Sex (Lecture 12) Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Sex (Lecture 12) Deck (67):
1

sex

biological characteristics that divide organisms into male and female

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gender

behavioral characteristics associated with being male or female

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gender role

set of behaviors society deems appropriate for people of a given biological sex

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gender identity

person's subjective feeling of being male or female

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why has sex evolved?

to reproduce

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why sexually reproduce as opposed to on my own (asexually)?

in order to better ft your offspring for a changing environment, different gene provide a greater probability that at lease one gene combination will aid in survival

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The Sex Act

Masters and Johnson (1966), identified the 4 stages of sexual response

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4 stages of sexual response

1. excitement (increased HR, respiration, muscle tone, engorgement of sexual tissue
2. plateau (arousal maintained at high level for minutes, preparation for orgasm
3. orgasm (rhythmic contractions of genital muscles, intense euphoria)
4. resolution (arousal decreases and body regains homeostasis)

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male refractory period

unable to become aroused for minutes/hours/days

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neural control

may begin in the cerebral cortex (erotic thoughts) but is coordinated (and may begin through stimulation of mechanoreceptors) in spinal cord

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info from genitalia or brain activate

parasympathetic NS= engorgement, erection, and lubricating secretions

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parasympathetic axons release:

Ach and NO onto erectile tissue (relaxation of smooth muscle= increased blood flow)

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increased activity of sensory axons and input from the brain excite:

sympathetic neurons= orgasm (muscle contractions of penis and vaginal walls)

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androgens

male hormones, because males have more than females (e.g. testosterone) also produced by adrenals

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estrogens and progestins:

female hormones, because females have more than males, (e.g. estradiol, progesterone)

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testosterone is important for male ______

male sexual motivation

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castration

removal of testes=
-loss of sexual interest and function
-may be maintained IF sexually experienced
-reinstated with T replacement

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androgen antagonists

when elected by some criminals:
-80-100% effective in eliminating deviant sexual behavior

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hormones important for female ______

female sexual motivation

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removal of hormones results in:

(in most species)- females will not copulate unless in "heat"= heightened levels of female sex hormones
(in humans)- will copulate throughout hormonal cycle, but show more initiation of sex during ovulation when estrogen levels are highest

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medial pre-optic area of the hypothalamus (mPOA)

involved in male and female sexual behavior

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dopamine is important for sexual motivation in:

both sexes and sexual performance in males

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DA increases in _____ during sexual stimulation

nucleus accumbens

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initially, small amounts of DA during sexual stimulation activate ____ receptors --> activates _______ NS

D1 receptors
parasympathetic

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as DA increases, activates ____ receptors --> shifts balance to _____ activation and _____

D2 receptors
sympathetic
orgasm

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D2 activation inhibits ____ which accounts for refractory period

erection

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the coolidge effect

a quicker return to sexual arousal when a new parter is introduced (this is a dopaminergic effect)

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DA increases in NAcc of males when female is presented and then:

DA drops back to baseline as interest wanes following penetrations

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introduction of a new female increases _____ again

DA

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______ aso contributes to refractory period

serotonin

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erection is accompanied by ___ release in hypothalamus --> contributes further to refractory period

5-HT (serotonin)

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injection of serotonin reuptake inhibitors into hypothalamus increases:

time until net copulation in male rats and affects ability to ejaculate

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SSRIs impair ____ and ____

sexual desire and ability to climax in human users

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oxytocin is important for:

smooth muscle contractions (occurring during orgasm)
also important in pair bonding and maternal behaviors

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oxytocin is released from the:

posterior pituitary

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pheromones

airborne chemicals released by organisms that produce physiological or behavioral effects in another organism of the same species

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vomeronasal organ

cluster of receptors in nasal cavity which detect pheromones (sends signals to mPOA and medial amygdala)

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PET scans show activation of _________ when subjects "smelled" pheromones

anterior hypothalamus

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if fetus has Y chromosome, the SRY gene _____:

SRY gene which codes for protein called TDF (testis-determening factor)

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if fetus has NO Y chromosome, the SRY gene __:

is not present

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if fetus has Y chromosome, the testes secrete _____:

testosterone and MIH (mullerian inhibiting hormone)

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if fetus has NO Y chromosome, the _____:

-mullerian ducts develop into internal genitalia and external genitalia feminized
-wolffian system withers and is absorbed

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ovaries do not produce E and P until _____, so feminization is a ____ process in the fetus

puberty
passive

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sex hormones have _____ effects and ____ effects

organizational effects
activation effects

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organizational effects of hormones

mostly occur prenatally, they affect structure and are lifelong in nature, they are permanent
-development of primary sex organs
-brain organization

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activation effect of hormones

can occur at any time individual's life and may be transient or long
-growth of body hair
-development of brain tissue
-muscle density

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fetal testosterone in circulation affects the:

developing brain

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steroid hormones can exert their effects in 2 ways:

1. bind to enzymes/channels/receptors and alter membrane excitability, sensitivity to NT, or NT release (within seconds)
2. enter the cell and go to nucleus to modify gene transcription

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testosterone is converted to _____ by _____ and works at estrogen receptors in the brain

converted to estradiol by aromatase

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fetal hormones have organizational effects on the brain which may cause structures to become:

sexually dimorphic (different in males and females) leading to differences in behavior

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SDN-POA

-5x larger in male rats
-destruction of SDN reduces male sexual activity
-perinatal aromatase inhibitors block masculinization of structure and function

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VMH

-important for female sexual behavior
-active during copulation
-lesion reduce activity
-stimulation facilitates lordosis

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preoptic area

four clusters of neurons called the interstital nuclei of the anterior hypothalamus (INAH1-4)

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INAH-1

-may be larger in men
-may be human analogue of SDN

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INAH-3

-is 2x larger in men
-we don't know about functional differences

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why is it possibly to have a genetic male with a "female brain" and a genetic female with a "male brain"

because hormones are more important than chromosomes for organizing the nervous system

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treatment of females early in development with testosterone=

decrease in female sexual behaviors in adulthood

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female calves exposed to androgens in utero=

freemartins

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Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH)

-XX individuals with normal internal genitalia
-enzymatic defect causes over-activity of adrenals early in development
-increased androgens masculinize external genitalia (enlarged clitoris)
-behavior is tomboyish and aggressive
-higher percentage of erotic contact with women

60

Spatial Task test:
compare males with low T, high T and their performance

-malers with low T during development perform poorly (may be organizational)
-males with higher T perform better (to a point)
(females with higher androgen levels perform better)

61

possible testosterone link to aggression?

-men kill 30times as often as women
-aggression in males is partly genetic
-testosterone is higher in males rated as more aggressive
-testosterone is increased after winning a sports competition

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possible activation effect of estrogen (study if females excel at verbal fluency and writing )

transsexual men taking estrogen supplements score higher on verbal tests than transsexual men not taking estrogen

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estrogens increase:

-dendritic spine density in hippocampal neurons
-long term potentiation in hippocampus

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dendritic spines=

outcroppings on dendrites that allow neuron to have greater surface area for synapses

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rise in estrogen correlated to rise in:

spines

66

increased spines=

increased excitatory synapses
(new synapses shown to have more NMDA receptors)

67

5-alpha reductase deficiency:

-it converts testosterone into DHT during development
-DHT is super potent T that masculinizes external tissue
XY individuals with deficiency may be born with feminized genitalia