Chapter 8 Flashcards & Key Terms

asexual
Describes a person who never experiences sexual attraction.
classical (Pavlovian) conditioning
A form of behavioral learning in which a novel stimulus is tied to a preexisting reflex.
Coolidge effect
The revival of sexual arousal caused by the presence of a novel partner.
excitement phase
The beginning phase of the sexual response cycle.
fantasy
An imagined experience, sexual or otherwise.
fluctuating asymmetry
A difference between the left and right sides of the body that results from random perturbations of development.
habituation
A psychological or physiological process that reduces a person’s response to a stimulus or drug after repeated or prolonged exposure.
hypogonadal
Producing insufficient levels of sex hormones.
myotonia
A general increase in muscle tension.
nucleus accumbens
A nucleus within the basal ganglia that is part of the brain’s reward system.
orgasm
The intense, pleasurable sensations at sexual climax, and the physiological processes that accompany them.
orgasmic platform
The outer portion of the vagina and surrounding tissues, which thicken and tense during sexual arousal.
oxytocin
A hormone secreted by the pituitary gland that stimulates uterine contractions and the secretion of milk.
plateau phase
The phase of the sexual response cycle during which arousal is maintained at a high level.
refractory period
In males, a period of reduced or absent sexual arousability after orgasm.
resolution phase
The phase of the sexual response cycle during which physiological arousal subsides.
sexual response cycle
The sequence of physiological processes that accompany sexual behavior.
status orgasmus
An orgasm or uninterrupted sequence of orgasms that last from 20 seconds up to a minute or more.
vasocongestion
Tissue swelling caused by increased filling of local blood vessels.
waist-to-hip ratio (WHR)
The ratio of the circumference of the body at the waist to the circumference at the hip.
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