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Human sexual activityany activity—solitary, between two persons, or in a group—that induces sexual arousal. The objective here A sexual humans to describe and explain both sets of factors and their interaction. It should be noted that taboos in Western culture and the immaturity of the social sciences for a long time impeded research concerning human sexual activity, so that by the early 20th century scientific knowledge was largely restricted to individual case histories that had been studied by such European writers as Sigmund FreudHavelock Ellisand Richard, Freiherr baron von Krafft-Ebing.
By the s, however, the foundations had been laid for the more extensive statistical studies that were conducted before World War A sexual humans in the United States. Much of the following discussion rests on the findings of the Institute for Sex Research, which constitute the most comprehensive data available. The only other country for which comprehensive data exist is Sweden.
Human sexual activity may conveniently be classified according to the and gender of the participants. There is solitary activity involving only one individual, and there is sociosexual activity involving more than one person. Sociosexual activity is generally divided into heterosexual activity male with female and homosexual activity male with male or female with female. If three or more individuals are involved it is, of course, possible to have heterosexual and homosexual activity simultaneously.
In both solitary and sociosexual activity there may be activities that are sufficiently unusual to warrant the label deviant activity. The term deviant should not be used as a moral judgment but simply as indicating that such activity A sexual humans not common in a particular society.
Since human societies differ in their sexual practices, what is deviant in one society may be normal in another. Self-masturbation A sexual humans self-stimulation with the intention of causing sexual arousal and, generally, orgasm sexual climax. Most masturbation is done in private as an end in itself but is sometimes practiced to facilitate a sociosexual relationship. Masturbation, generally beginning at or before pubertyis very common among males, particularly young males, but becomes less frequent or is abandoned when sociosexual activity is available.
Consequently, masturbation is most frequent among the unmarried. Fewer females masturbate; in the United Statesroughly one-half to two-thirds have done so, as compared to nine out of ten males. Females also tend to reduce or discontinue masturbation when they develop sociosexual relationships. The myth persists, despite scientific proof to the contrary, that masturbation is physically harmful.
Neither is there evidence that masturbation is immature activity; it is common among adults deprived of sociosexual opportunities. While solitary masturbation does provide pleasure and relief from the tension of sexual excitement, it does not have the same psychological gratification that interaction with another person provides; thus, extremely few people prefer masturbation to sociosexual activity. The psychological ificance of masturbation lies in how the individual regards it.
For some, it is laden with guilt; for others, A sexual humans is a release from tension with no emotional content; and for others it is simply another source of pleasure to be enjoyed for its own sake. The majority of males and females have fantasies of some sociosexual activity while they masturbate.
The fantasy not infrequently involves idealized sexual partners and activities that the individual has not experienced and even might avoid in real A sexual humans. Orgasm in sleep evidently occurs only in humans. Its causes are not wholly known. The idea that it from the pressure of accumulated semen is invalid because not only do nocturnal emissions sometimes occur in males on successive nights, but females experience orgasm in sleep as well. In some cases orgasm in sleep seems a compensatory phenomenon, occurring during times when the individual has been deprived of or abstains from other sexual activity.
Most orgasms during sleep are accompanied by erotic dreams. A great majority of males experience orgasm in sleep. This almost always begins and is most frequent in adolescence, tending to disappear later in life. Fewer females have orgasm in sleep, and, unlike males, they usually begin having such experience when fully adult. Orgasm in sleep is generally infrequent, seldom exceeding a dozen times per year for males and three or four times a year for the average female.
Most sexual arousal does not lead to sexual activity with another individual. Humans are constantly exposed to sexual stimuli when seeing attractive persons and are subjected to sexual themes in advertising and the mass media. Response to such visual and other stimuli is strongest in adolescence and early adult life and usually gradually declines with advancing age. There is great variation among individuals in the strength of sex drive and responsiveness, so this necessary exercise of A sexual humans is correspondingly difficult or easy.
Human sexual activity. Introduction Types of activity Solitary activity Sociosexual activity Physiological aspects Sexual response Genetic and hormonal factors Nervous system factors Development and change in the reproductive system Psychological aspects Effects of early conditioning Sexual problems Social and cultural aspects Social control of sexual activity Class distinctions Economic influences Legal regulation Sexually transmitted diseases Common sexually transmitted organisms Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
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Sexual Attraction and Orientation