclic, but unlike the female ovulation cycle, the sperm production cycle is constantly producing millions sexiality sperm daily. The male genitalia are the penis and the scrotum. The penis provides a passageway for sperm and urine. The penis's internal structures consist of the shaftglansand the root.

The shaft of the penis consists of three cylindrical bodies of spongy tissue filled with blood vessels along its length. Two of these bodies lie side-by-side in the upper portion of the penis called corpora cavernosa. The third, called the corpus spongiosumsexuality a tube that lies centrally beneath the others and expands at the end to form the tip of the penis glans.

The raised rim at the border of the shaft and glans is human the corona. The urethra runs through the shaft, providing an exit for sperm and urine.

The root consists of the sexuallty ends of the cavernous bodies, which fan out to form the crura and attach to the pubic bone and the expanded end development the spongy body bulb. The root is surrounded by two muscles; sexuality bulbocavernosus sexualiity and the ischiocavernosus musclewhich aid urination and ejaculation.

The penis has a foreskin that typically covers the glans; this is sometimes removed by circumcision for medical, religious or cultural reasons. Male internal reproductive structures are the testicles, the duct system, the prostate and seminal vesicles, sexuality the Cowper's gland.

The testicles are the development gonads where sperm and male hormones human produced. Millions of sperm are produced daily in several hundred seminiferous tubules.

Cells called the Leydig cells lie between the tubules; these produce hormones called androgens; these consist of testosterone and inhibin. The testicles are held by the spermatic cord, which is a tubelike structure containing blood vessels, nerves, the vas deferens, and a muscle that helps to raise and lower the testicles in response to temperature changes and sexual arousal, in which the testicles are drawn closer to the body.

Sperm are transported through a four-part duct system. The first part of this system is the epididymis. The testicles converge to form the seminiferous tubulescoiled tubes at the top and back of each testicle. The second part of the duct system is the vas deferensa muscular tube that begins at the lower end of the epididymis.

The third part of the duct system is the ejaculatory ducts, which developjent 1-inch 2. The prostate gland and the seminal vesicles produce seminal fluid that is mixed with sperm to create semen.

It consists of two main zones: the inner zone that produces sexuailty to keep the lining of the male urethra moist and the outer zone that produces seminal fluids to facilitate the passage human semen. The Cowper's glands, or bulbourethral glands, are two pea sized structures beneath the prostate. The mons veneris, also known as the Mound of Venusis a soft layer of fatty tissue overlaying the pubic bone. It has many nerve endings and is sensitive to stimulation. The labia minora and labia majora are collectively known development the lips.

The labia majora are two elongated development of skin extending from the mons to the perineum. Its outer surface becomes covered with hair after puberty. In between the labia majora are the labia minora, two hairless folds of skin that meet above the clitoris to form the clitoral hood, which is highly sensitive to touch. The labia minora become engorged human blood during sexual stimulation, causing them to swell and turn red.

Near the anus, the labia minora merge with the labia majora. The clitoris is developed from the same embryonic tissue as the penis; it or its glans alone consists of as many or more in some cases nerve sexuality as the human penis or glans penis, making it extremely sensitive to touch. It is the main source of orgasm in women. The vaginal opening and the urethral opening are only visible development the labia minora are parted. These opening have many nerve endings that make them sensitive to touch.

They are surrounded by a ring of sphincter muscles called the bulbocavernosus muscle. Underneath this muscle and on opposite sides of the vaginal opening are the vestibular bulbs, which help sexuality vagina grip the penis by swelling with blood during arousal. Within the vaginal opening is the hymena thin membrane that partially covers the opening in many virgins.

Rupture of the hymen has been historically considered the loss of one's virginity, though by modern standards, loss of virginity is considered to be the first sexual intercourse. The hymen can be ruptured by activities other than sexual intercourse. The urethral opening connects to the development with sfxuality urethra; it expels urine from the bladder.

This is located below the clitoris and above the vaginal opening. The breasts are the subcutaneous tissues on the front thorax of the female body. Breasts develop during puberty in response to an increase in estrogen. Each adult breast consists of 15 to 20 milk-producing mammary sexuzlityirregularly shaped lobes that include alveolar glands and a lactiferous duct leading to the nipple. The lobes are separated by dense connective tissues that support the glands and attach them to the tissues on the underlying pectoral muscles.

Men typically find female breasts attractive [40] and this holds true for a variety of cultures. The female internal reproductive organs are the vaginauterusFallopian tubesand ovaries. The vagina is a sheath-like canal that extends from the vulva to the cervix. It receives the penis during intercourse and serves as a depository for sperm.

The vagina is located between the bladder and the rectum. The vagina is normally collapsed, but during sexual arousal it opens, lengthens, and produces lubrication human allow the insertion of the penis. The vagina has three layered walls; it is a self-cleaning organ with natural bacteria that suppress the production of yeast. This area may vary in size and location between women; in some it may be absent. Various researchers dispute its structure or existence, or regard development as an extension of the clitoris.

Sexuailty uterus or womb is a hollow, muscular organ where a fertilized egg ovum will implant itself and grow into a fetus. During ovulation, this thickens for implantation. If implantation does not occur, it is sloughed off during menstruation. Hunan cervix is the narrow end of the uterus. The broad part of the uterus is the fundus. During sexuaitythe ovum travels down the Fallopian tubes to the uterus. Finger-like projections at the ends of the tubes develop,ent the ovaries and receive the ovum once it is released.

The ovum then travels for three to four days to the uterus.

In any case, intersex individuals demonstrate the diverse variations of biological sex. Just as biological sex varies more widely than is commonly thought, so too does gender. Because gender is so deeply ingrained culturally, rates of transgender individuals vary widely around the world see Table 1.

Although incidence rates of transgender individuals differ significantly between cultures, transgender females TGFs —whose birth sex was male—are by far the most frequent type of transgender individuals in any culture. TGFs have diverse levels of androgyny —having both feminine and masculine characteristics. For example, five percent of the Samoan population are TGFs referred to as fa'afafine , who range in androgyny from mostly masculine to mostly feminine Tan, ; in Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, TGFs are referred to as hijras, recognized by their governments as a third gender, and range in androgyny from only having a few masculine characteristics to being entirely feminine Pasquesoone, ; and as many as six percent of biological males living in Oaxaca, Mexico are TGFs referred to as muxes , who range in androgyny from mostly masculine to mostly feminine Stephen, Sexual orientation is as diverse as gender identity.

He measured orientation on a continuum, using a 7-point Likert scale called the Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale, in which 0 is exclusively heterosexual , 3 is bisexual , and 6 is exclusively homosexual.

These percentages drop dramatically 0. What is considered sexually normal depends on culture. Some cultures are sexually-restrictive—such as one extreme example off the coast of Ireland, studied in the midth century, known as the island of Inis Beag. The inhabitants of Inis Beag detested nudity and viewed sex as a necessary evil for the sole purpose of reproduction. They wore clothes when they bathed and even while having sex.

Further, sex education was nonexistent, as was breast feeding Messenger, Young Mangaian boys are encouraged to masturbate. When the boys are a bit older, this formal instruction is replaced with hands-on coaching by older females.

These cultures make clear that what are considered sexually normal behaviors depends on time and place. Sexual behaviors are linked to, but distinct from, fantasies. However, this does not mean most of us want to be cheating on our partners or be involved in sexual assault. Sexual fantasies are not equal to sexual behaviors. Sexual fantasies are often a context for the sexual behavior of masturbation —tactile physical stimulation of the body for sexual pleasure.

There is even evidence that masturbation significantly decreases the risk of developing prostate cancer among males over the age of 50 Dimitropoulou et al.

Masturbation is common among males and females in the U. Robbins et al. However, frequency of masturbation is affected by culture. Durex found the average age of first coital experiences across 41 different countries to be 17 years, with a low of 16 Iceland , and a high of 20 India. There is tremendous variation regarding frequency of coital sex.

For example, the average number of times per year a person in Greece or France engages in coital sex is between 1. The prevalence of oral sex widely differs between cultures—with Western cultures, such as the U. Not only are there differences between cultures regarding how many people engage in oral sex, there are differences in its very definition.

For example, most college students in the U. Anal sex refers to penetration of the anus by an object. Like heterosexual people, homosexual people engage in a variety of sexual behaviors, the most frequent being masturbation, romantic kissing, and oral sex Rosenberger et al.

The prevalence of anal sex widely differs between cultures. Clearly, people engage in a multitude of behaviors whose variety is limited only by our own imaginations. However, there is one aspect of sexual behavior that is universally acceptable—indeed, fundamental and necessary.

Sexual consent is the baseline for what are considered normal —acceptable and healthy—behaviors; whereas, nonconsensual sex—i. Sanchez noted that Symons's view that rape is not an adaptation has been questioned by Thornhill and Palmer. However, she considered Symons correct to caution that the available data are insufficient to support the conclusion that rape is an adaptation.

She saw Symons's endorsement of the "genetic determinism" of the biologist Randy Thornhill and the anthropologist Craig T. Palmer and Thornhill noted in the Journal of Sex Research that while Symons stated that did not "believe that available data are even close to sufficient to warrant the conclusion" that rape is a "facultative adaptation in the human male" and therefore concluded instead that rape is "a by-product of various different sexual adaptations in men and women", he failed to specify exactly how the available data were insufficient to support the conclusion that rape is a facultative adaptation or what kind of data might potentially demonstrate that rape is a facultative adaptation.

They added that given Symons's failure to explain the shortcomings of the available data or explain how it could be improved upon, it was understandable that the question of whether rape is an adaptation was more thoroughly investigated by other researchers, including Thornhill himself. However, she criticized Symons for accepting at face value the idea that men are "more motivated than women to seek sex. She questioned the idea that Symons's willingness to separate "female orgasm from female reproductive fitness" has feminist implications, writing that while Symons "lent scientific support to some feminists' claims for a primordial similarity between male and female sexuality", other feminists found his account of female orgasm "socially and politically regrettable".

She concluded that Symons "thoroughly undercut the position of feminists who maintained that true sexual equality would be achieved only when peculiarly female sexual experiences were recognized and galvanized as the basis for a new, egalitarian sexuality. David Puts, Khytam Dawood, and Lisa Welling argued in the Archives of Sexual Behavior that while Symons's proposal that the human female orgasm is a non-functional byproduct of orgasm in men is plausible, it is a hypothesis that "currently lacks empirical support", that there is some counter evidence, and that the issue remains unresolved.

Dean Lee argued in Biology and Philosophy that Symons's account of the female orgasm has been misinterpreted in the scholarly literature. According to Lee, while Symons's case that the female orgasm is not an adaptation attracted controversy, little attention was given to the alternative explanation of the female orgasm Symons provided. He described this alternative explanation as "obscure, complicated, and frankly speculative". He maintained that Symons did not, as has been assumed, offer the same explanation of the female orgasm as that later put forward by the evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould , according to which the female orgasm is possible because of the clitoris, which is a byproduct of the embryological connection with the male penis.

He identified Symons's alternative argument as being contained in the sentence in which Symons wrote that, "The female orgasm may be a byproduct of mammalian bisexual potential: orgasm may be possible for female mammals because it is adaptive for males. He questioned whether Symons actually intended to make an analogy between the existence of the female orgasm and that of the male nipple, writing that Symons's comments on the issue had been taken out of context.

Brian Easlea argued against Symons that desire for anonymous sex is actually typical only of sexist men and is not characteristic of men in general in Science and Sexual Oppression He rejected Symons's view that socializing men to "want only the kinds of sexual interactions that women want The biologists Richard Lewontin and Steven Rose , writing with the psychologist Leon Kamin , observed in Not in Our Genes that, like some other sociobiologists, Symons maintains that "the manifest trait is not itself coded by genes, but that a potential is coded and the trait only arises when the appropriate environmental cue is given.

However, he argued that the evidence Symons cites about animal behavior actually suggests that the female orgasm is adaptive. The sociologist Jeffrey Weeks criticized Symons's view that differences between male and female sexual attitudes have a biological basis in Sexuality and Its Discontents , arguing that it was not supported by Symons's evidence.

He noted that prey is shared in chimpanzees without sexual rewards. He rejected Symons's argument that the infrequency of the female orgasm shows that it has no function. The journalist Matt Ridley argued in The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature that Symons's ideas about the evolution of gender differences had revolutionary implications, since "the overwhelming majority of the research that social scientists had done on human sexuality was infused with the assumption that there are no mental differences" between the sexes.

He endorsed Symons's explanation of male homosexual promiscuity. The journalist Robert Wright called The Evolution of Human Sexuality "the first comprehensive anthropological survey of human sexual behavior from the new Darwinian perspective" in The Moral Animal He credited Symons with showing that the tendency for men to be more interested than women in having sex with multiple sexual partners holds good across many cultures and is not restricted to western society.

However, he criticized Symons's arguments about homosexuality. Williams called The Evolution of Human Sexuality one of the classic works on "the biology of human sexual attitudes", alongside the work of Hrdy, in The Pony Fish's Glow Dixson described Symons's explanation of male homosexual promiscuity as "interesting" in Primate Sexuality Ehrlich described The Evolution of Human Sexuality as a "classic but controversial treatise on human sexual evolution" in Human Natures He identified Symons's study of the development of human ovulation as a landmark.

They observed that Symons has falsely been accused of basing his arguments on the assumption that behavior is genetically determined, even though he explicitly rejects that assumption and criticizes it at length. They endorsed his explanation of male homosexual promiscuity, and his arguments against the idea that rape is not sexually motivated. Gould commented in The Structure of Evolutionary Theory that the argument that the clitoris is not adaptive, put forward by Symons and subsequently by Gould himself, has been widely misunderstood as a denial of the adaptive value of the female orgasm in general, or even as a claim that female orgasms lack significance.

He criticized what he considered personal abuse of Symons by Lewontin et al. Buss called The Evolution of Human Sexuality the first "watershed in the study of human mating strategies" to follow evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers ' paper "Parental Investment and Sexual Selection" and a "trenchant classic" in The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology He credited Symons with being "the first to articulate the theoretical foundations of a fully adaptationist view of male and female mating minds" and "the first social scientist to take the writings of George C.

Elizabeth Lloyd concluded in The Case of the Female Orgasm that Symons proposes "the best available explanation for the evolution of the female orgasm", stating that while Symons's conclusions are not beyond dispute, and have been criticized on a number of different grounds, they are consistent with existing evidence, and help to explain "otherwise mysterious findings.

Gangestad described The Evolution of Human Sexuality as "a landmark in the study of human sexuality" and "the first serious effort to investigate and inquire into the nature of human sexuality" in The Evolutionary Biology of Human Female Sexuality They added that many of Symons's ideas have received support, including his view that women's sexuality includes "sexual adaptation that functions to gain access to nongenetic material benefits from males through its expression when women are not fertile within their menstrual cycles.

The anthropologists Anne Bolin and Patricia Whelehan identified as Symons one of two major participants in the debate over the reproductive role of the female orgasm, the other being Sherfey, in Human Sexuality: Biological, Psychological, and Cultural Perspectives They wrote that Symons's view of female sexuality "reflects western concepts of the passive female and overlooks the evidence of actual female sexual functioning, such as the capacity for multiple orgasms in women.

They observed that while Lloyd endorsed Symons's view, her work has been "severely criticized" by the psychologist David P. Barash , and the relationship between female orgasm and reproduction remains a topic of ongoing debate. However, they also accused Symons of having a "bleak" vision of human sexuality. Gray and Justin R. Garcia maintained in Evolution and Human Sexual Behavior that demographic data supports an evolutionary account of human mating psychology similar to that proposed by Symons.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Evolution of Human Sexuality Cover of the first edition. Altman, Dennis London: Pluto Press. Bolin, Anne; Whelehan, Patricia New York: Routledge. Brown, Donald E. Human Universals. Buss, David New York: Basic Books. The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology. Carroll, Joseph Evolution and Literary Theory. Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri Press. Diamond, Jared New York: Harper Perennial. Dixson, Alan F.

Oxford: Oxford University Press. Easlea, Brian Ehrlich, Paul Other than the need to procreate, there are many other reasons people have sex. In the past [ when? Sigmund Freud was one of the first researchers to take child sexuality seriously.

His ideas, such as psychosexual development and the Oedipus conflict, have been much debated but acknowledging the existence of child sexuality was an important development. He explains this in his theory of infantile sexuality , and says sexual energy libido is the most important motivating force in adult life. Freud wrote about the importance of interpersonal relationships to one's sexual and emotional development. From birth, the mother's connection to the infant affects the infant's later capacity for pleasure and attachment.

During adolescence, a young person tries to integrate these two emotional currents. Alfred Kinsey also examined child sexuality in his Kinsey Reports. Children are naturally curious about their bodies and sexual functions.

For example, they wonder where babies come from, they notice the differences between males and females, and many engage in genital play , which is often mistaken for masturbation. Child sex play, also known as playing doctor , includes exhibiting or inspecting the genitals. Many children take part in some sex play, typically with siblings or friends.

Curiosity levels remain high during these years, but the main surge in sexual interest occurs in adolescence. Adult sexuality originates in childhood. However, like many other human capacities, sexuality is not fixed, but matures and develops.

A common stereotype associated with old people is that they tend to lose interest and the ability to engage in sexual acts once they reach late adulthood. This misconception is reinforced by Western popular culture, which often ridicules older adults who try to engage in sexual activities. Age does not necessarily change the need or desire to be sexually expressive or active. A couple in a long-term relationship may find that the frequency of their sexual activity decreases over time and the type of sexual expression may change, but many couples experience increased intimacy and love.

Human sexuality can be understood as part of the social life of humans, which is governed by implied rules of behavior and the status quo. This narrows the view to groups within a society. Throughout history, social norms have been changing and continue to change as a result of movements such as the sexual revolution and the rise of feminism. The age and manner in which children are informed of issues of sexuality is a matter of sex education.

The school systems in almost all developed countries have some form of sex education, but the nature of the issues covered varies widely. In some countries, such as Australia and much of Europe, age-appropriate sex education often begins in pre-school, whereas other countries leave sex education to the pre-teenage and teenage years.

Geographic location also plays a role in society's opinion of the appropriate age for children to learn about sexuality. In the United States, most sex education programs encourage abstinence , the choice to restrain oneself from sexual activity. In contrast, comprehensive sex education aims to encourage students to take charge of their own sexuality and know how to have safe, healthy, and pleasurable sex if and when they choose to do so.

According to data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, many teens who intend to be abstinent fail to do so, and when these teenagers do have sex, many do not use safe sex practices such as contraceptives. In some religions, sexual behavior is regarded as primarily spiritual. In others it is treated as primarily physical. Some hold that sexual behavior is only spiritual within certain kinds of relationships, when used for specific purposes, or when incorporated into religious ritual.

In some religions there are no distinctions between the physical and the spiritual, whereas some religions view human sexuality as a way of completing the gap that exists between the spiritual and the physical. Many religious conservatives, especially those of Abrahamic religions and Christianity in particular, tend to view sexuality in terms of behavior i. They may also see homosexuality as a form of mental illness, something that ought to be criminalised, an immoral abomination, caused by ineffective parenting, and view same-sex marriage as a threat to society.

On the other hand, most religious liberals define sexuality-related labels in terms of sexual attraction and self-identification. They also tend to be more in favor of same-sex marriage. According to Judaism , sex between man and woman within marriage is sacred and should be enjoyed; celibacy is considered sinful.

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that sexuality is "noble and worthy" [78] but that it must be used in accordance with natural law. For this reason, all sexual activity must occur in the context of a marriage between a man and a woman, and must not be divorced from the possibility of conception. Most forms of sex without the possibility of conception are considered intrinsically disordered and sinful, such as the use of contraceptives, masturbation , and homosexual acts.

In Islam , sexual desire is considered to be a natural urge that should not be suppressed, although the concept of free sex is not accepted; these urges should be fulfilled responsibly. Marriage is considered to be a good deed; it does not hinder spiritual wayfaring. The term used for marriage within the Quran is nikah , which literally means sexual intercourse. Although Islamic sexuality is restrained via Islamic sexual jurisprudence , it emphasizes sexual pleasure within marriage.

It is acceptable for a man to have more than one wife, but he must take care of those wives physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. However, homosexuality is strictly forbidden in Islam, and some Muslim lawyers have suggested that gay people should be put to death. For many Muslims, sex with reference to the Quran indicates that—bar anal intercourse and adultery—a Muslim marital home bonded by Nikah marital contract between husband and his wife s should enjoy and even indulge, within the privacy of their marital home, in limitless scope of heterosexual sexual acts within a monogamous or polygamous marriage.

Hinduism emphasizes that sex is only appropriate between husband and wife, in which satisfying sexual urges through sexual pleasure is an important duty of marriage. Any sex before marriage is considered to interfere with intellectual development, especially between birth and the age of 25, which is said to be brahmacharya and this should be avoided. Kama sensual pleasures is one of the four purusharthas or aims of life dharma, artha, kama, and moksha. Sikhism views chastity as important, as Sikhs believe that the divine spark of Waheguru is present inside every individual's body, therefore it is important for one to keep clean and pure.

Sexual activity is limited to married couples, and extramarital sex is forbidden. Marriage is seen as a commitment to Waheguru and should be viewed as part of spiritual companionship, rather than just sexual intercourse, and monogamy is deeply emphasised in Sikhism. Any other way of living is discouraged, including celibacy and homosexuality.

However, in comparison to other religions, the issue of sexuality in Sikhism is not considered one of paramount importance. Sexuality has been an important, vital part of human existence throughout history. Within these groups, some implications of male dominance existed, but there were signs that women were active participants in sexuality, with bargaining power of their own.

Some underlying continuities or key regulatory standards contended with the tension between recognition of pleasure, interest, and the need to procreate for the sake of social order and economic survival. One example of these male-dominated portrayals is the Egyptian creation myth , in which the sun god Atum masturbates in the water, creating the Nile River. In Sumerian myth, the Gods' semen filled the Tigris. Once agricultural societies emerged, the sexual framework shifted in ways that persisted for many millennia in much of Asia, Africa, Europe, and parts of the Americas.

One common characteristic new to these societies was the collective supervision of sexual behavior due to urbanization, and the growth of population and population density. Children would commonly witness parents having sex because many families shared the same sleeping quarters. Due to landownership, determination of children's paternity became important, and society and family life became patriarchal. These changes in sexual ideology were used to control female sexuality and to differentiate standards by gender.

With these ideologies, sexual possessiveness and increases in jealousy emerged. With the domestication of animals, new opportunities for bestiality arose. Males mostly performed these types of sexual acts and many societies acquired firm rules against it. These acts also explain the many depictions of half-human, half-animal mythical creatures, and the sports of gods and goddesses with animals.

Some of these distinctions are portrayed in sex manuals, which were also common among civilizations in China, Greece, Rome, Persia, and India; each has its own sexual history. Before the High Middle Ages , homosexual acts appear to have been ignored or tolerated by the Christian church. By the end of the 19th century, it was viewed as a pathology. During the beginning of the industrial revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries, many changes in sexual standards occurred. New, dramatic, artificial birth control devices such as the condom and diaphragm were introduced.

Doctors started claiming a new role in sexual matters, urging that their advice was crucial to sexual morality and health. New pornographic industries grew and Japan adopted its first laws against homosexuality. In Western societies, the definition of homosexuality was constantly changing; Western influence on other cultures became more prevalent.

New contacts created serious issues around sexuality and sexual traditions. There were also major shifts in sexual behavior. During this period, puberty began occurring at younger ages, so a new focus on adolescence as a time of sexual confusion and danger emerged. There was a new focus on the purpose of marriage; it was increasing regarded as being for love rather than only for economics and reproduction.

Havelock Ellis and Sigmund Freud adopted more accepting stances toward homosexuality; Ellis said homosexuality was inborn and therefore not immoral, not a disease, and that many homosexuals made significant contributions to society.

He said male homosexuality resulted when a young boy had an authoritarian, rejecting mother and turned to his father for love and affection, and later to men in general. He said female homosexuality developed when a girl loved her mother and identified with her father, and became fixated at that stage. Alfred Kinsey initiated the modern era of sex research.

He collected data from questionnaires given to his students at Indiana University , but then switched to personal interviews about sexual behaviors. Kinsey and his colleagues sampled 5, men and 5, women. He found that most people masturbated, that many engaged in oral sex , that women are capable of having multiple orgasms, and that many men had had some type of homosexual experience in their lifetimes.

Many [ who? Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at Indiana University continues to be a major center for the study of human sexuality. Masters and Johnson started to directly observe and record the physical responses in humans that are engaged in sexual activity under laboratory settings. They observed 10, episodes of sexual acts between men and women. This led to methods of treating clinical problems and abnormalities. Masters and Johnson opened the first sex therapy clinic in In , they described their therapeutic techniques in their book, Human Sexual Inadequacy.

Scholars also study the ways in which colonialism has affected sexuality today and argue that due to racism and slavery it has been dramatically changed from the way it had previously been understood. In her book, Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Gender, Race, and Morality in Colonial Asia , Laura Stoler investigates how the Dutch used sexual control and gender-specific sexual sanctions to distinguish between the rulers from the ruled and enforce colonial domination onto the people of Indonesia.

In America, there are native tribes that are recorded to have embraced two-spirit people within their tribes, but the total number of tribes could be greater than what is documented.

For example, two-spirited people are commonly revered for possessing special wisdom and spiritual powers. The link between constructed sexual meanings and racial ideologies has been studied. According to Joane Nagel, sexual meanings are constructed to maintain racial-ethnic-national boundaries by the denigration of "others" and regulation of sexual behavior within the group. She writes, "both adherence to and deviation from such approved behaviors, define and reinforce racial, ethnic, and nationalist regimes".

Reproductive and sexual rights encompass the concept of applying human rights to issues related to reproduction and sexuality. According to the Swedish government, "sexual rights include the right of all people to decide over their own bodies and sexuality" and "reproductive rights comprise the right of individuals to decide on the number of children they have and the intervals at which they are born.

In , Emma Goldman and Margaret Sanger, [] leaders of the birth control movement, began to spread correct information regarding contraception in opposition to the laws, such as the Comstock Law, [] that demonized it.

One of their main purposes was to assert that the birth control movement was about empowering women with personal reproductive and economic freedom for those who could not afford to parent a child or simply did not want one. Goldman and Sanger saw it necessary to educate people as contraceptives were quickly being stigmatized as a population control tactic due to being a policy limiting births, disregarding that this limitation did not target ecological, political, or large economic conditions.

One Package [] declared that prescribing contraception to save a person's life or well-being was no longer illegal under the Comstock Law. Although opinions varied on when birth control should be available to women, by , there were birth control clinics in the United States but advertising their services remained illegal. The stigma continued to lose credibility as First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt publicly showed her support for birth control through the four terms her husband served However, it was not until that the Federal Government began to fund family planning and subsidized birth control services for lower class women and families at the order of President Lyndon B.

The disease disproportionately affected and continues to affect gay and bisexual men, especially black and Latino men. Activism during the AIDS crisis focused on promoting safe sex practices to raise awareness that the disease could be prevented. In , Congress even denied federal funding from awareness campaigns that "[promoted] or [encouraged], directly or indirectly, homosexual activities".

Thus, group organizers self-identified as gay more and more, creating the basis for further development of gay consciousness in different countries. In humans, sexual intercourse and sexual activity in general have been shown to have health benefits, such as an improved sense of smell, [ citation needed ] reduction in stress and blood pressure, [] [] increased immunity , [] and decreased risk of prostate cancer. Exclusive causation, however, is unclear, and the benefits may be indirectly related to sex and directly related to significant reductions in stress, greater contentment, and better sleep that sex promotes.

Sexual intercourse can also be a disease vector. People both consciously and subconsciously seek to attract others with whom they can form deep relationships. This may be for companionship, procreation, or an intimate relationship. This involves interactive processes whereby people find and attract potential partners and maintain a relationship. These processes, which involve attracting one or more partners and maintaining sexual interest, can include:.

Sexual attraction is attraction on the basis of sexual desire or the quality of arousing such interest. The attraction can be to the physical or other qualities or traits of a person, or to such qualities in the context in which they appear. The attraction may be to a person's aesthetics or movements or to their voice or smell, besides other factors. The attraction may be enhanced by a person's adornments, clothing, perfume, hair length and style , and anything else which can attract the sexual interest of another person.

It can also be influenced by individual genetic , psychological , or cultural factors, or to other, more amorphous qualities of the person. Sexual attraction is also a response to another person that depends on a combination of the person possessing the traits and also on the criteria of the person who is attracted.

Though attempts have been made to devise objective criteria of sexual attractiveness, and measure it as one of several bodily forms of capital asset see erotic capital , a person's sexual attractiveness is to a large extent a subjective measure dependent on another person's interest, perception, and sexual orientation.

For example, a gay or lesbian person would typically find a person of the same sex to be more attractive than one of the other sex. A bisexual person would find either sex to be attractive. In addition, there are asexual people, who usually do not experience sexual attraction for either sex, though they may have romantic attraction homoromantic, biromantic or heteroromantic.

Interpersonal attraction includes factors such as physical or psychological similarity , familiarity or possessing a preponderance of common or familiar features , similarity , complementarity , reciprocal liking , and reinforcement.

The ability of a person's physical and other qualities to create a sexual interest in others is the basis of their use in advertising , music video , pornography , film , and other visual media, as well as in modeling , sex work and other occupations.

Globally, laws regulate human sexuality in several ways, including criminalizing particular sexual behaviors, granting individuals the privacy or autonomy to make their own sexual decisions, protecting individuals with regard to equality and non-discrimination, recognizing and protecting other individual rights, as well as legislating matters regarding marriage and the family, and creating laws protecting individuals from violence, harassment, and persecution.

In the United States, there are two fundamentally different approaches, applied in different states, regarding the way the law is used to attempt to govern a person's sexuality. Issues regarding human sexuality and human sexual orientation have come to the forefront in Western law in the latter half of the twentieth century, as part of the gay liberation movement's encouragement of LGBT individuals to " come out of the closet " and engaging with the legal system, primarily through courts.

Therefore, many issues regarding human sexuality and the law are found in the opinions of the courts. While the issue of privacy has been useful to sexual rights claims, some scholars have criticized its usefulness, saying that this perspective is too narrow and restrictive. The law is often slow to intervene in certain forms of coercive behavior that can limit individuals' control over their own sexuality such as female genital mutilation , forced marriages or lack of access to reproductive health care.

Many of these injustices are often perpetuated wholly or in part by private individuals rather than state agents, and as a result, there is an ongoing debate about the extent of state responsibility to prevent harmful practices and to investigate such practices when they do occur. State intervention with regards to sexuality also occurs, and is considered acceptable by some, in certain instances e. The legal systems surrounding prostitution are a topic of debate.

Proponents for criminalization argue that sex work is an immoral practice that should not be tolerated, while proponents for decriminalization point out how criminalization does more harm than good. Within the feminist movement, there is also a debate over whether sex work is inherently objectifying and exploitative or whether sex workers have the agency to sell sex as a service. When sex work is criminalized, sex workers do not have support from law enforcement when they fall victim to violence.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about human sexual anatomy, sexuality and perceptions. For information specifically about sexual activities, see Human sexual activity. For sexual behavior among other animals, see Animal sexual behaviour. For other uses, see Sexuality disambiguation.

How people experience themselves sexually. Polygamy Polyandry Polygyny. Cicisbeo Concubinage Courtesan Mistress. Breakup Separation Annulment Divorce Widowhood.

Emotions and feelings. Main article: Sexual orientation. Main article: Human reproductive system. Main article: Human male reproductive system.

Main article: Human female reproductive system. Main article: Female reproductive system. Main article: Sexual dysfunction. Main article: Child sexuality. Main article: Sexuality in older age. Main article: Religion and sexuality. Main article: History of human sexuality. This section relies largely or entirely on a single source.

Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please help improve this article by introducing citations to additional sources. Further information: Reproductive health and Reproductive rights.

Main article: Human sexual activity. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.