Human sexual arousal is the course of action and status of being prepared for sexual intercourse or other sexual activities. Humans, unlike inferior members of the animal kingdom, are competent in sexual arousal throughout the year, which dictates there is no human mating season. In becoming aroused, the term "turn-ons" is given to the tangible and intangible items causing such a reaction (Wikipedia, 2005). However, recent research is demonstrating that sexual arousal is dependent upon excitement and inhibition (Hrovat, 2005). According to Masters and Johnson's (1966) four-stage sexual response cycle, the first stage that humans undergo is known as the excitement phase. This phase can last a mere few minutes or even several hours dependent upon time of climax (Huffman, 2005) There are several turn-ons that activate the excitement phase in humans such as: eye contact, smell and touch of a potential mate, ego, thought, foreplay, etc (Wikipedia, 2005). However, there are inhibitory elements that hinder the body's ability to become aroused, with anxiety being the number one culprit. Men, often become overrun with the anxiety of being able to satisfy their mate. Thus, their attention is being directed towards not failing rather than succeeding with their efforts, yielding a lessening of sexual arousal (Hrovat, 2005). Still, within this phase, there are distinct characteristics of arousal displayed in both sexes. There will be visible effects of the sympathetic nervous system such as: an Sexual Arousal and Response 3
increase in respiratory regulation, heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tone. Also, the pupils may become dilated, an erection of the nipples might be apparent, and the skin may become reddened, a conditioned known as "sex flush." Directly in the male, the penis will become erect to facilitate entry into the woman's vagina. Relevant to the female, there will be an increase in breast size and vaginal lubrication. A clitoral...
References: Wikipedia (2005). Sexual Arousal. Retrieved October 1, 2005, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_arousal.
Hrovat, Mary (2005). Reconceptualizing Sexual Arousal. Retrieved October 1, 2005, from http://www.indiana.edu/~rcapub/v20n2/p21.html.
Huffman, Karen (2005). Psychology in Action. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
NewShe.com (2002). Sexual Arousal Disorder. Retrieved October 2, 2005, from http://www.newshe.com/factsheets/Sexual_Arousal_Disorder.shtml.
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