Human Sexual Behavior

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HUMAN SEXUAL BEHAVIOR The meaning of "sexual" behavior as opposed to other manifestations of adjustive responses to external stimuli essentially is defined in terms of reproductive activities for all species except our own. For human there is usually a connotation of the romantic and erotic, but less often the implication of reproduction. These different outlooks are reflected in the way which we come to analyze sexual behavior in humans as compared with other animal species. A study of sexual behavior in the lion consists of information concerning frequency of copulations, the receptive or aroused states of the copulates, and the success of the copulatory acts in procreation. In addition there are data to be collected concerning dominance, numbers of females in the average harem, neuroendocrine correlates of sexual behavior and the participants and so forth. We actually know a great deal more about sexual behavior in other vertebrates than we do about human species, precisely because specific correlates can be measured.

An entirely different measure has been used for analyzing human sexual behavior, not only because the data can be obtained directly and simply but also because the data can be quantified or measured on an objective basis. One of the more frequently used measures of human sexual behavior and expression is orgasm. The detailed studies of the Kinsey group, beginning in 1948 with Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, provided the basis for recognizing the principal means by which men and women achieve orgasm. The Kinsey studies showed that there were six major methods by which orgasm is attained: masturbation, coitus, heterosexual petting, sex dreams, homosexual relations, and animal contacts. Various other activities may occur independently or in conjuction with one of these major methods, although they tend to be rare. Example of these would include sadism, fetishism, and...