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excitement phase

the first stage; characterized by a boner in males and a swelling of the clitoris and vaginal lubrication in women

plateau phase

the second stage; muscle tension and blood flow to the genitals increase in preparation for orgasm


the third stage; maked by a sudden discharge of accumulated sexual tension and involuntary muscle contractions (.8 seconds apart)


final stage; the body return to an unaroused stage


males need sufficient level to maintain sexual interest and erection; women also need a little bit; lack of sexual desire can be attributed to low levels

sexual learning

any stimulus that becomse associate with genital touch and orgasm can become a conditioned stimulus that motivates sexual activity

sexual scripts

socially learned ways of responding in sexual situations

evolutionary psychology of sex

men have a smaller investment in reproduction than woman an so they seek out more partners


it is a biologically based drive that is not homeostatic; arousal is pleasurable and so it is sought out

masters and johnson

they showed that men and women are similar in sexual response; they both experience vasocongestion and myotonia


blood engorgement


muscle tension and contraction

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