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Human female sexuality

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Title: Human female sexuality  
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Human female sexuality

Symbol representative of the female gender.

Human female sexuality encompasses a broad range of behaviors and processes, including female sexual identity and sexual behavior, the physiological, psychological, social, cultural, political, and spiritual or religious aspects of sexual activity. Various aspects and dimensions of female sexuality, as a part of human sexuality, have also been addressed by principles of ethics, morality, and theology. In almost any historical era and culture, the arts, including literary and visual arts, as well as popular culture, present a substantial portion of a given society's views on human sexuality, which also include implicitly or explicitly female sexuality.

In most societies and legal jurisdictions, there are legal bounds on what sexual behavior is permitted. Sexuality varies across the cultures and regions of the world, and has continually changed throughout history, and this applies equally to female sexuality. Aspects of female sexuality include issues pertaining to biological sex, body image, self-esteem, personality, sexual orientation, values and attitudes, gender roles, relationships, activity options, and communication.

Contents

  • Physiological 1
    • Orgasm 1.1
      • Multiple orgasms 1.1.1
      • Biological and evolutionary function 1.1.2
    • Erogenous zones 1.2
  • Historical conceptions and control 2
  • Modern studies 3
  • Feminist concepts 4
  • Women as responsible for sexual safety 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Physiological

Orgasm

[3] Additionally, some women may require more than one type of sexual stimulation in order to achieve orgasm.

Orgasm in women has typically been divided into two categories: glans of the clitoris, or clitoris as a whole, has more than 8,000 sensory nerve endings, as many (or more in some cases) nerve endings present in the human penis or glans penis.[13][14][15] As the clitoris is homologous to the penis, it is the equivalent in its capacity to receive sexual stimulation.[6][16]

Although vaginal orgasms are more difficult to achieve,[5][13][17] the G-spot area may produce an orgasm if properly stimulated.[17][18] The G-spot's existence, and existence as a distinct structure, is still under dispute, as its location may vary from woman to woman and appears to be nonexistent in some women[17][18][19] and it is hypothesized to be an extension of the clitoris.[11][17]

Multiple orgasms

Women are able to experience multiple orgasms.[20][21] 'Multiple' means more than one orgasm, experienced one immediately after another, while 'sequential' means orgasms occur one after another but are separated by a few minutes. Even though multiple orgasms are very rarely experienced, they are not impossible. Author Mark Levinson considers them to be the ultimate climax women can achieve.[22] Sometimes, female multiple orgasms are accompanied by female ejaculation.

Women are able to achieve multiple orgasms due to the fact that they generally do not require a

  • Maggie Wittlin, "Girls Gone Wild...For Monkeys", Seed Magazine" (10/14/2005)
  • Sally Lehrman, The Virtues of Promiscuity
  • Jennifer Armstrong, "Slut" is Not A Four Letter Word
  • Sexual pleasure as a human right: Harmful or helpful to women in the context of HIV/AIDS?, by Jennifer Oriel, University of Melbourne

External links

  1. ^ Masters, W.H., & Johnson, V.E. (1970). Human Sexual Response. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. 
  2. ^ "Orgasm". Health.discovery.com. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Mayo Clinic; Womans Health".  
  4. ^ Mah K, Binik YM (May 2002). "Do all orgasms feel alike? Evaluating a two-dimensional model of the orgasm experience across gender and sexual context". Journal of Sex Research 39 (2): 104–13.  
  5. ^ a b c  
  6. ^ a b c "'I Want a Better Orgasm!'".  
  7. ^ Joseph A. Flaherty, John Marcell Davis, Philip G. Janicak (1993, Digitized Oct 29, 2010). Psychiatry: Diagnosis & therapy. A Lange clinical manual. Appleton & Lange (Original from Northwestern University). p. 217.  
  8. ^ Mah, Kenneth; Binik, Yitzchak M (7 January 2001). "The nature of human orgasm: a critical review of major trends".  
  9. ^ Kammerer-Doak, Dorothy; Rogers, Rebecca G. (June 2008). "Female Sexual Function and Dysfunction". Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America 35 (2): 169–183.  
  10. ^ a b Federation of Feminist Women’s Health Centers (1991). A New View of a Woman’s Body. Feminist Heath Press. p. 46.  
  11. ^ a b c d e f O'Connell HE, Sanjeevan KV, Hutson JM (October 2005). "Anatomy of the clitoris". The Journal of Urology 174 (4 Pt 1): 1189–95.  
  12. ^ a b Elisabeth Anne Lloyd (2005). The case of the female orgasm: bias in the science of evolution. Harvard University Press. pp. 311 pages.  
  13. ^ a b "I'm a woman who cannot feel pleasurable sensations during intercourse".  
  14. ^ Harvey, Elizabeth D. (Winter 2002). "Anatomies of Rapture: Clitoral Politics/Medical Blazons".  
  15. ^ Carroll, Janell L. (2009). Sexuality Now: Embracing Diversity.  
  16. ^ Francoeur, Robert T. (2000). The Complete Dictionary of Sexology. The Continuum Publishing Company. p. 180.  
  17. ^ a b c d e Kilchevsky A, Vardi Y, Lowenstein L, Gruenwald I. (January 2012). "Is the Female G-Spot Truly a Distinct Anatomic Entity?".  
  18. ^ a b c "The G-spot". health.discovery.com. Retrieved December 21, 2011. 
  19. ^ a b Hines T (August 2001). "The G-Spot: A modern gynecologic myth". Am J Obstet Gynecol 185 (2): 359–62.  
  20. ^ a b Rosenthal, Martha (2012). Human Sexuality: From Cells to Society.  
  21. ^ a b The Sexual Response Cycle,  
  22. ^ Levinson, Mark (2003). Satisfaction: The Art of the Female Orgasm.  
  23. ^ Daniel L. Schacter, Daniel T. Gilbert, Daniel M. Wegner (2010). Psychology.  
  24. ^ Irving B. Weiner, W. Edward Craighead (2010). The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology, Volume 2.  
  25. ^ Crooks, Robert (2002). Our Sexuality. Wadsworth-Thomson Learning.  
  26. ^ Dunn ME, Trost JE (October 1989). "Male multiple orgasms: a descriptive study". Archives of Sexual Behavior 18 (5): 377–87.  
  27. ^ Rathus, Spencer A.; Nevid, Jeffrey S.; Fichner-Rathus, Lois; Herold, Edward S.; McKenzie, Sue Wicks (2005). Human Sexuality In A World Of Diversity (Second ed.). New Jersey, USA: Pearson Education. 
  28. ^ Cairney, Richard (October 21, 2002). "Exploring female sexuality". ExpressNews. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2011. 
  29. ^  
  30. ^ Review of General Psychology, by the Educational Publishing Foundation 2002, Vol. 6, No. 2, 166 –203: Cultural Suppression of Female Sexuality
  31. ^ WHO, February 2014: Female genital mutilation
  32. ^ UNICEF: Female genital mutilation/cutting
  33. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/honourcrimes/
  34. ^ http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honor%20killing
  35. ^ http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/honor+killing?s=t
  36. ^ Pitts-Talyor, Victoria (2008). Cultural Encyclopedia of the Body.  
  37. ^ http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chastity%20belt
  38. ^ http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/chastity+belt
  39. ^ John Archer, Barbara Lloyd (2002). Sex and Gender.  
  40. ^  
  41. ^ Duggan, Lisa; Hunter, Nan D. (1995). Sex wars: sexual dissent and political culture. New York: Routledge.  
  42. ^ Hansen, Karen Tranberg;; Philipson, Ilene J. (1990). Women, class, and the feminist imagination: a socialist-feminist reader. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.  
  43. ^ Gerhard, Jane F. (2001). Desiring revolution: second-wave feminism and the rewriting of American sexual thought, 1920 to 1982. New York: Columbia University Press.  
  44. ^  
  45. ^ Vance, Carole S. Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality. Thorsons Publishers.  
  46. ^ a b Bourne, Adam H., and Margaret A. Robson. "Perceiving risk and (re)constructing safety: The lived experience of having 'safe' sex." Health, Risk & Safety. 11.3 (2009): 283-295. Print.
  47. ^ "Low condom use among sexually active adults in the united states". Retrieved 2011-01-20. 
  48. ^ http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/sexual_health/defining_sexual_health.pdf
  49. ^ http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/sexual_health/defining_sexual_health.pdf
  50. ^ http://www.nyu.edu/classes/jackson/sex.and.gender/Readings/DownSoLong--Sexuality.pdf
  51. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/apr/12/gender.politicsphilosophyandsociety
  52. ^ Gavey, N., McPhillips, K., and Doherty, M. (2001). If it’s not on, it’s not on -- or is it?. Los Angeles: Pine Forge Press. p. 323.  
  53. ^ Johnson, M. Jr. (2010). "'Just getting off": the inseparability of ejaculation and hegemonic masculinity'". Journal of Men’s Studies 18 (3): 238–248.  
  54. ^ Garvey, Nicola, Kathryn McPhillips, and Marion Doherty. Trans. Array The Kaleidoscope of Gender: Prisms, patterns, and possibilities. Joan Z. Spade and Catherine G. Valentine. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press, 2011. 323-332. Print.
  55. ^ Cook, Catherine. "'Nice girls don't': women and the condom conundrum." Journal of Clinical Nursing. 21. (2011): 535-543. Print.
  56. ^ Alexander , Kamila A., Christopher L. Coleman, Janet A. Deatrick, and Loretta S. Jemmott. "Moving beyond safe sex to woman-controlled safe sex: a concept analysis." Journal of Advanced Nursing. 68.8 (2001): 1858-1869. Print.
  57. ^ McPhillips, Kathryn, Virginia Braun, and Nicola Gavey. "Defining (Hetero)Sex: How imperative is the "coital imperative"?." Women's Studies International Form. 24.2 (2001): 229-240. Print.
  58. ^ Taylor, B.M. (1995). "' Gender—power relations and safer sex negotiation*'". Journal of Advanced Nursing 22 (4): 687–693.  

References

See also

Another social idea of sexuality is the coital imperative. The coital imperative is the idea that for sex to be real, there must be penile-vaginal intercourse. For many women, this imposes limitations to the sexual possibilities[6][10][11] and a condom is seen as a symbol of the end of the sexual experience. Public acceptance of penis-vagina penetration as central to a sexual relationship is reinforced by the focus on condom use.[57] These ideas, male sex drive and coital imperative, paired with the social construction of femininity, may lead to an imbalance of the power in making the decision to use a condom.[58]

Others speculate that the responsibility for condom use falling on women is not so much imposed by society, but is instead resultant of the possible consequences of unprotected sex being generally more serious for women than men (pregnancy, greater likelihood of STI transmission, etc.). Bacterial STIs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, show that rates among women can be three times higher than men in high prevalence areas of the United States, and one-fourth of pregnancies in developing countries and one-half of pregnancies in the United States are unintended.[56]

Socially constructed masculinity might suggest that men have a higher sex drive than women, that men are constantly interested in sex, and that once men are sexually aroused, they must be satisfied through orgasm.[52] This drive is intertwined with the male identity and consequently creates a momentum that, once started, is difficult to stop.[53] Socially constructed femininity might suggest the connotation of passivity, which has impacted the cultural importance of female desire. This is a factor that contributes to women's sexual desires being largely ignored; because men are seen as unable to control their sexuality, this can make women responsible for enforcing condom use instead of the "uncontrollable" male. Some scholars argue that a contributing factor in this division of responsibility for safe sex factors is the privileged status of male desire in Western culture, as indicated by the commonly held belief that the female sexual experience is not adversely impacted by condom use but that the male sexual experience is diminished with the addition of this barrier.[54] They believe that this is problematic, as the use of condoms is symbolically linked to casual sex and promiscuity, which goes against the social norms of femininity.[55] This link is considered something that cannot be underestimated as "discontinuation of condom use becomes a test or a marker which signifies the existence of a committed and exclusive relationship," and demonstrates trust.[46]

The social construction of masculinity and femininity play a lead role in understanding why women are commonly held responsible for the outcome of sexual encounters. Often, societies create different sexual norms and assumptions for women and men, with female and male sexuality often seen as being the opposite of one another: for example, females are commonly taught that they "should not want sexual activity or find it pleasurable, or have sexual relations outside of marriage," while males are commonly taught to "feel entitled to have sexual relations and pleasure and that their self-worth is demonstrated through their sexual prowess and notions of authority and power".[48] Sexual interactions often take place in unequal structural circumstances in the context of imbalance of power between men and women.[49][50] Feminists, such as Catharine Mackinnon, have stated that the inequality in which heterosexual intercourse takes place should not be ignored and should play a crucial role in policies; Mackinnon has argued: "The assumption is that women can be unequal to men economically, socially, culturally, politically, and in religion, but the moment they have sexual interactions, they are free and equal. That's the assumption - and I think it ought to be thought about, and in particular what consent then means."[51]

Since the emergence of sexual independence (in the West), health officials have launched campaigns to bring awareness to the risks of unprotected sexual intercourse. While the dangers of unprotected sex include unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs/STDs), with HIV/AIDS being the deadliest, the use of contraceptive devices (the most reliable being condoms) remain inconsistent.[47] Campaigns that advocate consistent condom use are frequently targeted toward women. They often place the greatest responsibility for safe sex on women and there are several social constructions and assumptions that are to be taken into account to understand the reasoning why.

With regard to the responsibility for safe sexual activity in heterosexual relationships, the commonly held definition of safe sex may be examined; it has been argued that there are three facets to the common perception of safe sex: emotional safety (trusting one's partner), psychological safety (feeling safe), and biomedical safety (the barrier of fluids which may cause pregnancy or transmit disease). The phrase "safe sex" is commonly known to refer to biomedical safety.[46]

Women as responsible for sexual safety

Matters such as the sex industry, sexual representation in the media, and issues regarding consent to sex under conditions of male dominance have been more controversial topics among feminists. These debates culminated in the late 1970s and the 1980s, in what came to be known as the Feminist Sex Wars, which pitted anti-pornography feminism against sex-positive feminism. Parts of the feminist movement were deeply divided on these issues.[41][42][43][44][45]

Feminist attitudes to female sexuality have varied in scope throughout the movement's history. Generally, modern feminists advocate for all women to have access to sexual healthcare and education, and agree on the importance of reproductive health freedoms, particularly regarding issues such as birth control and family planning. Bodily autonomy and consent are also concepts of high importance in modern feminist views of female sexuality.

Lesbianism and female bisexuality also emerged as topics of interest within feminism. A short-lived concept of political lesbianism within the feminist movement led to temporary schisms between heterosexual and lesbian women, then rapidly floundered in the face of the acceptance that most women's sexuality was not defined by politics, but by their own sexual preferences.

The feminist movement, and the increasing social status of women in modern society, have led to women's sexuality being reassessed as a subject in its own right. During the 1970s and 1980s, in the wake of the sexual revolution, numerous feminist writers started to address the question of female sexuality from their own female perspective, rather than allowing female sexuality to be defined in terms of largely male studies. One of the first such popular non-fiction books was Nancy Friday's My Secret Garden. Other writers, such as Germaine Greer, Simone de Beauvoir and Camille Paglia, were particularly influential in this, although their views were not universally or placidly accepted. Toward the end of the twentieth century the most significant European contributions to understanding female sexuality came from psychoanalytical French feminism, with the work of Luce Irigaray and Julia Kristeva.

Feminist concepts

urethra is closest to the vaginal wall. In 1981, sexologists John D. Perry and Beverly Whipple named that area the Gräfenberg spot, or G-spot, in his honor. While the medical community generally has not embraced the complete concept of the G-spot,[17][18][19] Sanger, Kinsey, and Masters and Johnson credit his extensive physiological work.

In the modern age, psychologists and physiologists engaged in the task of exploring female sexuality. Masters and Johnson (1966) and Helen O'Connell (2005), reject this distinction.[5][11][39][40]

Modern studies

Another historical device used to control female sexual behavior was the chastity belt, which is a locking item of clothing designed to prevent sexual intercourse. The belts were worn by women to protect their chastity, which included preventing masturbation or sexual access by unauthorized males.[36][37][38]

Methods employed to control female sexuality and behavior include the threat of death, such as honor killings. The reason for such a killing may include refusing to enter an arranged marriage, being in a relationship that is disapproved by their relatives, having sex outside marriage, becoming the victim of rape, or dressing in ways which are deemed inappropriate.[33][34][35]

Some controversial traditional cultural practices, such as female genital mutilation (FGM), have been described as attempts at nullifying women's sexuality altogether. FGM continues to be practised in some parts of Africa and the Middle East, as well as in some immigrant communities in Western countries, though it is widely outlawed. The procedure is typically carried out on young girls, before the age of 15.[31][32]

Historically, many cultures have viewed female sexuality as being subordinate to male sexuality, and as something to be controlled through restrictions on female behavior. Traditional cultural practices, such as enforced modesty and chastity, have historically tended to place restrictions principally on women, without imposing similar restrictions on men.[30]

In the ancient civilizations of India, Japan, and China, the subject of female sexuality was expressed in several writings and commentaries. For example, much of the Kama Sutra, an ancient Indian treatise on sex and sexuality, deals with female sexuality.

Historical conceptions and control

The female erogenous zones are areas with nerve endings that increase the sensitivity and their stimulation results in sexual response. The aim of exploring the female erogenous areas is to increase her level of arousal in order to enjoy the act and potentially reach an orgasm. The erogenous zones are different from woman to woman and it is also likely that the stimulation of the erogenous areas that some women find pleasant and exciting may be impossible to bear for others.

Erogenous zones

At the 2002 conference for Canadian Society of Women in Philosophy, researcher Nancy Tuana asserted that the clitoris is unnecessary in reproduction and therefore it has been "historically ignored," mainly because of "a fear of pleasure. It is pleasure separated from reproduction. That's the fear". She reasoned that this fear is the cause of the ignorance that veils female sexuality.[28] Other theories suggest that cervix, where it is in a better position to reach the egg.[29]

[11] O'Connell used [11] Researcher Helen O'Connell said, "It boils down to rivalry between the sexes: the idea that one sex is sexual and the other reproductive. The truth is that both are sexual and both are reproductive."[12] The biological function of a woman's orgasm is not completely understood, as some researchers suggest that it does not appear to serve an essential purpose to human survival.

Biological and evolutionary function

[27]

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