NATIONAL OPEN UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA SCHOOL OF EDUCATION COURSE CODE: EGC 903 COURSE TITLE: SEX AND FAMILY COUNSELLING

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1 NATIONAL OPEN UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA SCHOOL OF EDUCATION COURSE CODE: EGC 903 COURSE TITLE: SEX AND FAMILY COUNSELLING 1

2 MODULE 1: SEX AND SEXUALITY Unit 1: The Concepts of Sex and Sexuality Unit 2: Human Reproductive System Unit3: Sexual Health, Unit 4: Sexual Dysfunction Unit 1: The Concepts of Sex and Sexuality Contents 1.0 Introduction 2.0 Objectives 3.0 Main Contents 3.1 Gender and Sex 3.2 Sexuality 3.3 Sexual orientation 3.4 Gender differences in mating and sexual behaviour 3.5 Biological and psychological aspects of sexuality 3.6 Scientific study of sexuality 4.0 Conclusion 5.0 Summary 2

3 6.0 Tutor Marked Assignment 7.0 References/Further Reading 1.0 INTRODUCTION What are men like and what are women like? What psychological characteristics distinguish men and women? Are women strong, caring and wise? Are they less aggressive and independent than men? A great anthropologist, Margaret Mead answered these questions about women and men by saying that the answers depend on their culture. She said that women and men behave the way they have been shaped by their culture. Not everyone shares this view, however, so this unit discusses the two topics that are often referred to by the same name- sex: (a) the gender of a person-male or female and (b) sexuality-sexual behaviour. Much of who one is and what one does are related to his or her gender and sexuality. One s experiences as a young boy or girl, the expectations that he or she learned from society of what it means to be a woman or a man, and how they view the sexual aspects of themselves are central to one s total being. The ways in which we view our gender and our sexual orientation are a product of both biological and psychological factors. These factors result in some differences between men and women in different cultures, but it has been discovered that women and men are more similar in psychological terms than they are different. This unit will discuss all these aspects of gender and sexuality. We will also discuss gender identity, gender roles, and sexual orientation. 2.0 Objectives At the end of this unit, you will be able to: Define sex, sexuality and sexual orientation State the differences between male and female sexual behaviours 3

4 Explain the biological and psychological aspects of sexuality 3.0 Main Content 3.1 Gender and Sex A person s sex is defined by his or her male or female genitals. Gender, in contrast is the psychological experiences of one s sex (Gentile, 1993). In most cases, a person s sex and gender are the same, but not always. It is possible for persons with male genitals to feel that their gender is female and vice versa. It will help advance our discussion to distinguish between two important aspects of gender, gender identity and gender roles. Gender identity is the subjective experience of being a male or a female. As is true for all aspects of personal identity, gender identity is a part of our personalities and central component of our self concepts. Gender role on the other hand, refers to all of the behaviour that communicate to others the degree to which we are masculine or feminine in the terms defined by our culture (Money, 1987, 1988). Thus, your gender role is the outward behavioural expression of your gender identity. Gender roles vary from culture to culture and provide a set of expectations of persons on the basis of their sex. 3.2 Sexuality Sexuality is the capacity to have erotic experiences and responses. The term refers to the behaviours in which we engage to obtain sexual pleasure and to all of the feelings and beliefs that are interwoven with sexual behaviour. Sexuality may be experienced and expressed in a variety of ways, including through thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviours, practices, roles and relationships. The manifestation might be through biological, physical, emotional, or spiritual means. The biological and physical aspects of sexuality largely 4

5 concern the reproductive functions of the sexes (including the human sexual response cycle) and the basic biological drive that exists in all species.(king, 2013). Physical as well as emotional aspects of sexuality also include the bond that exists between individuals, and is expressed through profound feelings or physical manifestations of emotions of love, trust, and caring. Spiritual aspects of sexuality concern an individual s spiritual connection with others. Sexuality also impacts on and is impacted by cultural, political, legal and philosophical aspects of life. One aspect of our psychological selves that is very much a part of both our sexuality and our gender identity is sexual orientation. 3.3 Sexual Orientation Sexual orientation refers to one s tendency to prefer romantic and sexual partners of the same or different sex. A person s sexual orientation may influence their sexual interest and attraction for another person. Persons who are sexually attracted to members of the opposite sex are termed heterosexual. In contrast, persons who are attracted to members of the same sex have a homosexual orientation. Most homosexual men use the term gay, whereas most homosexual women use the term lesbian. Other people are attracted to varying extents to both members of their same sex and members of the opposite sex. When this is the case, the sexual orientation is termed bisexual (Lahey, 2004). Some researchers assume that sexual orientation or sexual behavior is determined by genetics, some argue that it is molded by the environment, while others argue that both interact to form sexual orientation. According to Csongradi (2011), certain characteristics are innate in humans, although they may be modified by interaction with the physical and social environment. 5

6 3.4 Gender Differences in Mating and Sexual Behaviour Many studies conducted in different cultures indicate that women and men differ in ways related to sexual behaviour and the selection of a mate (Bjorklund and Shackleford, 1999; Buss, 1995, 1999; Eagly and Wood, 1999). Men tend to prefer a mate who is younger and physically attractive but who has good housekeeping skills. On the average, they are sexually jealous and controlling of their partners but are more likely to feel comfortable with the idea of casual sex for themselves. Women, in contrast, tend to prefer mates who are somewhat older and who have good character (Lahey, 2004). 3.5 Biological and Psychological Aspects of Sexuality Human sexuality is a topic that generates a lot of emotional and psychological responses. It plays a pivotal role in many intimate relationships, it is the subject of intense moral debates, and is plagued by misinformation more than perhaps any other natural aspects of human life. Some theorists identify sexuality as the central source of human personality. Psychological studies of sexuality focus on psychological influences that affect sexual behavior and experiences. (Rathus, Nevid and Fichmer-Rathus, 2007). Early psychological analyses carried out by Sigmund Freud conjectured the concepts of erogenous zones, psychosexual development, and the Oedipus complex, among others. 3.6 Scientific Study of Sexuality. Images and themes of sexuality appear in art and literature reaching as far back as the earliest civilizations, but the scientific study of sexuality has only recently emerged. Two European physicians working at the turn of the twentieth century were at the forefront of early studies of sexuality. Richard Von Krafft-Ebing ( ), a Viennese neurologist, extensively studied 6

7 variations and deviations in human sexual behaviour. However, Krafft-Ebing s view of sexuality was mostly negative and his work was filled with misconception. For instance, Krafft-Ebing believed that it was masturbation that caused all sexual deviations and was also at the root of sexual problems. Nowadays we know that this basic premise of Krafft-Ebing s views of sexuality is false. A second major figure in the study of human sexuality was Henry Havelock Ellis ( ). An English physician, Ellis was the first to discuss extensively on the role of social and cultural influences in shaping human sexual behaviour and one of the first scholars to study homosexuality. He remarked for the first time that men and women experience similar sexual desires and that psychological problems such as anxiety and depression can influence physical sexual functioning. Subsequent to the many published volumes of research by Krafft-Ebing and by Ellis in the early part of the century, there was surprisingly little scientific study of human sexuality for many years. In many ways, the scientific world was not yet prepared to discuss human sexuality objectively. A major turning point in the study of sexuality occurred, however, in the 1940s with the work of Alfred C. Kinsey ( ). Kinsey became interested in human sexual behaviour when he was made aware of the extremely limited amount of scientific information available on the topic. He conducted several surveys that allowed him to describe many aspects of human sexuality, and the broad range of sexual activities (Kinsey; Pomeroy and Martin, 1948; Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin and Gebhard, 1953). His methods seem weak today, but he opened the door to better researches that would follow. Other modern pioneers in the study of sexual behaviour include John Money of Johns Hopkins University. Money is best known for his studies in sexual development and his classic research 7

8 of gender roles, a term that he first coined (Money, 1955). Also of great importance was the work of William Masters and Virginia Johnson. They conducted groundbreaking laboratory studies of volunteers who were observed during the sexual response cycle from the initial excitement to the moment of orgasm, while Masters and Johnson measured the physiological changes that accompany the sexual behaviour. Masters and Johnson s two most important books, Human Sexual Response (1966) and Human Sexual Inadequacy (1970), helped form the basis for our understanding of human sexual functioning and sexual problems and stood as the foundation for sex therapy. 4.0 Conclusion Sex and sexuality in humans generates both interest and emotion for most people. It is a vital principle of human living that connects the desire, energy and pleasure of the body to a knowledge of human intimacy, for the sake of erotic love, intimate friendship, human mating and procreation. Sex and sexuality have been discussed throughout history in philosophy, literature and the arts, but the scientific study of sex and gender is a relatively new field. The first scientific discussions of sexuality dates back to the early 1900s, and it was only in the 1940s that Kinsey conducted the first objective surveys of sexual behaviour. 5.0 Summary In this unit, we had a cursory look at the psychological aspects of being a male or female. We also looked at the development of the identity and behaviours associated with gender and at the similarities and differences between women and men. We also looked at the related topic of sexual orientation, which means the gender to whom a person is drawn romantically and sexually. 8

9 6.0 Tutor Marked Assignment 1. Explain the following terms: sex, sexuality and sexual orientation 2. Males and females differ in their sexual behaviours. Discuss 3. Differentiate between the biological and psychological aspects of sexuality 7.0 References/Further Reading Buss, D.M. (1995). Psychological sex differences: Origins through sexual selection. American Psychologist, 50, Buss, D.M. (1999). Human nature and individual differences: The evolution of human personality. In Lahey, B. (2004). Psychology: An Introduction. (8 th Edition). New York: McGraw -Hill. Csongradi, C. (ed.) A new look at an old debate. Access excellence. Retrieved 12 November 2011, from php Eagly, A. H., & Wood, W. (1999). The origins of sex differences in human behavior: Evolved dispositions versus social roles. American Psychologist, 54, King, B. M. (2013). Human Sexuality Today. (ISBN ). Lahey, B. (2004). Psychology: An Introduction. (8 th Edition). New York: McGraw -Hill. Money, J. (1988). Gay, straight, and in-between. New York: Oxford University Press. McGraw-Hill Human Sexuality Drop-In Centre at Rathus, Spencer A, Nevid, J. S. & Fichmer-Rathus, L. (2007). Human Sexuality in a World of Diversity. Allyn & Bacon. 9

10 UNIT 2: Human Reproductive system Content 2.1 Introduction 2.0 Objectives 3.0 Main Contents 3.1 Sexual Anatomy and Functioning Female Anatomy and Reproductive System Male Anatomy and Reproductive System 3.2 The Sexual Response Cycle Excitement phase Plateau phase Orgasmic phase Resolution phase 4.0 Conclusion 5.0 Summary 6.0 Tutor marked Assignments 7.0 References/Further reading 10

11 1.0 Introduction Humans are primarily composed of male and female sexes, with only a small proportion of inter sex individuals (around 1%) for whom sexual classification may not be clear. The biological aspects of humans sexuality deal with the human reproductive system and human sexual response cycle and the factors that affect these processes. In this unit, we will look at the sexual anatomy of men and women and how they are designed for sexual intercourse and reproduction. We will also describe the sexual response cycles of men and women which is made up of four phases namely the excitement, the plateau, the orgasmic and the resolution phases. 2.0 Objectives At the end of this unit, you should be able to: Draw and describe the human sexual anatomy Explain the functions of the sex organs Explain the sexual response cycle 3.0 Main content 3.1 Sexual Anatomy and Functioning The anatomy of males and females are similar to some degree with regard to the development of the reproductive system. As adults, they have different reproductive mechanisms that enable them to perform sexual acts and to reproduce. Both men and women react to sexual stimuli in somewhat of the same fashion with only minor differences. Women have a monthly reproductive cycle while the male sperm production cycle is more continuous. (King, 2013). The major structures of the sexual anatomy of females and males are presented below. 11

12 3.1 1 Female Anatomy and Reproductive System Women have both external (genitalia) and internal reproductive organs. Their genitalia, collectively known as the vulva includes the mons veneris, labia majora, labia minora, clitoris, vaginal opening, and urethral opening. Women s genitalia vary in appearance from person to person, differing in size, shape, and colour. A woman s feelings towards her genitals are directly related to her participation and enjoyment of sex. External Female Anatomy The mons veneris also known as the Mound of Venus is the soft layer of fatty tissue overlaying the area where the pubic bone comes together. It is the upper area that is covered by pubic hair. Following puberty, this area grows in size. It is sensitive to stimulation due to many nerve endings gathering in this area. The labia (majora and minora) are collectively known as the lips. The labia majora or outer lips are two enlongated folds of skin extending from the mons to the perineum in women. Its outer surface becomes covered with hair after puberty. In between the labia majora are the labia minora. These two hairless folds of skin meet above the clitoris to form the clitoral hood which is highly sensitive to touch. Near the anus, the labia minora merge with the labia majora. The two labia provide folds that cover the opening of the vagina and are a sensitive source of pleasure during sexual stimulation. The clitoris is a small enlongated erectile structure at the upper part of the vagina that is most highly responsive to sexual stimulation. It is developed from the same embryonic tissue as the penis. Its glans harbours as many nerve endings as the human penis, making it extremely 12

13 sensitive to touch. (Francoeur, 2000, Carroll, 2009.). The labia and clitoris both play critical roles in female sexual response. The vaginal opening and the urethral opening are only visible when the labia minora are parted. The vaginal opening has many nerve endings that make it sensitive to touch. It is surrounded by the bulbocavernosus muscle which is a ring of sphincter muscles that contract and relax. Underneath this muscle and on opposite sides of the vaginal opening are the vestibular bulbs which help the vagina to grip the penis by swelling with blood during arousal. Within the vaginal opening, there is the hymen which is a thin membrane that partially covers the opening in virgins. To rupture the hymen has been historically considered as losing one s virginity, though by modern standards losing one s virginity is considered as the first someone has sexual inter course, as the hymen can be ruptured by activities other than sexual intercourse. The urethral opening expels urine from the bladder. It is located below the clitoris and above the vaginal opening. This opening connects the bladder with the urethra. Internal Female Anatomy The female s internal reproductive organs consist of the vagina, uterus, Fallopian tubes, and ovaries. The vagina is the sheath-like canal in women that extends from the vulva to the cervix. The vagina receives the penis during intercourse and serves as a depository for sperm. It is also known as the birth canal and can expand to 10 centimetres during labour and delivery. The vagina is located behind the bladder but in front of the rectum. The vagina is normally collapsed, but during sexual arousal it opens, lengthens, and produces lubrication, which allows the penis to be inserted. The vagina has three layered walls, and is a self-cleaning organ with natural important bacterium within it to keep the production of yeast down. The G-spot, named after Ernst Grafenberg, who first reported it in 1950, may be located in the front wall of the vagina 13

14 and may cause orgasms. The area may vary in size and location from woman to woman, or be non-existent in some women, and various researchers argue its structure, existence or hypothesize that it is an extension of the clitoris. (Hines, 2001, and Kilchevsky, 2012). The uterus, also known as the womb, is a pear shaped, muscular structure that carries the fertilized egg (fetus) during pregnancy. The uterus lies in the pelvic cavity behind the bladder, in front of the bowel, and above the vagina. It is positioned in a 90-degree angle tilting forward, although in very few women, about 20%, it tilts backwards. The uterus consists of three layers with the innermost layer being the endometium. The endometrium is where the egg is implanted after fertilization and where it grows and develops during gestation. During ovulation, it thickens up for implantation, but if implantation does not occur, it is shed off during menstruation. The cervix is the narrow end of the uterus while the broad end is the fundus. It is through the cervix that menstrual flow is discharged and through which the newborn is passed into the birth canal during delivery. The fallopian tubes form a passage in which ova are transported from the ovaries to the uterus during ovulation. They branch off from the top of the uterus, extending near, although not quite touching the ovaries. There are finger-like projections at the end of the tubes that brush the ovaries and pick up the egg once it is released. The egg then travels for about three to four days down to the uterus. After sexual intercourse, sperm swim up this funnel from the uterus. The lining of the tube and its secretions sustain both the egg and the sperm, encouraging fertilization and nourishing the egg until it reaches the uterus. If an egg splits in two after fertilization, identical twins are produced. If separate eggs are fertilized by different sperm, the mother gives birth to non-identical or fraternal twins. 14

15 The ovaries are the female gonads, developed from the same embryonic tissue as the male gonads (testicles). They are suspended by ligaments and are the source where the egg or ova are stored and developed before ovulation. The ovaries are also responsible for producing female hormones: progesterone and estrogen. Within the ovaries, each egg is surrounded by other cells and contained within a capsule called a primary follicle. At puberty, one or more of these follicles are stimulated to mature on a monthly basis. Once matured, they are now called Graafian follicles. A girl baby is born with about 60,000 of these cells but only about 400 eggs will mature in a woman s lifetime. A female s ovulation is based on a monthly cycle with the fourteenth day being the most fertile. Days five through thirteen are known as the Preovulatory stages. During this stage, the pituitary gland in the brain secretes follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Then a negative feedback loop is enacted when estrogen is secreted to inhibit the release of FSH. This estrogen thickens the endometrium of the uterus. Day fourteen, Luteinizing Hormone (LH) surge triggers ovulation by causing a graafian follicle to surface the ovary. Once the follicle ruptures, the ripe ovum is expelled into the abdominal cavity where the fallopian tubes pick up the ovum. The cervical mucus changes to aid in the movement of sperm. Days fifteen to twenty-eight, the Post-ovulatory stage, the Graafian follicle that once held the ovum is now called the corpus luteum, and it now secretes estrogen. Progesterone increases inhibiting LH release. The endometrium thickens to get ready for implantation, and d ovum travels down the fallopian tubes to the uterus. If the egg does not become fertilized and does not implant, menstruation begins. Days one to four are for menstruation when the estrogen and progesterone decreases and the endometrium starts thinning and is shed off for the next three to six days. Once menstruation ends, the cycle begins again with an FSH surge from the pituitary gland. 15

16 16

17 Culled from the work of Benjamin B. Lahey, (2004). Pp

18 3.1 2Male Anatomy and Reproductive System Men also have both internal and external (genitalia) structures that are responsible for procreation and sexual intercourse. Men produce their sperm on a cycle, but unlike the female s ovulation cycle, the male sperm production cycle is constantly producing millions of sperm daily. External Male Anatomy The male external genitals consist of the penis (which has both internal and external structures) and the scrotum (which holds the testicles). The purpose of the penis is for sexual intercourse and it is a passageway for sperm and urine. An average sized unstimulated penis is about 3.75 inches in length and 1.2 inches in diameter. When erect it is between 4.5 to 6 inches in length, 1.5 inches in diameter and 4.5 inches in circumference. It is the filling of the penis with blood that causes it to become stiff and erect during sexual arousal. The penis internal structures consist of the shaft, glans, and the root. The shaft of the penis consist of three cylinder-shaped bodies of spongy tissue filled with tiny blood vessels, which run the length of the organ. Two of these bodies lie side by side in the upper portion of the penis called corpora cavernosa. The third is a tube which lies centrally beneath the others and expands at the end to form the tip of the penis (glans) called the corpus spongiosm. The raised rim at the border of the shaft and glans is called the corona. The urethra runs through the shaft so that sperm and urine can be expelled from the body. The root consists of the expanded ends of the cavernous bodies, which fan out to form the crura, and attach to the pubic bone and the expanded end of the spongy body also known as the bulb. The root is also surrounded by two muscles namely the bulbocavernosus muscle and ischiocavernosus muscle 18

19 which aid in urination and ejaculation. The penis has a foreskin that usually covers the glans and in many cultures, is removed at birth through circumcision. The second external structure is the scrotum. It is a loose skin structure that extends behind the penis and supports the testes. It responds to change in temperature, contracting when cold and relaxing when warm. The scrotum holds the testicles away from the body so that sperm can be produced in an environment several degrees lower than normal body temperature. Sweat glands are also located in this region to aid in temperature control. Internal Male Anatomy The internal male reproductive system consists of the testes (testicles), the duct system, the prostate and seminal vesicles, and the Cowper s gland. The testicles are the male gonads. They produce sperms and male hormones (androgens). Millions of sperm are produced daily in several hundred seminiferous tubules that altogether measure over a quarter of a mile. Cells called the Leydig cells or interstitial cells of Leydig are between the tubules and produce hormones. The hormones that are produced are called androgens, and they consist of testosterone and inhibin. The testicles are held by the spermatic cord, which is a tubelike structure which contains 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. The next internal structure is the four part duct system that transports sperm. The first part of this system is the epididymis, which holds mature sperm cells after they have been produced in the testes. The second part of the duct system is the vas deferens. The vas deferens, also known as the ductus deferens is a muscular tube that begins at the lower end of the epididymis and carries sperm from the epididymis towards the outside of the body. The third part of the duct 19

20 system are the ejaculatory ducts which are one inch long paired tubes that pass through the prostate gland. This is where semen is produced. The prostate gland is a solid chestnut-shaped organ that surrounds first part of the urethra in the male. The prostate gland and seminal vesicles help produce seminal fluid that gets mixed with sperm to produce semen. The prostate gland lies under the bladder, in front of the rectum. It consists of two main zones namely the inner zone which produces secretions to keep the lining of the male urethra moist, and the outer zone which produces seminal fluids to facilitate the passage of semen. The seminal vesicles secrete fructose for sperm activation and mobilization, prostaglandins to cause uterine contraction which aids in movement through the structure, and bases which help neutralize the acidity of the vagina because sperm cannot survive in an acidic environment. The last internal structure is the Cowper s glands or bulbourethral glands, which are two pea sized structures beneath the prostate. 3.2 The Sexual Response Cycle The response of humans to sexual stimuli involves a predictable biological response known as the sexual response cycle. It is a model that describes the physiological responses that take place in men and women during sexual activity. Although there are substantial similarities between the sexual response cycles of women and men, there are some important differences. Masters and Johnson (1966) describe four stages of the sexual response cycle, namely excitement, plateau, orgasmic and resolution phases. We will now discuss these phases in detail. 20

21 3.2.1 Excitement Phase Both women and men show an initial increase in physiological arousal, called the excitement phase. This may begin from visual stimulation, physical contact, odors, fantasies, and the like. Blood flows to the penis and the vagina, erection and lubrication occur, the nipples become erect, the heart beats faster, blood pressure rises, and the body becomes aroused in other ways Plateau Phase If the sexual stimulation is intense enough, sexual arousal builds quickly to the plateau phase, which is characterized by high levels of arousal that are sustained for periods ranging from seconds to many minutes. The degree of sexual pleasure is very high, but not yet at a maximum Orgasmic Phase. With sufficient stimulation, and under the proper psychological circumstances, the individual usually progresses to the reflexive stage of orgasm. A peak of physical arousal and pleasure is reached. Breathing is rapid, blood pressure and heartbeat reach high levels, the skin flushes, and the individuals partially loses muscular control for a brief time and experiences involuntary spasms of many muscle groups. There is little variability in the orgasmic phase of men, but much more variation in the orgasms of women. Three common patterns of female orgasmic response have been distinguished (Masters and Johnson, 1966). Some women reach a single brief and intense orgasm, like that of men. Other women, depending on the circumstance, experience multiple intense orgasmic peaks. Other women experience a large number of smaller peaks of orgasm. 21

22 3.2 Resolution Phase Following orgasm, the body s level of physical arousal rapidly declines in the resolution phase. Within a few minutes, body returns to a condition much like its original state prior to the beginning of the response cycle, although heightened relaxation and tiredness are common. In males, the resolution phase is accompanied by a period of time when the male is unresponsive to further sexual stimulation, termed the refractory period. Although women briefly may be too sensitive to enjoy further sexual stimulation during the resolution phase, with individual preferences determining her interest in further stimulation, there is no refractory period in which women are physically incapable of resumed sexual arousal. 4.0 Conclusion The anatomy of both male and females is constructed to provide the most efficient means of copulation and reproduction. Sexual functioning, referred to as the sexual response cycle, is similar for male and females, with the primary differences being that men have a refractory period that requires a regeneration of energy between response cycles and women do not have such a refractory period, increasing the potential for repeated orgasms. The differences between men and women in terms of sexual response, however, are far less than once believed. 5.0 Summary In this unit, we have looked at the sexual anatomy of men and women and how they are designed for sexual intercourse and reproduction. We also described the sexual response cycles of men and women. 22

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