Human sexuality

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This article is about human sexual anatomy, sexuality and perceptions. Human sexuality_sentence_0

For information specifically about sexual activities, see Human sexual activity. Human sexuality_sentence_1

"Sexuality" redirects here. Human sexuality_sentence_2

For sexual behavior among other animals, see Animal sexual behaviour. Human sexuality_sentence_3

For other uses, see Sexuality (disambiguation). Human sexuality_sentence_4

For the book, see Human Sexuality (book). Human sexuality_sentence_5

Human sexuality is the way people experience and express themselves sexually. Human sexuality_sentence_6

This involves biological, erotic, physical, emotional, social, or spiritual feelings and behaviors. Human sexuality_sentence_7

Because it is a broad term, which has varied with historical contexts over time, it lacks a precise definition. Human sexuality_sentence_8

The biological and physical aspects of sexuality largely concern the human reproductive functions, including the human sexual response cycle. Human sexuality_sentence_9

Someone's sexual orientation is their pattern of sexual interest in the opposite or same sex. Human sexuality_sentence_10

Physical and emotional aspects of sexuality include bonds between individuals that are expressed through profound feelings or physical manifestations of love, trust, and care. Human sexuality_sentence_11

Social aspects deal with the effects of human society on one's sexuality, while spirituality concerns an individual's spiritual connection with others. Human sexuality_sentence_12

Sexuality also affects and is affected by cultural, political, legal, philosophical, moral, ethical, and religious aspects of life. Human sexuality_sentence_13

Interest in sexual activity typically increases when an individual reaches puberty. Human sexuality_sentence_14

Although no single theory on the cause of sexual orientation has yet gained widespread support, there is considerably more evidence supporting nonsocial causes of sexual orientation than social ones, especially for males. Human sexuality_sentence_15

Hypothesized social causes are supported by only weak evidence, distorted by numerous confounding factors. Human sexuality_sentence_16

This is further supported by cross-cultural evidence, because cultures that are very tolerant of homosexuality do not have significantly higher rates of it. Human sexuality_sentence_17

Evolutionary perspectives on human coupling, reproduction and reproduction strategies, and social learning theory provide further views of sexuality. Human sexuality_sentence_18

Sociocultural aspects of sexuality include historical developments and religious beliefs. Human sexuality_sentence_19

Some cultures have been described as sexually repressive. Human sexuality_sentence_20

The study of sexuality also includes human identity within social groups, sexually transmitted infections (STIs/STDs), and birth control methods. Human sexuality_sentence_21

Development Human sexuality_section_0

Sexual orientation Human sexuality_section_1

Main article: Sexual orientation Human sexuality_sentence_22

There is considerably more evidence supporting innate causes of sexual orientation than learned ones, especially for males. Human sexuality_sentence_23

This evidence includes the cross-cultural correlation of homosexuality and childhood gender nonconformity, moderate genetic influences found in twin studies, evidence 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 deformity, they nevertheless turned out attracted to females. Human sexuality_sentence_24

Hypothesized social causes are supported by only weak evidence, distorted by numerous confounding factors. Human sexuality_sentence_25

Cross-cultural evidence also leans more toward non-social causes. Human sexuality_sentence_26

Cultures that are very tolerant of homosexuality do not have significantly higher rates of it. Human sexuality_sentence_27

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 in homosexual behavior than those who did not. Human sexuality_sentence_28

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. Human sexuality_sentence_29

It is not fully understood why genes causing homosexuality persist in the gene pool. Human sexuality_sentence_30

One hypothesis involves kin selection, suggesting that homosexuals invest heavily enough in their relatives to offset the cost of not reproducing as much directly. Human sexuality_sentence_31

This has not been supported by studies in Western cultures, but several studies in Samoa have found some support for this hypothesis. Human sexuality_sentence_32

Another hypothesis involves sexually antagonistic genes, which cause homosexuality when expressed in males but increase reproduction when expressed in females. Human sexuality_sentence_33

Studies in both Western and non-Western cultures have found support for this hypothesis. Human sexuality_sentence_34

Gender differences Human sexuality_section_2

See also: Sex differences in psychology § Sexual behavior Human sexuality_sentence_35

Psychological theories exist regarding the development and expression of gender differences in human sexuality. Human sexuality_sentence_36

A number of them (including neo-analytic theories, sociobiological theories, social learning theory, social role theory, and script theory) agree in predicting that men should be more approving of casual sex (sex happening outside a stable, committed relationship such as marriage) and should also be more promiscuous (have a higher number of sexual partners) than women. Human sexuality_sentence_37

These theories are mostly consistent with observed differences in males' and females' attitudes toward casual sex before marriage in the United States. Human sexuality_sentence_38

Other aspects of human sexuality, such as sexual satisfaction, incidence of oral sex, and attitudes toward homosexuality and masturbation, show little to no observed difference between males and females. Human sexuality_sentence_39

Observed gender differences regarding the number of sexual partners are modest, with males tending to have slightly more than females. Human sexuality_sentence_40

Biological and physiological aspects Human sexuality_section_3

Main article: Human reproductive system Human sexuality_sentence_41

Like other mammals, humans are primarily grouped into either the male or female sex, with a small proportion (around 1% or 0.018%) of intersex individuals, for whom sexual classification may not be as clear. Human sexuality_sentence_42

The biological aspects of humans' sexuality deal with the reproductive system, the sexual response cycle, and the factors that affect these aspects. Human sexuality_sentence_43

They also deal with the influence of biological factors on other aspects of sexuality, such as organic and neurological responses, heredity, hormonal issues, gender issues, and sexual dysfunction. Human sexuality_sentence_44

Physical anatomy and reproduction Human sexuality_section_4

Males and females are anatomically similar; this extends to some degree to the development of the reproductive system. Human sexuality_sentence_45

As adults, they have different reproductive mechanisms that enable them to perform sexual acts and to reproduce. Human sexuality_sentence_46

Men and women react to sexual stimuli in a similar fashion with minor differences. Human sexuality_sentence_47

Women have a monthly reproductive cycle, whereas the male sperm production cycle is more continuous. Human sexuality_sentence_48

Brain Human sexuality_section_5

The hypothalamus is the most important part of the brain for sexual functioning. Human sexuality_sentence_49

This is a small area at the base of the brain consisting of several groups of nerve cell bodies that receives input from the limbic system. Human sexuality_sentence_50

Studies have shown that within lab animals, destruction of certain areas of the hypothalamus causes the elimination of sexual behavior. Human sexuality_sentence_51

The hypothalamus is important because of its relationship to the pituitary gland, which lies beneath it. Human sexuality_sentence_52

The pituitary gland secretes hormones that are produced in the hypothalamus and itself. Human sexuality_sentence_53

The four important sexual hormones are oxytocin, prolactin, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone. Human sexuality_sentence_54

Oxytocin, sometimes referred to as the "love hormone," is released in both sexes during sexual intercourse when an orgasm is achieved. Human sexuality_sentence_55

Oxytocin has been suggested as critical to the thoughts and behaviors required to maintain close relationships. Human sexuality_sentence_56

The hormone is also released in women when they give birth or are breastfeeding. Human sexuality_sentence_57

Both prolactin and oxytocin stimulate milk production in women. Human sexuality_sentence_58

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is responsible for ovulation in women, which acts by triggering egg maturity; in men it stimulates sperm production. Human sexuality_sentence_59

Luteinizing hormone (LH) triggers ovulation, which is the release of a mature egg. Human sexuality_sentence_60

Male anatomy and reproductive system Human sexuality_section_6

Main article: Human male reproductive system Human sexuality_sentence_61

Males also have both internal and external genitalia that are responsible for procreation and sexual intercourse. Human sexuality_sentence_62

Production of spermatozoa (sperm) is also cyclic, but unlike the female ovulation cycle, the sperm production cycle is constantly producing millions of sperm daily. Human sexuality_sentence_63

External male anatomy Human sexuality_section_7

The male genitalia are the penis and the scrotum. Human sexuality_sentence_64

The penis provides a passageway for sperm and urine. Human sexuality_sentence_65

An average-sized flaccid penis is about 3 ⁄4 inches (9.5 cm) in length and 1 ⁄5 inches (3.0 cm) in diameter. Human sexuality_sentence_66

When erect, the average penis is between 4 ⁄2 inches (11 cm) to 6 inches (15 cm) in length and 1 ⁄2 inches (3.8 cm) in diameter. Human sexuality_sentence_67

The penis's internal structures consist of the shaft, glans, and the root. Human sexuality_sentence_68

The shaft of the penis consists of three cylindrical bodies of spongy tissue filled with blood vessels along its length. Human sexuality_sentence_69

Two of these bodies lie side by side in the upper portion of the penis called corpora cavernosa. Human sexuality_sentence_70

The third, called the corpus spongiosum, is a tube that lies centrally beneath the others and expands at the end to form the tip of the penis (glans). Human sexuality_sentence_71

The raised rim at the border of the shaft and glans is called the corona. Human sexuality_sentence_72

The urethra runs through the shaft, providing an exit for sperm and urine. Human sexuality_sentence_73

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 (bulb). Human sexuality_sentence_74

The root is surrounded by two muscles; the bulbocavernosus muscle and the ischiocavernosus muscle, which aid urination and ejaculation. Human sexuality_sentence_75

The penis has a foreskin that typically covers the glans; this is sometimes removed by circumcision for medical, religious or cultural reasons. Human sexuality_sentence_76

In the scrotum, the testicles are held away from the body, one possible reason for this is so sperm can be produced in an environment slightly lower than normal body temperature. Human sexuality_sentence_77

Internal male anatomy Human sexuality_section_8

Male internal reproductive structures are the testicles, the duct system, the prostate and seminal vesicles, and the Cowper's gland. Human sexuality_sentence_78

The testicles (male gonads), are where sperm and male hormones are produced. Human sexuality_sentence_79

Millions of sperm are produced daily in several hundred seminiferous tubules. Human sexuality_sentence_80

Cells called the Leydig cells lie between the tubules; these produce hormones called androgens; these consist of testosterone and inhibin. Human sexuality_sentence_81

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. Human sexuality_sentence_82

Sperm gets transported through a four-part duct system. Human sexuality_sentence_83

The first part of this system is the epididymis. Human sexuality_sentence_84

The testicles converge to form the seminiferous tubules, coiled tubes at the top and back of each testicle. Human sexuality_sentence_85

The second part of the duct system is the vas deferens, a muscular tube that begins at the lower end of the epididymis. Human sexuality_sentence_86

The vas deferens passes upward along the side of the testicles to become part of the spermatic cord. Human sexuality_sentence_87

The expanded end is the ampulla, which stores sperm before ejaculation. Human sexuality_sentence_88

The third part of the duct system is the ejaculatory ducts, which are 1-inch (2.5 cm)-long paired tubes that pass through the prostate gland, where semen is produced. Human sexuality_sentence_89

The prostate gland is a solid, chestnut-shaped organ that surrounds the first part of the urethra, which carries urine and semen. Human sexuality_sentence_90

Similar to the female G-spot, the prostate provides sexual stimulation and can lead to orgasm through anal sex. Human sexuality_sentence_91

The prostate gland and the seminal vesicles produce seminal fluid that is mixed with sperm to create semen. Human sexuality_sentence_92

The prostate gland lies under the bladder and in front of the rectum. Human sexuality_sentence_93

It consists of two main zones: the inner zone that produces secretions to keep the lining of the male urethra moist and the outer zone that produces seminal fluids to facilitate the passage of semen. Human sexuality_sentence_94

The seminal vesicles secrete fructose for sperm activation and mobilization, prostaglandins to cause uterine contractions that aid movement through the uterus, and bases that help neutralize the acidity of the vagina. Human sexuality_sentence_95

The Cowper's glands, or bulbourethral glands, are two pea sized structures beneath the prostate. Human sexuality_sentence_96

Female anatomy and reproductive system Human sexuality_section_9

Main article: Human female reproductive system Human sexuality_sentence_97

External female anatomy Human sexuality_section_10

The mons veneris, also known as the Mound of Venus, is a soft layer of fatty tissue overlaying the pubic bone. Human sexuality_sentence_98

Following puberty, this area grows in size. Human sexuality_sentence_99

It has many nerve endings and is sensitive to stimulation. Human sexuality_sentence_100

The labia minora and labia majora are collectively known as the lips. Human sexuality_sentence_101

The labia majora are two elongated folds of skin extending from the mons to the perineum. Human sexuality_sentence_102

Its outer surface becomes covered with hair after puberty. Human sexuality_sentence_103

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. Human sexuality_sentence_104

The labia minora become engorged with blood during sexual stimulation, causing them to swell and turn red. Human sexuality_sentence_105

The labia minora are composed of connective tissues that are richly supplied with blood vessels which cause the pinkish appearance. Human sexuality_sentence_106

Near the anus, the labia minora merge with the labia majora. Human sexuality_sentence_107

In a sexually unstimulated state, the labia minora protects the vaginal and urethral opening by covering them. Human sexuality_sentence_108

At the base of the labia minora are the Bartholin's glands, which add a few drops of an alkaline fluid to the vagina via ducts; this fluid helps to counteract the acidity of the outer vagina since sperm cannot live in an acidic environment. Human sexuality_sentence_109

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 endings as the human penis or glans penis, making it extremely sensitive to touch. Human sexuality_sentence_110

The clitoral glans, which is a small, elongated erectile structure, has only one known function—sexual sensations. Human sexuality_sentence_111

It is the main source of orgasm in women. Human sexuality_sentence_112

Thick secretions called smegma collect around the clitoris. Human sexuality_sentence_113

The vaginal opening and the urethral opening are only visible when the labia minora are parted. Human sexuality_sentence_114

These opening have many nerve endings that make them sensitive to touch. Human sexuality_sentence_115

They are surrounded by a ring of sphincter muscles called the bulbocavernosus muscle. Human sexuality_sentence_116

Underneath this muscle and on opposite sides of the vaginal opening are the vestibular bulbs, which help the vagina grip the penis by swelling with blood during arousal. Human sexuality_sentence_117

Within the vaginal opening is the hymen, a thin membrane that partially covers the opening in many virgins. Human sexuality_sentence_118

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. Human sexuality_sentence_119

The hymen can be ruptured by activities other than sexual intercourse. Human sexuality_sentence_120

The urethral opening connects to the bladder with the urethra; it expels urine from the bladder. Human sexuality_sentence_121

This is located below the clitoris and above the vaginal opening. Human sexuality_sentence_122

The breasts are the subcutaneous tissues on the front thorax of the female body. Human sexuality_sentence_123

Though they are not technically part of a woman's sexual anatomy, they do have roles in both sexual pleasure and reproduction. Human sexuality_sentence_124

Breasts are modified sweat glands made up of fibrous tissues and fat that provide support and contain nerves, blood vessels and lymphatic vessels. Human sexuality_sentence_125

Their main purpose is to provide milk to a developing infant. Human sexuality_sentence_126

Breasts develop during puberty in response to an increase in estrogen. Human sexuality_sentence_127

Each adult breast consists of 15 to 20 milk-producing mammary glands, irregularly shaped lobes that include alveolar glands and a lactiferous duct leading to the nipple. Human sexuality_sentence_128

The lobes are separated by dense connective tissues that support the glands and attach them to the tissues on the underlying pectoral muscles. Human sexuality_sentence_129

Other connective tissue, which forms dense strands called suspensory ligaments, extends inward from the skin of the breast to the pectoral tissue to support the weight of the breast. Human sexuality_sentence_130

Heredity and the quantity of fatty tissue determine the size of the breasts. Human sexuality_sentence_131

Men typically find female breasts attractive and this holds true for a variety of cultures. Human sexuality_sentence_132

In women, stimulation of the nipple seems to result in activation of the brain's genital sensory cortex (the same region of the brain activated by stimulation of the clitoris, vagina, and cervix). Human sexuality_sentence_133

This may be why many women find nipple stimulation arousing and why some women are able to orgasm by nipple stimulation alone. Human sexuality_sentence_134

Internal female anatomy Human sexuality_section_11

Main article: Female reproductive system Human sexuality_sentence_135

The female internal reproductive organs are the vagina, uterus, Fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Human sexuality_sentence_136

The vagina is a sheath-like canal that extends from the vulva to the cervix. Human sexuality_sentence_137

It receives the penis during intercourse and serves as a depository for sperm. Human sexuality_sentence_138

The vagina is also the birth canal; it can expand to 10 cm (3.9 in) during labor and delivery. Human sexuality_sentence_139

The vagina is located between the bladder and the rectum. Human sexuality_sentence_140

The vagina is normally collapsed, but during sexual arousal it opens, lengthens, and produces lubrication to allow the insertion of the penis. Human sexuality_sentence_141

The vagina has three layered walls; it is a self-cleaning organ with natural bacteria that suppress the production of yeast. Human sexuality_sentence_142

The G-spot, named after the Ernst Gräfenberg who first reported it in 1950, may be located in the front wall of the vagina and may cause orgasms. Human sexuality_sentence_143

This area may vary in size and location between women; in some it may be absent. Human sexuality_sentence_144

Various researchers dispute its structure or existence, or regard it as an extension of the clitoris. Human sexuality_sentence_145

The uterus or womb is a hollow, muscular organ where a fertilized egg (ovum) will implant itself and grow into a fetus. Human sexuality_sentence_146

The uterus lies in the pelvic cavity between the bladder and the bowel, and above the vagina. Human sexuality_sentence_147

It is usually positioned in a 90-degree angle tilting forward, although in about 20% of women it tilts backwards. Human sexuality_sentence_148

The uterus has three layers; the innermost layer is the endometrium, where the egg is implanted. Human sexuality_sentence_149

During ovulation, this thickens for implantation. Human sexuality_sentence_150

If implantation does not occur, it is sloughed off during menstruation. Human sexuality_sentence_151

The cervix is the narrow end of the uterus. Human sexuality_sentence_152

The broad part of the uterus is the fundus. Human sexuality_sentence_153

During ovulation, the ovum travels down the Fallopian tubes to the uterus. Human sexuality_sentence_154

These extend about four inches (10 cm) from both sides of the uterus. Human sexuality_sentence_155

Finger-like projections at the ends of the tubes brush the ovaries and receive the ovum once it is released. Human sexuality_sentence_156

The ovum then travels for three to four days to the uterus. Human sexuality_sentence_157

After sexual intercourse, sperm swim up this funnel from the uterus. Human sexuality_sentence_158

The lining of the tube and its secretions sustain the egg and the sperm, encouraging fertilization and nourishing the ovum until it reaches the uterus. Human sexuality_sentence_159

If the ovum divides after fertilization, identical twins are produced. Human sexuality_sentence_160

If separate eggs are fertilized by different sperm, the mother gives birth to non-identical or fraternal twins. Human sexuality_sentence_161

The ovaries (female gonads), develop from the same embryonic tissue as the testicles. Human sexuality_sentence_162

The ovaries are suspended by ligaments and are the source where ova are stored and developed before ovulation. Human sexuality_sentence_163

The ovaries also produce female hormones progesterone and estrogen. Human sexuality_sentence_164

Within the ovaries, each ovum is surrounded by other cells and contained within a capsule called a primary follicle. Human sexuality_sentence_165

At puberty, one or more of these follicles are stimulated to mature on a monthly basis. Human sexuality_sentence_166

Once matured, these are called Graafian follicles. Human sexuality_sentence_167

The female reproductive system does not produce the ova; about 60,000 ova are present at birth, only 400 of which will mature during the woman's lifetime. Human sexuality_sentence_168

Ovulation is based on a monthly cycle; the 14th day is the most fertile. Human sexuality_sentence_169

On days one to four, menstruation and production of estrogen and progesterone decreases, and the endometrium starts thinning. Human sexuality_sentence_170

The endometrium is sloughed off for the next three to six days. Human sexuality_sentence_171

Once menstruation ends, the cycle begins again with an FSH surge from the pituitary gland. Human sexuality_sentence_172

Days five to thirteen are known as the pre-ovulatory stage. Human sexuality_sentence_173

During this stage, the pituitary gland secretes follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Human sexuality_sentence_174

A negative feedback loop is enacted when estrogen is secreted to inhibit the release of FSH. Human sexuality_sentence_175

Estrogen thickens the endometrium of the uterus. Human sexuality_sentence_176

A surge of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) triggers ovulation. Human sexuality_sentence_177

On day 14, the LH surge causes a Graafian follicle to surface the ovary. Human sexuality_sentence_178

The follicle ruptures and the ripe ovum is expelled into the abdominal cavity. Human sexuality_sentence_179

The fallopian tubes pick up the ovum with the fimbria. Human sexuality_sentence_180

The cervical mucus changes to aid the movement of sperm. Human sexuality_sentence_181

On days 15 to 28—the post-ovulatory stage, the Graafian follicle—now called the corpus luteum—secretes estrogen. Human sexuality_sentence_182

Production of progesterone increases, inhibiting LH release. Human sexuality_sentence_183

The endometrium thickens to prepare for implantation, and the ovum travels down the Fallopian tubes to the uterus. Human sexuality_sentence_184

If the ovum is not fertilized and does not implant, menstruation begins. Human sexuality_sentence_185

Sexual response cycle Human sexuality_section_12

The sexual response cycle is a model that describes the physiological responses that occur during sexual activity. Human sexuality_sentence_186

This model was created by William Masters and Virginia Johnson. Human sexuality_sentence_187

According to Masters and Johnson, the human sexual response cycle consists of four phases; excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution, also called the EPOR model. Human sexuality_sentence_188

During the excitement phase of the EPOR model, one attains the intrinsic motivation to have sex. Human sexuality_sentence_189

The plateau phase is the precursor to orgasm, which may be mostly biological for men and mostly psychological for women. Human sexuality_sentence_190

Orgasm is the release of tension, and the resolution period is the unaroused state before the cycle begins again. Human sexuality_sentence_191

The male sexual response cycle starts in the excitement phase; two centers in the spine are responsible for erections. Human sexuality_sentence_192

Vasoconstriction in the penis begins, the heart rate increases, the scrotum thickens, the spermatic cord shortens, and the testicles become engorged with blood. Human sexuality_sentence_193

In the plateau phase, the penis increases in diameter, the testicles become more engorged, and the Cowper's glands secrete pre-seminal fluid. Human sexuality_sentence_194

The orgasm phase, during which rhythmic contractions occur every 0.8 seconds, consists of two phases; the emission phase, in which contractions of the vas deferens, prostate, and seminal vesicles encourage ejaculation, which is the second phase of orgasm. Human sexuality_sentence_195

Ejaculation is called the expulsion phase; it cannot be reached without an orgasm. Human sexuality_sentence_196

In the resolution phase, the male is now in an unaroused state consisting of a refractory (rest) period before the cycle can begin. Human sexuality_sentence_197

This rest period may increase with age. Human sexuality_sentence_198

The female sexual response begins with the excitement phase, which can last from several minutes to several hours. Human sexuality_sentence_199

Characteristics of this phase include increased heart and respiratory rate, and an elevation of blood pressure. Human sexuality_sentence_200

Flushed skin or blotches of redness may occur on the chest and back; breasts increase slightly in size and nipples may become hardened and erect. Human sexuality_sentence_201

The onset of vasocongestion results in swelling of the clitoris, labia minora, and vagina. Human sexuality_sentence_202

The muscle that surrounds the vaginal opening tightens and the uterus elevates and grows in size. Human sexuality_sentence_203

The vaginal walls begin to produce a lubricating liquid. Human sexuality_sentence_204

The second phase, called the plateau phase, is characterized primarily by the intensification of the changes begun during the excitement phase. Human sexuality_sentence_205

The plateau phase extends to the brink of orgasm, which initiates the resolution stage; the reversal of the changes begun during the excitement phase. Human sexuality_sentence_206

During the orgasm stage the heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, and breathing rates peak. Human sexuality_sentence_207

The pelvic muscle near the vagina, the anal sphincter, and the uterus contract. Human sexuality_sentence_208

Muscle contractions in the vaginal area create a high level of pleasure, though all orgasms are centered in the clitoris. Human sexuality_sentence_209

Sexual dysfunction and sexual problems Human sexuality_section_13

Main article: Sexual dysfunction Human sexuality_sentence_210

Sexual disorders, according to the DSM-IV-TR, are disturbances in sexual desire and psycho-physiological changes that characterize the sexual response cycle and cause marked distress and interpersonal difficulty. Human sexuality_sentence_211

The sexual dysfunctions is a result of physical or psychological disorders. Human sexuality_sentence_212

The physical causes include hormonal imbalance, diabetes, heart disease and more. Human sexuality_sentence_213

The psychological causes includes but are not limited to stress, anxiety, and depression. Human sexuality_sentence_214

The sexual dysfunction affects men and women. Human sexuality_sentence_215

There are four major categories of sexual problems for women: desire disorders, arousal disorders, orgasmic disorders, and sexual pain disorders. Human sexuality_sentence_216

The sexual desire disorder occurs when an individual lacks the sexual desire because of hormonal changes, depression, and pregnancy. Human sexuality_sentence_217

The arousal disorder is a female sexual dysfunction. Human sexuality_sentence_218

Arousal disorder means lack of vaginal lubrication. Human sexuality_sentence_219

In addition, blood flow problems may affect arousal disorder. Human sexuality_sentence_220

Lack of orgasm, also known as, anorgasmia is another sexual dysfunction in women. Human sexuality_sentence_221

The anorgasmia occurs in women with psychological disorders such as guilt and anxiety that was caused by sexual assault. Human sexuality_sentence_222

The last sexual disorder is the painful intercourse. Human sexuality_sentence_223

The sexual disorder can be result of pelvic mass, scar tissue, sexually transmitted disease and more. Human sexuality_sentence_224

There are also three common sexual disorders for men including, sexual desire, ejaculation disorder, and erectile dysfunction. Human sexuality_sentence_225

The lack of sexual desire in men is because of loss of libido, low testosterone. Human sexuality_sentence_226

There are also psychological factors such as anxiety, and depression. Human sexuality_sentence_227

The ejaculation disorder has three types: retrograde ejaculation, retarded ejaculation, premature ejaculation. Human sexuality_sentence_228

The erectile dysfunction is a disability to have and maintain an erection during intercourse. Human sexuality_sentence_229

Psychological aspects Human sexuality_section_14

As one form of behavior, the psychological aspects of sexual expression have been studied in the context of emotional involvement, gender identity, intersubjective intimacy, and Darwinian reproductive efficacy. Human sexuality_sentence_230

Sexuality in humans generates profound emotional and psychological responses. Human sexuality_sentence_231

Some theorists identify sexuality as the central source of human personality. Human sexuality_sentence_232

Psychological studies of sexuality focus on psychological influences that affect sexual behavior and experiences. Human sexuality_sentence_233

Early psychological analyses were carried out by Sigmund Freud, who believed in a psychoanalytic approach. Human sexuality_sentence_234

He also proposed the concepts of psychosexual development and the Oedipus complex, among other theories. Human sexuality_sentence_235

Gender identity is a person's sense of their own gender, whether male, female, or non-binary. Human sexuality_sentence_236

Gender identity can correlate with assigned sex at birth or can differ from it. Human sexuality_sentence_237

All societies have a set of gender categories that can serve as the basis of the formation of a person's social identity in relation to other members of society. Human sexuality_sentence_238

Sexual behavior and intimate relationships are strongly influenced by a person's sexual orientation. Human sexuality_sentence_239

Sexual orientation is an enduring pattern of romantic or sexual attraction (or a combination of these) to persons of the opposite sex, same sex, or both sexes. Human sexuality_sentence_240

Heterosexual people are romantically/sexually attracted to the members of the opposite sex, gay and lesbian people are romantically/sexually attracted to people of the same sex, and those who are bisexual are romantically/sexually attracted to both sexes. Human sexuality_sentence_241

The idea that homosexuality results from reversed gender roles is reinforced by the media's portrayal of male homosexuals as effeminate and female homosexuals as masculine. Human sexuality_sentence_242

However, a person's conformity or non-conformity to gender stereotypes does not always predict sexual orientation. Human sexuality_sentence_243

Society believes that if a man is masculine he is heterosexual, and if a man is feminine he is homosexual. Human sexuality_sentence_244

There is no strong evidence that a homosexual or bisexual orientation must be associated with atypical gender roles. Human sexuality_sentence_245

By the early 21st century, homosexuality was no longer considered to be a pathology. Human sexuality_sentence_246

Theories have linked many factors, including genetic, anatomical, birth order, and hormones in the prenatal environment, to homosexuality. Human sexuality_sentence_247

Other than the need to procreate, there are many other reasons people have sex. Human sexuality_sentence_248

According to one study conducted on college students (Meston & Buss, 2007), the four main reasons for sexual activities are; physical attraction, as a means to an end, to increase emotional connection, and to alleviate insecurity. Human sexuality_sentence_249

Sexuality and age Human sexuality_section_15

Child sexuality Human sexuality_section_16

Main article: Child sexuality Human sexuality_sentence_250

Until Sigmund Freud published his Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality in 1905, children were often regarded as asexual, having no sexuality until later development. Human sexuality_sentence_251

Sigmund Freud was one of the first researchers to take child sexuality seriously. Human sexuality_sentence_252

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. Human sexuality_sentence_253

Freud gave sexual drives an importance and centrality in human life, actions, and behavior; he said sexual drives exist and can be discerned in children from birth. Human sexuality_sentence_254

He explains this in his theory of infantile sexuality, and says sexual energy (libido) is the most important motivating force in adult life. Human sexuality_sentence_255

Freud wrote about the importance of interpersonal relationships to one's sexual and emotional development. Human sexuality_sentence_256

From birth, the mother's connection to the infant affects the infant's later capacity for pleasure and attachment. Human sexuality_sentence_257

Freud described two currents of emotional life; an affectionate current, including our bonds with the important people in our lives; and a sensual current, including our wish to gratify sexual impulses. Human sexuality_sentence_258

During adolescence, a young person tries to integrate these two emotional currents. Human sexuality_sentence_259

Alfred Kinsey also examined child sexuality in his Kinsey Reports. Human sexuality_sentence_260

Children are naturally curious about their bodies and sexual functions. Human sexuality_sentence_261

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. Human sexuality_sentence_262

Child sex play, also known as playing doctor, includes exhibiting or inspecting the genitals. Human sexuality_sentence_263

Many children take part in some sex play, typically with siblings or friends. Human sexuality_sentence_264

Sex play with others usually decreases as children grow, but they may later possess romantic interest in their peers. Human sexuality_sentence_265

Curiosity levels remain high during these years, but the main surge in sexual interest occurs in adolescence. Human sexuality_sentence_266

Sexuality in late adulthood Human sexuality_section_17

Main article: Sexuality in older age Human sexuality_sentence_267

Adult sexuality originates in childhood. Human sexuality_sentence_268

However, like many other human capacities, sexuality is not fixed, but matures and develops. Human sexuality_sentence_269

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. Human sexuality_sentence_270

This misconception is reinforced by Western popular culture, which often ridicules older adults who try to engage in sexual activities. Human sexuality_sentence_271

Age does not necessarily change the need or desire to be sexually expressive or active. Human sexuality_sentence_272

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_sentence_273

Sociocultural aspects Human sexuality_section_18

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. Human sexuality_sentence_274

This narrows the view to groups within a society. Human sexuality_sentence_275

The socio-cultural context of society, including the effects of politics and the mass media, influences and forms social norms. Human sexuality_sentence_276

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. Human sexuality_sentence_277

Sex education Human sexuality_section_19

The age and manner in which children are informed of issues of sexuality is a matter of sex education. Human sexuality_sentence_278

The school systems in almost all developed countries have some form of sex education, but the nature of the issues covered varies widely. Human sexuality_sentence_279

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. Human sexuality_sentence_280

Sex education covers a range of topics, including the physical, mental, and social aspects of sexual behavior. Human sexuality_sentence_281

Geographic location also plays a role in society's opinion of the appropriate age for children to learn about sexuality. Human sexuality_sentence_282

According to TIME magazine and CNN, 74% of teenagers in the United States reported that their major sources of sexual information were their peers and the media, compared to 10% who named their parents or a sex education course. Human sexuality_sentence_283

In the United States, most sex education programs encourage abstinence, the choice to restrain oneself from sexual activity. Human sexuality_sentence_284

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. Human sexuality_sentence_285

Proponents for an abstinence-only education believe that teaching a comprehensive curriculum would encourage teenagers to have sex, while proponents for comprehensive sex education argue that many teenagers will have sex regardless and should be equipped with knowledge of how to have sex responsibly. Human sexuality_sentence_286

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. Human sexuality_sentence_287

Sexuality in history Human sexuality_section_20

Main article: History of human sexuality Human sexuality_sentence_288

Sexuality, colonialism, and race Human sexuality_section_21

European conquerors/colonists found sexuality out of their norm about 1516 when Vasco Nunez de Balboa, a Spanish explorer, discovered indigenous people in Central America with different sexual practices. Human sexuality_sentence_289

Balboa found some indigenous men dressed up as women, resulting in him feeding forty of these men to his dogs for having different sexual practices. Human sexuality_sentence_290

In North America and the United States, Europeans have used claims of sexual immorality to justify discrimination against racial and ethnic minorities. Human sexuality_sentence_291

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. Human sexuality_sentence_292

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. Human sexuality_sentence_293

In America, there are 155 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. Human sexuality_sentence_294

Two-spirit people were and still are members of communities who do not fall under Western gender categories of male and female, but rather under a "third gender" category. Human sexuality_sentence_295

This system of gender contradicts both the gender binary and the assertion that sex and gender are the same. Human sexuality_sentence_296

Instead of conforming to traditional roles of men and women, two-spirit fill a special niche in their communities. Human sexuality_sentence_297

For example, two-spirited people are commonly revered for possessing special wisdom and spiritual powers. Human sexuality_sentence_298

Two-spirited people also can take part in marriages, either monogamous and polygamous ones. Human sexuality_sentence_299

Historically, European colonizers perceived relationships involving two-spirited people as homosexuality, and therefore believed in the moral inferiority of native people. Human sexuality_sentence_300

In reaction, colonizers began to impose their own religious and social norms on indigenous communities, diminishing the role of two-spirit people in native cultures. Human sexuality_sentence_301

Within reservations, the Religious Crime Code of the 1880s explicitly aimed to "aggressively attack Native sexual and marriage practices". Human sexuality_sentence_302

The goal of colonizers was for native peoples to assimilate into Euro-American ideals of family, sexuality, gender expression, and more. Human sexuality_sentence_303

The link between constructed sexual meanings and racial ideologies has been studied. Human sexuality_sentence_304

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. Human sexuality_sentence_305

She writes, "both adherence to and deviation from such approved behaviors, define and reinforce racial, ethnic, and nationalist regimes". Human sexuality_sentence_306

In the United States people of color face the effects of colonialism in different ways with stereotypes such as the Mammy, and Jezebel for Black women; lotus blossom, and dragon lady for Asian women; and the "spicy" Latina. Human sexuality_sentence_307

These stereotypes contrast with standards of sexual conservatism, creating a dichotomy that dehumanizes and demonizes the stereotyped groups. Human sexuality_sentence_308

An example of a stereotype that lies at the intersection of racism, classism, and misogyny is the archetype of the “welfare queen.” Cathy Cohen describes how the "welfare queen" stereotype demonizes poor black single mothers for deviating from conventions surrounding family structure. Human sexuality_sentence_309

Reproductive and sexual rights Human sexuality_section_22

Further information: Reproductive health and Reproductive rights Human sexuality_sentence_310

Reproductive and sexual rights encompass the concept of applying human rights to issues related to reproduction and sexuality. Human sexuality_sentence_311

This concept is a modern one, and remains controversial since it deals, directly and indirectly, with issues such as contraception, LGBT rights, abortion, sex education, freedom to choose a partner, freedom to decide whether to be sexually active or not, right to bodily integrity, freedom to decide whether or not, and when, to have children. Human sexuality_sentence_312

These are all global issues that exist in all cultures to some extent, but manifest differently depending on the specific contexts. Human sexuality_sentence_313

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." Human sexuality_sentence_314

Such rights are not accepted in all cultures, with practices such criminalization of consensual sexual activities (such as those related to homosexual acts and sexual acts outside marriage), acceptance of forced marriage and child marriage, failure to criminalize all non-consensual sexual encounters (such as marital rape), female genital mutilation, or restricted availability of contraception, being common around the world. Human sexuality_sentence_315

Stigma of contraceptives in the U.S. Human sexuality_section_23

In 1915, Emma Goldman and Margaret Sanger, leaders of the birth control movement, began to spread information regarding contraception in opposition to the laws, such as the Comstock Law, that demonized it. Human sexuality_sentence_316

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. Human sexuality_sentence_317

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. Human sexuality_sentence_318

This stigma targeted lower-class women who had the most need of access to contraception. Human sexuality_sentence_319

Birth control finally began to lose stigma in 1936 when the ruling of U.S. v. One Package declared that prescribing contraception to save a person's life or well-being was no longer illegal under the Comstock Law. Human sexuality_sentence_320

Although opinions varied on when birth control should be available to women, by 1938, there were 347 birth control clinics in the United States but advertising their services remained illegal. Human sexuality_sentence_321

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 (1933–1945). Human sexuality_sentence_322

However, it was not until 1966 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. Johnson. Human sexuality_sentence_323

This funding continued after 1970 under the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act. Human sexuality_sentence_324

Today, all Health Insurance Marketplace plans are required to cover all forms of contraception, including sterilization procedures, as a result of The Affordable Care Act signed by President Barack Obama in 2010. Human sexuality_sentence_325

Stigma and activism during the AIDS epidemic Human sexuality_section_24

In 1981, doctors diagnosed the first reported cases of AIDS in America. Human sexuality_sentence_326

The disease disproportionately affected and continues to affect gay and bisexual men, especially black and Latino men. Human sexuality_sentence_327

The Reagan administration is criticized for its apathy towards the AIDS epidemic, and audio recordings reveal that Ronald Reagan's press secretary Larry Speakes viewed the epidemic as a joke, mocking AIDS by calling it the "gay plague". Human sexuality_sentence_328

The epidemic also carried stigma coming from religious influences. Human sexuality_sentence_329

For example, Cardinal Krol voiced that AIDS was "an act of vengeance against the sin of homosexuality", which clarifies the specific meaning behind the pope's mention of "the moral source of AIDS." Human sexuality_sentence_330

Activism during the AIDS crisis focused on promoting safe sex practices to raise awareness that the disease could be prevented. Human sexuality_sentence_331

The "Safe Sex is Hot Sex" campaign, for example, aimed to promote the use of condoms. Human sexuality_sentence_332

Campaigns by the U.S. government, however, diverged from advocacy of safe sex. Human sexuality_sentence_333

In 1987, Congress even denied federal funding from awareness campaigns that "[promoted] or [encouraged], directly or indirectly, homosexual activities". Human sexuality_sentence_334

Instead, campaigns by the government primarily relied on scare tactics in order to instill fear in men who had sex with other men. Human sexuality_sentence_335

In addition to prevention campaigns, activists also sought to counteract narratives that led to the "social death" for people living with AIDS. Human sexuality_sentence_336

Gay men from San Francisco and New York City created the Denver Principles, a foundational document that demanded the rights, agency, and dignity of people living with AIDS. Human sexuality_sentence_337

In his article "Emergence of Gay Identity and Gay Social Movements in Developing Countries", Matthew Roberts discusses how international AIDS prevention campaigns created opportunities for gay men to interact with other openly gay men from other countries. Human sexuality_sentence_338

These interactions allowed western gay "culture" to be introduced to gay men in countries where homosexuality wasn't an important identifier. Human sexuality_sentence_339

Thus, group organizers self-identified as gay more and more, creating the basis for further development of gay consciousness in different countries. Human sexuality_sentence_340

Sexual behavior Human sexuality_section_25

General activities and health Human sexuality_section_26

Main article: Human sexual activity Human sexuality_sentence_341

See also: Sexual intercourse § Health effects, and Sexually active life expectancy Human sexuality_sentence_342

In humans, sexual intercourse and sexual activity in general have been shown to have health benefits, such as an improved sense of smell, reduction in stress and blood pressure, increased immunity, and decreased risk of prostate cancer. Human sexuality_sentence_343

Sexual intimacy and orgasms increase levels of oxytocin, which helps people bond and build trust. Human sexuality_sentence_344

A long-term study of 3,500 people between ages 30 and 101 by clinical neuropsychologist David Weeks, MD, head of old-age psychology at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Scotland, said he found that "sex helps you look between four and seven years younger", according to impartial ratings of the subjects' photographs. Human sexuality_sentence_345

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. Human sexuality_sentence_346

Sexual intercourse can also be a disease vector. Human sexuality_sentence_347

There are 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) every year in the U.S., and worldwide there are over 340 million STD infections each year. Human sexuality_sentence_348

More than half of these occur in adolescents and young adults aged 15–24 years. Human sexuality_sentence_349

At least one in four U.S. teenage girls has a sexually transmitted disease. Human sexuality_sentence_350

In the U.S., about 30% of 15- to 17-year-olds have had sexual intercourse, but only about 80% of 15- to 19-year-olds report using condoms for their first sexual intercourse. Human sexuality_sentence_351

In one study, more than 75% of young women age 18–25 years felt they were at low risk of acquiring an STD. Human sexuality_sentence_352

Creating a relationship Human sexuality_section_27

Sexual attraction Human sexuality_section_28

Main article: Sexual attraction Human sexuality_sentence_353

Sexual attraction is attraction on the basis of sexual desire or the quality of arousing such interest. Human sexuality_sentence_354

Sexual attractiveness or sex appeal is an individual's ability to attract the sexual or erotic interest of another person, and is a factor in sexual selection or mate choice. Human sexuality_sentence_355

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. Human sexuality_sentence_356

The attraction may be to a person's aesthetics or movements or to their voice or smell, besides other factors. Human sexuality_sentence_357

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. Human sexuality_sentence_358

It can also be influenced by individual genetic, psychological, or cultural factors, or to other, more amorphous qualities of the person. Human sexuality_sentence_359

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. Human sexuality_sentence_360

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. Human sexuality_sentence_361

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. Human sexuality_sentence_362

A bisexual person would find either sex to be attractive. Human sexuality_sentence_363

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). Human sexuality_sentence_364

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. Human sexuality_sentence_365

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. Human sexuality_sentence_366

Legal issues Human sexuality_section_29

Main articles: Family law, Divorce, Marriage, Human sexual activity § Legal issues, and Sex and the law Human sexuality_sentence_367

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. Human sexuality_sentence_368

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. Human sexuality_sentence_369

The "black letter" approach to law focuses on the study of pre-existing legal precedent, and attempts to offer a clear framework of rules within which lawyers and others can work. Human sexuality_sentence_370

In contrast, the socio-legal approach focuses more broadly on the relationship between the law and society, and offers a more contextualized view of the relationship between legal and social change. Human sexuality_sentence_371

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. Human sexuality_sentence_372

Therefore, many issues regarding human sexuality and the law are found in the opinions of the courts. Human sexuality_sentence_373

Sexual privacy Human sexuality_section_30

See also: Sexual and reproductive health and rights Human sexuality_sentence_374

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. Human sexuality_sentence_375

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). Human sexuality_sentence_376

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. Human sexuality_sentence_377

State intervention with regards to sexuality also occurs, and is considered acceptable by some, in certain instances (e.g. same-sex sexual activity or prostitution). Human sexuality_sentence_378

The legal systems surrounding prostitution are a topic of debate. Human sexuality_sentence_379

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. Human sexuality_sentence_380

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. Human sexuality_sentence_381

When sex work is criminalized, sex workers do not have support from law enforcement when they fall victim to violence. Human sexuality_sentence_382

In a 2003 survey of street-based sex workers in NYC, 80% said they had been threatened with or experienced violence, and many said the police were no help. Human sexuality_sentence_383

27% said they had experienced violence from police officers themselves. Human sexuality_sentence_384

Different identities such as being black, transgender, or poor can result in a person being more likely to be criminally profiled by the police. Human sexuality_sentence_385

For example, in New York, there is a law against "loitering for the purpose of engaging in prostitution", which has been nicknamed the "walking while trans" law because of how often transgender women are assumed to be sex workers and arrested for simply walking out in public. Human sexuality_sentence_386

Religious sexual morality Human sexuality_section_31

Main article: Religion and sexuality Human sexuality_sentence_387

In some religions, sexual behavior is regarded as primarily spiritual. Human sexuality_sentence_388

In others it is treated as primarily physical. Human sexuality_sentence_389

Some hold that sexual behavior is only spiritual within certain kinds of relationships, when used for specific purposes, or when incorporated into religious ritual. Human sexuality_sentence_390

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. Human sexuality_sentence_391

Many religious conservatives, especially those of Abrahamic religions and Christianity in particular, tend to view sexuality in terms of behavior (i.e. homosexuality or heterosexuality is what someone does) and certain sexualities such as bisexuality tend to be ignored as a result of this. Human sexuality_sentence_392

These conservatives tend to promote celibacy for gay people, and may also tend to believe that sexuality can be changed through conversion therapy or prayer to become an ex-gay. Human sexuality_sentence_393

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. Human sexuality_sentence_394

On the other hand, most religious liberals define sexuality-related labels in terms of sexual attraction and self-identification. Human sexuality_sentence_395

They may also view same-sex activity as morally neutral and as legally acceptable as opposite-sex activity, unrelated to mental illness, genetically or environmentally caused (but not as the result of bad parenting), and fixed. Human sexuality_sentence_396

They also tend to be more in favor of same-sex marriage. Human sexuality_sentence_397

Judaism Human sexuality_section_32

According to Judaism, sex between man and woman within marriage is sacred and should be enjoyed; celibacy is considered sinful. Human sexuality_sentence_398

Christianity Human sexuality_section_33

Roman Catholic Church Human sexuality_section_34

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that sexuality is "noble and worthy" but that it must be used in accordance with natural law. Human sexuality_sentence_399

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. Human sexuality_sentence_400

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. Human sexuality_sentence_401

Anglicanism Human sexuality_section_35

The Anglican Church teaches that human sexuality is a gift from a loving God designed to be between a man and a woman in a monogamous lifetime union of marriage. Human sexuality_sentence_402

It also views singleness and dedicated celibacy as Christ-like. Human sexuality_sentence_403

It states that people with same sex attraction are loved by God and are welcomed as full members of the Body of Christ, while the Church leadership has a variety of views in regard to homosexual expression and ordination. Human sexuality_sentence_404

Some expressions of sexuality are considered sinful including "promiscuity, prostitution, incest, pornography, paedophilia, predatory sexual behaviour, and sadomasochism (all of which may be heterosexual and homosexual), adultery, violence against wives, and female circumcision". Human sexuality_sentence_405

The Church is concerned with pressures on young people to engage sexually and encourages abstinence. Human sexuality_sentence_406

Evangelicalism Human sexuality_section_36

In matters of sexuality, several Evangelical churches promote the virginity pledge among young Evangelical Christians, who are invited to commit themselves during a public ceremony to sexual abstinence until Christian marriage. Human sexuality_sentence_407

This pledge is often symbolized by a purity ring. Human sexuality_sentence_408

In evangelical churches, young adults and unmarried couples are encouraged to marry early in order to live a sexuality according to the will of God. Human sexuality_sentence_409

Although some churches are discreet on the subject, other evangelical churches in United States and Switzerland speak of a satisfying sexuality as a gift from God and a component of a harmonious Christian marriage, in messages during worship services or conferences. Human sexuality_sentence_410

Many evangelical books and websites are specialized on the subject. Human sexuality_sentence_411

The perceptions of homosexuality in the Evangelical Churches are varied. Human sexuality_sentence_412

They range from liberal through moderate to conservative. Human sexuality_sentence_413

Islam Human sexuality_section_37

Main article: Sex in Islam Human sexuality_sentence_414

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. Human sexuality_sentence_415

Marriage is considered to be a good deed; it does not hinder spiritual wayfaring. Human sexuality_sentence_416

The term used for marriage within the Quran is nikah, which literally means sexual intercourse. Human sexuality_sentence_417

Although Islamic sexuality is restrained via Islamic sexual jurisprudence, it emphasizes sexual pleasure within marriage. Human sexuality_sentence_418

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. Human sexuality_sentence_419

Muslims believe that sexual intercourse is an act of worship that fulfils emotional and physical needs, and that producing children is one way in which humans can contribute to God's creation, and Islam discourages celibacy once an individual is married. Human sexuality_sentence_420

However, homosexuality is strictly forbidden in Islam, and some Muslim lawyers have suggested that gay people should be put to death. Human sexuality_sentence_421

On the other hand, some have argued that Islam has an open and playful approach to sex so long as it is within marriage, free of lewdness, fornication and adultery. Human sexuality_sentence_422

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 (or wives) 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. Human sexuality_sentence_423

Hinduism Human sexuality_section_38

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. Human sexuality_sentence_424

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. Human sexuality_sentence_425

Kama (sensual pleasures) is one of the four purusharthas or aims of life (dharma, artha, kama, and moksha). Human sexuality_sentence_426

The Hindu Kama Sutra deals partially with sexual intercourse; it is not exclusively a sexual or religious work. Human sexuality_sentence_427

Sikhism Human sexuality_section_39

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. Human sexuality_sentence_428

Sexual activity is limited to married couples, and extramarital sex is forbidden. Human sexuality_sentence_429

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. Human sexuality_sentence_430

Any other way of living is discouraged, including celibacy and homosexuality. Human sexuality_sentence_431

However, in comparison to other religions, the issue of sexuality in Sikhism is not considered one of paramount importance. Human sexuality_sentence_432

See also Human sexuality_section_40

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: sexuality.