The Thump Glossary might not be Shakespearean sonnets and you might not want to start whispering glossary entries instead of sweet nothings, but it is the essential Thumper reference guide. Here’s the A to Z directory to all things sex, with answers to pretty much everything you might ever want to know. And a couple of hundred things you never thought to ask.
“I” language: Speaking for yourself, using the word “I”; not mind reading.
7-Eleven (7/11): Slang term for a short, quick act of sexual intercourse.
360-degree feedback: A method of performance appraisal whereby an employee’s performance is rated by a variety of individuals, including himself or herself, a peer, a supervisor, a subordinate, and perhaps a customer or client.
Abnormal behavior: Behavior that is deviant, maladaptive, or personally distressful over a relatively long period of time.
Abortion: The ending of a pregnancy and the expulsion of the contents of the uterus; may be spontaneous or induced by human intervention.
Absolute threshold: The minimum amount of stimulus energy that a person can detect.
Abstinence (sexual): A standard in which premarital intercourse is considered wrong, regardless of the circumstances.
Abstinence-Based Education: Focuses on teaching young people that abstaining from sex until marriage is the best means of ensuring that they avoid infection with HIV, other sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy.
Abstinence-Until-Marriage Programs: A form of sex education programs that abstaining from sex until marriage. It provides no information about other forms of birth control or Condoms, except to say it doesn’t work. It also explains that sex outside of marriage is physically and emotionally harmful. For a full discussion see Advocates for Youth.
Abstinent: One who voluntary restraint from indulging in a specific sexual activities.
Abuse: Purposeful harm or mistreatment of another person, which can be verbal, emotional, physical or sexual. An ongoing pattern or cycle of such mistreatment or harm can characterize an abusive relationship.
Accommodation: An individual’s adjustment of his or her schemas to new information.
Acne: It is a skin condition that causes whiteheads, blackheads, and inflamed red lesions (papules, pustules, and cysts) to form. It usually starts at the onset of puberty. Acne can appear on the face, neck, back and buttocks.
Acomoclitic: A preference for hairless genitals.
Acousticophilia: Arousal from (certain) sounds.
Acquaintance Rape: Aka “date rape” and “hidden rape”. It is when a person uses force or threat of force to have intercourse (vaginal, anal or oral) with someone he or she knows.
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS): A sexually transmitted infection, caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that destroys the body’s immune system.
Acquisition: The initial learning of the connection between the unconditioned stimulus and the conditioned stimulus when these two stimuli are paired.
Acrophilia: Being sexual aroused by heights.
Acrotomophilia: Arousal by the activity/thought of having sex with an amputee.
Action potential: The brief wave of positive electrical charge that sweeps down the axon.
Actirasty: Arousal from exposure to the suns rays.
Activating effects of hormones: Effects of sex hormones in adulthood, resulting in the activation of behaviors, especially sexual behaviors and aggressive behaviors.
Activation-synthesis theory: Theory that dreaming occurs when the cerebral cortex synthesizes neural signals generated from activity in the lower part of the brain and that dreams result from the brain’s attempts to find logic in random brain activity that occurs during sleep.
Addiction: Either a physical or a psychological dependence, or both, on a drug.
Adhesion: Adhesions are bands of scar-like tissue that form between two surfaces inside the body and cause them to stick together i.e when the foreskin of a man’s penis becomes stuck to the head of the penis. Adhesions often make it painful for uncircumcised men to roll back the foreskin.
Adolescentilism: Playing the role of an adolescent.
Adrenal glands: Endocrine glands located just above the kidneys that are responsible for regulating moods, energy level, and the ability to cope with stress; in the female they are the major producers of androgens.
Adrenogenital syndrome: See congenital adrenal hyperplasia: a condition in which a genetic female produces abnormal levels of testosterone prenatally and therefore has male-appearing genitals at birth.
Adult: A person who is not considered a minor according to state law. The age of an adult varies state to state. In most states, you are an adult if you are 18 years old or older.
Advocate: Someone who calls attention to problems and asks people in charge (lawmakers, school board members) to address those problems.
Aerobic exercise: Sustained activity—jogging, swimming, or cycling, for example—that stimulates heart and lung functioning.
Affection: A state or demonstration of tenderness or care for someone, which may or may not be sexual.
Affectionate love: Also called companionate love; love that occurs when individuals desire to have another person near and have a deep, caring affection for the person.
Affective commitment: A kind of job commitment deriving from the employee’s emotional attachment to the workplace.
Afferent nerves: Also called sensory nerves; nerves that carry information about the external environment to the brain and spinal cord via sensory receptors.
Agalmatophilia: A fetish for statues/mannequins.
Age of Consent: The age a person is legally able to consent to sexual activity. It varies from state to state, but ranges between 14 and 18 years of age.
Age-disparate: A substantial difference usually with ages or life stages of two people.
Agender: A chosen or felt lack of gender identity.
Aggression: Behaviors that are intended to harm another person.
Aggressive: Behaving in a pushy, forceful or violent way. This can be in a sexual context as well.
Agonophilia: Pseudo-rape, pretend struggle or wrestling play as a form of foreplay.
Agoraphilia: Arousal from having sex in public places.
Agrexophilia: Excitement from knowing that others are aware of a persons sexual activities.
AIDS: Is the final stage of HIV disease, which causes severe damage to the immune system. AIDS is a collection of infections that results from a weakened immune system.
Aischrolgia: The expression of obscenities.
Albutophilia: Arousal from water.
Alcoholism: A disorder that involves long-term, repeated, uncontrolled, compulsive, and excessive use of alcoholic beverages and that impairs the drinker’s health and social relationships.
Algolagnia: Both Masochism and Sadism.
Algophilia: Enjoyment or arousal from pain.
Allopellia: Orgasm from watching others have sex.
Allorgasmia: The need to fantasise about a more desirable partner in order to orgasm.
Algorithms: Strategies—including formulas, instructions, and the testing of all possible solutions—that guarantee a solution to a problem.
All-or-nothing principle: The principle that once the electrical impulse reaches a certain level of intensity (its threshold); it fires and moves all the way down the axon without losing any intensity.
Altocalciphilia: High heel fetish.
Altruism: Unselfish interest in helping another person.
Alvinolagnia: Stomach fetish.
Amaurophilia: Excitement from having a partner who is unable to see them during sex.
Ambisextrous: Attractive to both sexes.
Ambisexual: Another term for bisexual.
Amelotasis: Attraction to someone who has lost a limb.
Amenorrhea: The absence of menstruation.
Amnesia: The loss of memory.
Amniocentesis: A test done to determine whether a fetus has birth defects; done by inserting a fine tube into the woman’s abdomen in order to obtain a sample of amniotic fluid.
Amniotic fluid: The watery fluid surrounding a developing fetus in the uterus.
Amomaxia: Sex in a parked car.
Amychesis: The act of scratching a partner during sex.
Amygdala: An almond-shaped structure within the base of the temporal lobe that is involved in the discrimination of objects that are necessary for the organism’s survival, such as appropriate food, mates, and social rivals.
Amyl nitrate: A drug, usually inhaled, that some people use to prolong or intensify orgasm.
Anaclitism: Sexual enjoyment arising from activities, or being exposed to objects, normally associated with childhood (e.g. toilet training, breast sucking, playing with dolls).
Anal intercourse: Insertion of the penis into the partner’s rectum.
Analogous organs: Organs in the male and female that have similar functions.
Anaphrodisiac: A substance that decreases sexual desire.
Anasteemaphilia: Being attracted to someone due to a difference in height.
Androgens: The group of “male” sex hormones, one of which is testosterone.
Androgynous: Person who deliberately adopts characteristics of both genders or strives to attain a gender neutral or non-gendered status.
Andropause: The time of declining androgen levels in middle-aged men; it is the male version of menopause.
Anilingus: Mouth stimulation of the partner’s anus.
Anolinctus: The act of licking the anus of another.
Anolingus: The act of inserting the tongue into the anus of another (as opposed to just licking it).
Anophelorastia: Arousal from defiling or ravaging a partner.
Anonymous: Refers to a way that results from an HIV test are reported to a health department. “Anonymous” test reporting means that your results are reported to the health department by using a code, not your real name.
Anorexia Nervosa: An eating disorder that involves an inability to stay at the minimum body weight or body image considered healthy for the person’s age and height.
Anorgasmia: The inability of a woman to orgasm; a sexual disorder.
Anterograde amnesia: A memory disorder that affects the retention of new information and events.
Antholagnia: Arousal from smelling flowers.
Anthropophagolagnia: Rape with cannibalism (usually after the rape).
Anthropophagy: Cannibalism for sexual purposes.
Antianxiety drugs: Commonly known as tranquilizers, drugs that reduce anxiety by making individuals calmer and less excitable
Antidepressant drugs: Drugs that regulate mood.
Anti-Discrimination Laws: Laws that make it illegal to act in a prejudiced way against certain people in the workforce due to their race, age, sex, or body type. Some states have anti-discrimination laws that also make it illegal to discriminate against people due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Some states do not.
Antipsychotic drugs: Powerful drugs that diminish agitated behavior, reduce tension, decrease hallucinations, improve social behavior, and produce better sleep patterns in individuals with a severe psychological disorder, especially schizophrenia.
Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD): A psychological disorder characterized by guiltlessness, law-breaking, exploitation of others, irresponsibility, and deceit.
Anus: The opening from the rectum in which “poop” or feces leaves the body.
Anxiety disorders: Psychological disorders involving fears that are uncontrollable, disproportionate to the actual danger the person might be in, and disruptive of ordinary life.
Aphrodisiac: A substance that increases sexual desire.
Apotemnophilia: Arousal from the idea of losing a limb (either through accident or surgical procedure).
Apparent movement: The perception that a stationary object is moving.
Applied behavior analysis: Also called behavior modification, the use of operant conditioning principles to change human behavior.
Arachnephilia: Arousal from play with spiders.
Archetypes: Jung’s term for emotionally laden ideas and images in the collective unconscious that have rich and symbolic meaning for all people.
Areola: The small darkened area of the skin surrounding the nipples on both male and female breasts.
Arousal: Sexual stimulation or excitement.
Artificial insemination: Artificially putting semen into the vagina or uterus for the purpose of inducing pregnancy.
Artificial intelligence (AI): A scientific field that focuses on creating machines capable of performing activities that require intelligence when they are done by people.
Asphyxiaphilia: Sexual arousal, or enhancement, from lack of oxygen.
Asphyxiophilia: The desire to induce in oneself a state of oxygen deficiency in order to create sexual arousal or to enhance excitement and orgasm.
Assimilation: An individual’s incorporation of new information into existing knowledge.
Assisted insemination: It is the procedure in which sperm are placed into the vagina by means other than sexual intercourse.
Association cortex: Sometimes called association areas, the region of the cerebral cortex that is the site of the highest intellectual functions, such as thinking and problem solving.
Associative learning: Learning that occurs when we make a connection, or an association, between two events.
Asthenolagnia: Arousal from weakness or being humiliated.
Atkinson-Shiffrin theory: Theory stating that memory storage involves three separate systems: sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory.
Attachment: A psychological bond that forms between an infant and the mother, father, or other caregiver.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): One of the most common psychological disorder, of childhood, in which individuals show one or more of the following: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
Attention: The process of focusing awareness on a narrowed aspect of the environment.
Attitudes: Our feelings, opinions, and beliefs about people, objects, and ideas.
Attribution theory: The view that people are motivated to discover the underlying causes of behavior as part of their effort to make sense of the behavior.
Auditory nerve: The nerve structure that receives information about sound from the hair cells of the inner ear and carries these neural impulses to the brain’s auditory areas.
Autagonistophilia: Arousal from being on stage, being in front of a camera or in the public eye.
Authoritarian parenting: A restrictive, punitive style in which the parent exhorts the child to follow the parent’s directions and to value hard work and effort.
Authoritative parenting: A parenting style that encourages the child to be independent but that still places limits and controls on behavior.
Autoassassinophilia: “Stage managing the possibility of one’s own masochistic death by murder”. Coined by John Money.
Autobiographical memory: A special form of episodic memory, consisting of a person’s recollections of his or her life experiences.
Autoeroticism: Sexual self-stimulation; for example, masturbation.
Autogynephilia: Sexual excitement from cross dressing.
Automasochism: The act of inflicting pain or injuries on oneself as a way of causing sexual stimulation.
Automatic processes: States of consciousness that require little attention and do not interfere with other ongoing activities.
Automysophilia: Arousal from being dirty or defiled.
Autonomic nervous system: The body system that takes messages to and from the body’s internal organs, monitoring such processes as breathing, heart rate, and digestion.
Autophagy: The ingesting of one’s own flesh (usually for sexual reasons).
Availability heuristic: A prediction about the probability of an event based on the ease of recalling or imagining similar events.
Aversive conditioning: A form of treatment that consists of repeated pairings of a stimulus with a very unpleasant stimulus.
Avoidance learning: An organism’s learning that it can altogether avoid a negative stimulus by making a particular response.
Axillism: Using the armpit for sex (as a substitute vagina).
Axon: The part of the neuron that carries information away from the cell body toward other cells.
Baby pro: A young prostitute, generally 16 years of age or younger.
Bacteria: A tiny organism that causes many sexually transmitted infections (e.g., Syphilis). Bacterial infections can be cured antibiotics.
Bacterial Vaginosis: Bacterial Vaginosis, called BV, is the most common vaginal infection where the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina is disrupted and replaced by an overgrowth of certain bacteria. It is sometimes accompanied by discharge, odor, pain, itching, or burning. It can cause serious complications during pregnancy and is cured by taking antimicrobials.
Banging: Can mean the act of sex (sexual intercourse) but is often used to describe a measure of attractiveness.
Balls: Slang term for a male’s testicles.
Barbiturates: Depressant drugs, such as Nembutal and Seconal that decrease central nervous system activity.
Barr body: A small, black dot appearing in the cells of genetic females; it represents an inactivated X chromosome.
Barrier Method: Contraceptive methods that protect against pregnancies by placing a physical barrier between sperm and egg like Condoms, diaphragms, etc.; physically prevent sperm from swimming into the uterus and fertilizing the woman’s egg.
Bartholin glands: Two tiny glands located on either side of the vaginal entrance.
Basal body temperature method: A type of rhythm method of birth control in which the woman determines when she ovulates by keeping track of her temperature.
Basal ganglia: Large neuron clusters located above the thalamus and under the cerebral cortex that work with the cerebellum and the cerebral cortex to control and coordinate voluntary movements.
Base rate fallacy: The tendency to ignore information about general principles in favor of very specific but vivid information.
Basoexia: Arousal from kissing.
Beat: Slang term for having sex “Getting laid.”
Beating the Bishop: Slang term for male masturbation.
Beaver: Slang term for a female’s genitals (vagina).
Becky: Slang term for giving good head, or a girl who gives head. It is also known as “dome” or “brain.”
Behavior modification: A set of operant conditioning techniques used to modify human behavior.
Behavior therapy: A system of therapy based on learning theory, in which the focus is on the problem behavior, and how it can be modified or changed.
Behavior: Everything we do that can be directly observed.
Behavioral approach: An approach to psychology emphasizing the scientific study of observable behavioral responses and their environmental determinants.
Behavioral genetics: The study of the inherited underpinnings of behavioral characteristics.
Behavioral medicine: An interdisciplinary field that focuses on developing and integrating behavioral and biomedical knowledge to promote health and reduce illness; overlaps with health psychology.
Behaviorism: A theory of learning that focuses solely on observable behaviors, discounting the importance of such mental activity as thinking, wishing, and hoping.
Belonephilia: Arousal from using of needles.
Bestiality: Sexual contact with an animal; also called zoophilia.
Bestialsadism: Arousal from performing cruel acts to animals.
Biastophilia: Only being aroused when sexually assaulting an unwilling victim.
Bibliotherapy: The use of a self-help book to treat a disorder.
Bi-Curious: A term that refers to a person who is primarily sexually attracted to the other sex, but who has expressed thoughts or interest in having a romantic or sexual relationship with someone of the same sex.
Big five factors of personality: The five broad traits that are thought to describe the main dimensions of personality: neuroticism (emotional instability), extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.
Biiest: A female who has a fetish for female feet.
Binding: In the sense of vision, the bringing together and integration of what is processed by different neural pathways or cells.
Binge eating disorder (BED): Eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of consuming large amounts of food during which the person feels a lack of control over eating.
Binocular cues: Depth cues that depend on the combination of the images in the left and right eyes and on the way the two eyes work together.
Biological approach: An approach to psychology focusing on the body, especially the brain and nervous system.
Biological rhythms: Periodic physiological fluctuations in the body, such as the rise and fall of hormones and accelerated and decelerated cycles of brain activity that can influence our behavior.
Biological therapies: Also called biomedical therapies, treatments that reduce or eliminate the symptoms of psychological disorders by altering aspects of body functioning.
Bipolar disorder: Mood disorder characterized by extreme mood swings that include one or more episodes of mania, an overexcited, unrealistically optimistic state.
Birth: It is the act or process of a baby being born.
Birth Control: It is another term for contraception; a way to prevent pregnancy.
Birth Control Pills: It is a hormonal method of birth control that prevents ovulation. They are 95-99% effective at preventing pregnancy when taken every day at about the same time. They must be prescribed by a health care provider. Birth control pills do not prevent sexually transmitted infections. Also called “the pill” or oral contraceptives.
Bisexual: A person whose sexual orientation is toward both men and women.
Blastolagnia: A person aroused by young females.
Blow Job: It is oral sex on a male. It is aka “giving head.”
Blue Balls: It is a very real condition that results from a prolonged state of sexual arousal. When a guy is physically turned on, blood flows to his penis, which is what gives him an erection, and his testicles, causing them to swell. If he doesn’t ejaculate, there is a buildup of pressure, and his supersensitive balls feel the brunt of it. The sensation can range from a mild ache to worse-than-getting-kicked-in-the-crotch pain. But the bottom line is, it’s not dangerous, and he can deal with it, whether that means giving himself a helping hand or just waiting it out.
Body-centered sex: Sexual expression in which the emphasis is on the body and physical pleasure.
Body Image : It refers to a person’s perception of the aesthetics and sexual attractiveness of their own body. Body image is influenced more by self-esteem than by how physically attractive you are to others. It is how YOU feel about and in your body.
Bondage: The use of physical or psychological restraint to enforce servitude, from which both participants derive sensual pleasure.
Boner: When the penis fills with blood in response to sexual excitement and becomes larger and stands away from the body. It is also known as Erection or “Stiffy.”
Boobs: It is another name for breasts. it is also called “tits” or “titties”.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD): A psychological disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and emotions, and of marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts.
Bottom-up processing: It is the operation in sensation and perception in which sensory receptors register information about the external environment and send it up to the brain for interpretation.
Botulinonia: Using a sausage as a dildo.
Box: Slang term for vagina.
Brain stem: The stem-like brain area that includes much of the hindbrain (it does not include the cerebellum) and the midbrain; it connects with the spinal cord at its lower end and then extends upward to encase the reticular formation in the midbrain.
Bra: An article of underclothing designed to support the breasts for comfort, fashion and health.
Braxton-Hicks contractions: Contractions of the uterus during pregnancy that are not part of actual labor.
Breasts: It is the mammary glands on a female’s chest that can produce milk after giving birth. Males also have breasts, but they do not produce milk.
Breast Exam: It is done to detect changes like unusual lumps or swellings that could lead to breast cancer. There are two types of breast exams: one done by a health care provider and a breast self-exam. The purpose of a breast self-exam is to have a girl familiarize herself with her own body, so if she does feel anything unusual, she can have it checked out by a health care provider. A breast exam helps health care providers, women and girls identify noncancerous growths, like cysts, as well as breast cancer, which is extremely rare in teen girls. While breast cancer is more common in women over 40, it does occur in men as well. Women and girls should perform breast self-exams once a month. A good rule for a girl to follow is to do the exam a week after her period
Breech presentation: Birth of a baby with buttocks or feet first.
Breeder: It is often used by people of homosexual persuasion to refer to heterosexual couples, who have a significantly higher risk of contributing to the population increase than the homosexuals. Slang term for a heterosexual person (usually derogatory).
Broaden-and-build model: Fredrickson’s model of positive emotion, stating that the function of positive emotions lies in their effects on an individual’s attention and ability to build resources.
Brothel: A house of prostitution where prostitutes and customers meet for sexual activity.
Buccal smear: A test of genetic sex, in which a small scraping of cells is taken from the inside of the mouth, stained, and examined under a microscope.
Bulbourethral glands: See Cowper’s glands: Glands that secrete substances into the male’s urethra.
Bulimia nervosa: Eating disorder in which an individual (typically female) consistently follows a binge-and-purge eating pattern.
Burnout: A distressed psychological state in which a person experiences emotional exhaustion and little motivation for work.
Bust A Nut: It is when a man ejaculates or has an orgasm.
Butt: It is the fleshy part of the body on which a person sits. It is aka buttocks.
Butch: A very masculine lesbian; may also refer to a very masculine gay man.
Bystander effect: The tendency of an individual who observes an emergency to help less when other people are present than when the observer is alone.
CAH: Congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a condition in which a genetic female produces abnormal levels of testosterone prenatally and therefore has male-appearing genitals at birth.
Calendar method: A type of rhythm method of birth control in which the woman determines when she ovulates by keeping a calendar record of the length of her menstrual cycles.
Call girl: The most expensive and exclusive category of prostitutes.
Camel Toe: It is when a human female wears tightly fitting clothes that reveals the indent between her labia.
Cannon-Bard theory: The proposition that emotion and physiological reactions occur simultaneously.
Capacity To Consent: This is a legal term that means you have the ability to understand information given to you about the medical service you are going to receive, and make a decision using that information.
Capnolagnia: Arousal from watching others smoke.
Case study or case history: An in-depth look at a single individual.
Castration: The removal (usually by means of surgery) of the gonads (the testes in men or the ovaries in women).
Catatonia: State of immobility and unresponsiveness lasting for long periods of time.
Catheterophilia: Arousal from the use of catheters.
Celibacy: It is a state of abstention from sexual intercourse, especially for reason of religious vows.
Cell body: The part of the neuron that contains the nucleus, which directs the manufacture of substances that the neuron needs for growth and maintenance.
Central nervous system (CNS): The brain and spinal cord.
Cerebral cortex: Part of the forebrain, the outer layer of the brain, responsible for the most complex mental functions, such as thinking and planning.
Cervix: It is the lower part of the uterus that connects the uterus to the vagina.
Cervical Cancer: It is a cancer that forms in tissues of the cervix (organ connecting the uterus and vagina). It is usually a slow-growing cancer that may not have symptoms, but can be found with a regular Pap smear (procedure in which cells are scraped from the cervix and looked at under a microscope).
It is a cancer that forms in tissues of the cervix (organ connecting the uterus and vagina). It is usually a slow-growing cancer that may not have symptoms, but can be found with a regular Pap smear (procedure in which cells are scraped from the cervix and looked at under a microscope).
Cervical Os: The opening of the cervix.
Cervical cap: A birth control device similar to the diaphragm.
Cervical mucus method: A type of rhythm method of birth control in which the woman determines when she ovulates by checking her cervical mucus.
Cesarean Section (C-Section): A surgical procedure that removes a baby from a woman’s uterus by cutting open her abdomen.
Chemiluminescence: The generation of electromagnetic radiation as light by the release of energy from a chemical reaction.
Cherry: It is another word for the hymen, which is a thin piece of tissue that partially covers the opening to the vagina in most women.
Chezolagnia: Masturbating whilst defecating.
Chicken Head: It is a derogatory term for a girl that gives head (blow jobs) frequently.
Child pornography: Any material that shows a child’s genitals for a sexual purpose or depicts a child engaged in sexual activity.
Chlamydia: A sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria that often has no symptoms. When symptoms occur, they can include burning during urination, discharge and bleeding during intercourse for girls. For guys, pain during urination and a watery discharge are common symptoms.
Choad: A penis that is wider than it is long.
Choking The Chicken: Slang term for male masturbation.
Choreophilia: Sexual arousal from dancing.
Chorionic villus sampling (CVS): A technique for early detection of birth defects in the fetus.
Chrematistophilia: Arousal from either paying for sex or from being robbed.
Chromosomes: In the human cell, threadlike structures that come in 23 pairs, one member of each pair originating from each parent, and that contain the remarkable substance DNA.
Circadian rhythms: Daily behavioral or physiological cycles. Daily circadian rhythms involve the sleep/wake cycle, body temperature, blood pressure, and blood sugar level.
Circumcision: Surgical removal of the foreskin of the penis.
Classical conditioning: Learning process in which a neutral stimulus becomes associated with a meaningful stimulus and acquires the capacity to elicit a similar response.
Classical conditioning: The learning process in which a previously neutral stimulus (conditioned stimulus) is repeatedly paired with an unconditioned stimulus that reflexively elicits an unconditioned response. Eventually the conditioned stimulus itself will evoke the response.
Claustrophilia: Sexual arousal from being confined in small spaces e.g. cages, coffins or straight jackets.
Client-centered therapy: Also called Rogerian therapy or nondirective therapy, a form of humanistic therapy, developed by Rogers, in which the therapist provides a warm, supportive atmosphere to improve the client’s self-concept and to encourage the client to gain insight into problems.
Clitoridectomy: Surgical removal of the clitoris in females (obviously).
Cleaning The Pipes: Slang term for male masturbation.
Clitoral orgasm: Freud’s term for orgasm in the female resulting from stimulation of the clitoris.
Clitoridectomy: Removal of the clitoris.
Clit: Slang term that is the short for clitoris.
Clitoris: A small, highly sensitive sexual organ in the female, found in front of the vaginal entrance.
Cloning: Producing genetically identical individuals from a single parent.
Closeted: It is a term denoting an individual who is not open about his or her sexual orientation. It is also known as “in the closet.”
Cock: It is a slang term for a male’s penis.
Cognition: The way in which information is processed and manipulated in remembering, thinking, and knowing.
Cognitive affective processing systems (CAPS): Mischel’s theoretical model for describing that our thoughts and emotions about ourselves and the world affect our behavior and become linked in ways that matter to behavior.
Cognitive appraisal: Individuals’ interpretation of the events in their lives as harmful, threatening, or challenging and their determination of whether they have the resources to cope effectively with the events.
Cognitive approach: An approach to psychology emphasizing the mental processes involved in knowing: how we direct our attention, perceive, remember, think, and solve problems.
Cognitive dissonance: An individual’s psychological discomfort (dissonance) caused by two inconsistent thoughts.
Cognitive interference: Negative thoughts that distract a person from focusing on the erotic experience.
Cognitive reappraisal: Regulating one’s feelings about an experience by reinterpreting that experience or thinking about it in a different way or from a different angle.
Cognitive theory of dreaming: Theory proposing that we can understand dreaming by applying the same cognitive concepts we use in studying the waking mind; rests on the idea that dreams are essentially subconscious cognitive processing involving information and memory.
Cognitive therapies: Treatments that point to cognitions (thoughts) as the main source of psychological problems and that attempt to change the individual’s feelings and behaviors by changing cognitions.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy: A form of therapy that combines behavior therapy and restructuring of negative thought patterns
Coitobalnism: Sexual activities whilst in the bath.
Coitus A Cheval: Sex on a horse.
Coitus A Unda: Sex in water.
Coitus Interfermoris: Penetration between the thighs. Sometimes used as a form of birth control.
Coitus interruptus: See withdrawal: A method of birth control in which the man withdraws his penis from his partner’s vagina before he has an orgasm.
Coitus: Sexual intercourse, insertion of the penis into the vagina.
Collective unconscious: Jung’s term for the impersonal, deepest layer of the unconscious mind, shared by all human beings because of their common ancestral past.
Colobosis: Mutilation of the penis
Colostrum: A watery substance that is secreted from the breast at the end of pregnancy and during the first few days after delivery.
Combination pills: Birth control pills that contain a combination of estrogen and progestin (progesterone).
Coming out: The process of acknowledging to oneself, and then to others, that one is gay or lesbian.
Companionate love: A feeling of deep attachment and commitment to a person with whom one has an intimate relationship.
Comprehensive Sex Education: It is the education that promotes a positive view of sexuality as a natural part of human development. It also provides information about sexual abstinence as well as pregnancy and disease protection, and provides teens with skills to ensure they are able to take care of their sexual health and make healthy, responsible decisions.
Concept: A mental category that is used to group objects, events, and characteristics.
Conception: It is the process of an egg and a sperm joining together. It is also called fertilization. Conception is not the same as “pregnancy.”
Medical experts say that a pregnancy begins when the blastocyst (the combination of the sperm and egg) implants into the wall of the uterus.
Concrete operational stage: Piaget’s third stage of cognitive development, lasting from about 7 to 11 years of age, during which the individual uses operations and replaces intuitive reasoning with logical reasoning in concrete situations.
Conditioned response (CR): The learned response to the conditioned stimulus that occurs after conditioned stimulus–unconditioned stimulus pairing.
Conditioned stimulus (CS): A previously neutral stimulus that eventually elicits a conditioned response after being paired with the unconditioned stimulus.
Conditions of worth: The standards that the individual must live up to in order to receive positive regard from others.
Condoms: A sheath placed over the penis; used in the prevention of pregnancy and of sexually transmitted diseases.
Condom Availability Program: It is a promising approach for increasing condom use among students (makes Condoms available to high school students at school), for reducing the risk of infections with the human immunodeficiency virus and with other sexually transmitted diseases and for preventing unintended pregnancy. Some programs include counseling.
Conduct disorder: A pattern of offensive behavior that violates the basic rights of others.
Cones: The receptor cells in the retina that allow for color perception.
Confederate: A person who is given a role to play in a study so that the social context can be manipulated.
Confidential: Typically refers to a policy about providing services to teens at a family planning clinic. It means that a that a doctor or other health care provider can’t discuss their conversations with a patient, his/her physical examination, medical history or test results with other people, even the patient’s parents regardless of the patient’s age. To be sure of clinic’s confidentiality policy, ask when you call to make an appointment how they will ensure your visit is kept private.
Confidentiality: A legal contract to make sure that your personal medical information will be kept a secret from everyone, unless you give permission to share it. Title X clinics ensure confidentiality for their teen patients.
Confirmation bias: The tendency to search for and use information that supports our ideas rather than refutes them.
Conformity: A change in a person’s behavior to coincide more closely with a group standard.
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH): A condition in which a genetic female has an abnormally functioning adrenal gland that produces an excess of androgens so that she is born with genitals that look like a male’s. It is also called adrenogenital syndrome.
Connectionism: Also called parallel distributed processing (PDP), the theory that memory is stored throughout the brain in connections among neurons, several of which may work together to process a single memory.
Consciousness: An individual’s awareness of external events and internal sensations under a condition of arousal, including awareness of the self and thoughts about one’s experiences.
Consensual: It is when each person agrees to engage in sexual behavior. In order for any sexual activity to be consensual, each person must fully understand the situation and the potential consequences. “Consensual sex” means that no one was forced or manipulated in any way to engage in a sexual behavior.
Content analysis: A set of procedures used to make valid inferences about text.
Continuance commitment: A kind of job commitment deriving from the employee’s perception that leaving the organization would be too costly, both economically and socially.
Contraception : It is way to prevent pregnancy; another term for birth control.
Contraceptive: Any natural, barrier, hormonal or surgical method used to prevent pregnancy.
Control group: The participants in an experiment who are as much like the experimental group as possible and who are treated in every way like the experimental group except for a manipulated factor, the independent variable.
Controlled processes: It is the most alert states of human consciousness, during which individuals actively focus their efforts toward a goal.
Convergence: A binocular cue to depth and distance in which the muscle movements in our two eyes provide information about how deep and/or far away something is.
Convergent thinking: Thinking that produces the single best solution to a problem.
Conversion therapy: Any one of a number of treatments designed to turn LGBs into heterosexuals.
Cooch: Slang term for vagina.
Cootchie: Slang term for a female’s vagina.
Cooter: Slang term for a female’s vagina.
Coping: It is managing taxing circumstances, expending effort to solve life’s problems, and seeking to master or reduce stress.
Coprography: “To write with faeces”. To write obscene graffiti, poems or stories. Arousal from obscene words.
Coprophagy: The act of eating faeces. Quite a popular activity up until the 1700s.
Coprophilia: Deriving sexual satisfaction from contact with feces.
Copulation: Sexual intercourse.
Corephallism: Having anal sex with a young girl.
Corpora cavernosa: Spongy bodies running the length of the top of the penis.
Corpus callosum: The large bundle of axons that connects the brain’s two hemispheres, responsible for relaying information between the two sides.
Corpus luteum: The mass of cells of the follicle remaining after ovulation; it secretes progesterone.
Corpus spongiosum: A spongy body running the length of the underside of the penis.
Correlation: A number that measures the relationship between two variables.
Correlational research: It is research that examines the relationships between variables, whose purpose is to examine whether and how two variables change together.
Correlational study: A study in which the researcher does not manipulate variables but rather studies naturally occurring relationships (correlations) among variables.
Cost-benefit approach: An approach to analyzing the ethics of a research study, based on weighing the costs of the research (the subjects’ time, stress to subjects, and so on) against the benefits of the research (gaining knowledge about human sexuality).
Counterconditioning: A classical conditioning procedure for changing the relationship between a conditioned stimulus and its conditioned response.
Couples therapy: Group therapy with married or unmarried couples whose major problem lies within their relationship.
Couvade: The experiencing of the symptoms of pregnancy and childbirth by a male.
Covert homosexual: A homosexual who is “in the closet,” who keeps his or her sexual orientation a secret.
Cowper’s glands: Glands that secrete substances into the male’s urethra.
Crabs (Pubic Lice): It is a parasite that lives in a person’s pubic hair causing intense itching. Can be sexually transmitted and cured with anti-lice medicated shampoo and body wash such as Kwell, which can be purchased in a drug store.
Cramps: Painful menstruation, or dysmenorrhea.
Cratolagnia: Arousal from strength of partner.
Creativity: The ability to think about something in novel and unusual ways and to devise unconventional solutions to problems.
Critical thinking: The process of reflecting deeply and actively, asking questions, and evaluating the evidence.
Cross Dresser: It is when a person who dresses in the clothing typically associated with a different gender. It is also known as transvestite.
Cryptorchidism: Undescended testes; the condition in which the testes do not descend to the scrotum as they should during prenatal development.
Culture-fair tests: Intelligence tests that are intended to be culturally unbiased.
Cum: Slang term for semen. Cum can also be a verb referring to having an orgasm or ejaculating. Both girls and guys use this term to refer to their orgasms and sexual fluids, although it is more common for referring to a guys’ orgasm, ejaculation or semen.
Cunnilingus: Licking or sucking a woman’s clitoris or vulva.
Cunt: Slang term for a female’s vagina. It is also a derogatory term for a woman and considered by many to be the most offensive word in the English language.
Cyber Sex: Sexual encounters that take place entirely via the Internet, often in chat rooms.
Cyberbully: A child, preteen or teen that willfully and repeatedly harasses, threatens torments or humiliates another child, preteen or teen using e-mail, instant messaging, the Internet, digital technology or a mobile phone. When an adult is involved in any of these activities it is known as cyberharassment or cyberstalking.
Cynophilia: Arousal from sex with dogs.
Cyst: It is a fluid-filled growth on or in the body.
Dacnolagnomania: A lust murder.
Dacryphilia: Refers to someone that is aroused by seeing tears in the eyes of their partner.
Dasyproctic: With hairy buttocks.
Date Rape: It is when you’re raped by a friend, someone you’re dating or a romantic partner. It’s also called “acquaintance rape.” So, if you tell your friend or partner you don’t want to have sex and they force you, that’s date rape, even if you’ve had sex with that person before.
Date rape often happens at parties, raves, and other places where people are “partying.” Sometimes, rapists slip “date rate” drugs into people’s drinks. These drugs can knock you out or make you unable to move or resist, making it easier for someone to rape you. It’s illegal to give these drugs to someone.
Date With Rosie Palm: Slang term for male masturbation.
Decay theory: Theory stating that when we learn something new, a neurochemical memory trace forms, but over time this trace disintegrates; suggests that the passage of time always increases forgetting.
Decision making: The mental activity of evaluating alternatives and choosing among them.
Deductive reasoning: Reasoning from a general case that is known to be true to a specific instance.
Deep brain stimulation: A procedure for treatment-resistant depression that involves the implantation of electrodes in the brain that emit signals to alter the brain’s electrical circuitry.
Defecolagbia: Arousal from defecating.
Defense mechanisms: Tactics the ego uses to reduce anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality.
De-individuation: The reduction in personal identity and erosion of the sense of personal responsibility when one is part of a group.
Delusions: False, unusual, and sometimes magical beliefs that are not part of an individual’s culture.
Demand characteristics: Any aspects of a study that communicate to the participants how the experimenter wants them to behave.
Dendrites: Treelike fibers projecting from a neuron, which receive information and orient it toward the neuron’s cell body.
Dental Dam: A thin square of latex material used during dental procedures. It can be used to cover a female’s genitals during oral sex to reduce the risk of spreading sexually transmitted infections.
Dendrophilia: Arousal from tree or fertility worship of them
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA): A complex molecule in the cell’s chromosomes that carries genetic information.
Dependent variable: The outcome; the factor that can change in an experiment in response to changes in the independent variable.
Depo-Provera: A drug containing progestin; used as a form of birth control in women, as well as a treatment for male sex offenders.
Depressants: Psychoactive drugs that slow down mental and physical activity.
Depressive disorders: Mood disorders in which the individual suffers from depression—an unrelenting lack of pleasure in life.
Deprivation homosexuality: Homosexual activity that occurs in certain situations, such as prisons, when people are deprived of their regular heterosexual activity.
Depth perception: The ability to perceive objects three-dimensionally.
Descriptive research: Research that determines the basic dimensions of a phenomenon, defining what it is, how often it occurs, and so on.
Descriptive statistics: Mathematical procedures that are used to describe and summarize sets of data in a meaningful way.
Development: The pattern of continuity and change in human capabilities that occurs throughout life, involving both growth and decline.
Diaphragm: A cap-shaped rubber contraceptive device that fits inside a woman’s vagina over the cervix.
Diathesis-stress model: View of schizophrenia emphasizing that a combination of biogenetic disposition and stress causes the disorder.
Dick: Slang term for a male’s penis.
Difference threshold: The degree of difference that must exist between two stimuli before the difference is detected.
Dilation: An opening up of the cervix during labor; also called dilatation.
Dildo: A rubber or plastic cylinder often shaped like a penis.
Dippoldism: Sexual arousal from beating/chastising children.
Discrepancy of sexual desire: A sexual disorder in which the partners have considerably different levels of sexual desire.
Discrimination (in classical conditioning): The process of learning to respond to certain stimuli and not others.
Discrimination (in operant conditioning): Responding appropriately to stimuli that signal that a behavior will or will not be reinforced.
Discrimination: An unjustified negative or harmful action toward a member of a group simply because the person belongs to that group.
Disorders of sexual development (DSD): Congenital conditions in which the development of chromosomal, gonadal, or anatomical sex is atypical; formerly called intersex conditions (orhermaphroditism ).
Display rules: Sociocultural standards that determine when, where, and how emotions should be expressed.
Dissociative amnesia: Dissociative disorder characterized by extreme memory loss that is caused by extensive psychological stress.
Dissociative disorders: Psychological disorders that involve a sudden loss of memory or change in identity due to the dissociation (separation) of the individual’s conscious awareness from previous memories and thoughts.
Dissociative fugue: Dissociative disorder in which the individual not only develops amnesia but also unexpectedly travels away from home and sometimes assumes a new identity.
Dissociative identity disorder (DID): Formerly called multiple personality disorder, a dissociative disorder in which the individual has two or more distinct personalities or identities, each with its own memories, behaviors, and relationships.
Divergent thinking: It is the thinking that produces many solutions to the same problem.
Divided attention: Concentrating on more than one activity at the same time.
Divided consciousness view of hypnosis: It is Hilgard’s view that hypnosis involves a splitting of consciousness into two separate components, one of which follows the hypnotist’s commands and the other of which acts as a “hidden observer.”
Documenting: Giving specific examples of the issue being discussed.
Doggie Style: A position for vaginal or anal intercourse in which the receiving partner crouches on all fours with the legs slightly apart, while their sex partner performs sex acts on them.
Dogging: The watching of couples having sex in parked cars.
Doleros: Arousal from pain.
Donkey: Slang term for a female’s buttocks.
Dominance and submission: The use of power consensually given to control the sexual stimulation and behavior of the other person.
Dominant-recessive genes principle: The principle that, if one gene of a pair is dominant and one is recessive, the dominant gene overrides the recessive gene. A recessive gene exerts its influence only if both genes of a pair are recessive.
Doraphilia – Love of fur or skin (usually leather).
Double Bagging: Refers to using two Condoms instead of one; using two Condoms is not recommended because they can rub against each other and actually tear more easily. It is best to use one latex condom, correctly and consistently.
Double standard: A standard in which premarital intercourse is considered acceptable for males but not for females.
Double-blind experiment: An experimental design in which neither the experimenter nor the participants are aware of which participants are in the experimental group and which are in the control group until the results are calculated.
Douche: To flush out the inside of the vagina with a liquid.
Douching (DOOSH-ing): It is flushing out the inside of the vagina with a liquid.
Downsizing: A dramatic cutting of the workforce that is an increasingly popular business strategy to enhance profitability.
Drag queen: A male homosexual who dresses in women’s clothing.
Dream analysis: A psychoanalytic technique for interpreting a person’s dreams.
Drive: An aroused state that occurs because of a physiological need.
Dry Sex: It means going through the motions of sex (rubbing bodies, thrusting and grinding) without inserting a penis into a vagina or into any other body part.
DSM-IV: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; the major classification of psychological disorders in the United States.
Dysmenorrhea: Painful menstruation.
Dysmorphophilia: Sexual arousal from deformities in others.
Dyspareunia: Painful intercourse.
Dysthymic disorder (DD): Mood disorder that is generally more chronic and has fewer symptoms than MDD; the individual is in a depressed mood for most days for at least two years as an adult or at least one year as a child or an adolescent.
Eating Out: Performing oral sex on a woman; licking or sucking the clitoris.
Ecouteurism: Unintentional arousal from sounds.
Ectopic pregnancy: A life-threatening condition in which the fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterus, usually the Fallopian tube.
Edema: Excessive fluid retention and swelling.
Editing: Censoring or not saying things that would be deliberately hurtful to your partner or that are irrelevant.
Effacement: Thinning out of the cervix during labor.
Effective communicator: A communicator whose impact matches his or her intent.
Efferent nerves: Also called motor nerves; nerves that carry information out of the brain and spinal cord to other areas of the body.
Ego: According to Freud, the part of the personality that helps the person have realistic, rational interactions.
Egoism: Giving to another person to ensure reciprocity; to gain self-esteem; to present oneself as powerful, competent, or caring; or to avoid censure from self and others for failing to live up to society’s expectations.
Ejaculate: It is the fluid that is released from the tip of the male penis. It is also known as cum.
Elaboration likelihood model: Theory identifying two ways to persuade: a central route and a peripheral route.
Elaboration: The formation of a number of different connections around a stimulus at a given level of memory encoding.
Electra complex: According to Freud the sexual attraction of a little girl for her father.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT): Also called shock therapy a treatment, commonly used for depression that sets off a seizure in the brain.
Electrophilia: Arousal from electrical stimulus.
Emancipated Minor: A legal status that is different from being a minor. It is more like having the rights and responsibilities of an adult. The laws vary state to state, but generally you are an emancipated minor if you are under 18 years old and married or in the armed forces. You can petition a court to be considered an emancipated minor if you live separately from your family and no longer receive financial help from them.
Embryo transfer: Procedure in which an embryo is transferred from the uterus of one woman into the uterus of another.
Embryo: In humans, the term used to refer to the unborn young from the first to the eighth week after conception.
Emergency Contraception : It is a way to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse. It is commonly known as the “morning-after pill.”
Emerging adulthood: The transitional period from adolescence to adulthood, spanning approximately 18 to 25 years of age.
Emetophilia: Arousal from vomit or vomiting.
Emotion: Feeling, or affect, that can involve physiological arousal (such as a fast heartbeat), conscious experience (thinking about being in love with someone), and behavioral expression (a smile or grimace).
Emotion-focused coping: The coping strategy that involves responding to the stress that one is feeling—trying to manage one’s emotional reaction—rather than focusing on the problem itself.
Empathy: A feeling of oneness with the emotional state of another person.
Empirical method: Gaining knowledge through the observation of events, the collection of data, and logical reasoning.
Empirically keyed test: It is a type of self-report test that presents many questionnaire items to two groups that are known to be different in some central way.
Encoding: It is the first step in memory; the process by which information gets into memory storage.
Endemicity: Prevalent in or peculiar to a particular locality, region, or people: diseases endemic to the tropics.
Endocrine system: The body system consisting of a set of glands that regulate the activities of certain organs by releasing their chemical products into the bloodstream.
Endometrium: It is the lining of the uterus that grows and sheds during the menstrual cycle.
Endometriosis: A condition in which the endometrium grows abnormally outside the uterus; the symptom is unusually painful periods with excessive bleeding.
Endytophilia: Refers to preferring a sex partner to be clothed rather than naked during sex.
Engorge: To fill with blood and swell or become stiff. Typically refers to a guy’s penis, although the clitoris also fills with blood and becomes larger during sexual excitement.
Entomophilia: The use of insects for sexual stimulation.
Epididymis: Highly coiled tubes located on the edge of the testies, where sperm mature.
Epispadias: The condition whereby the urethra opens up on the upper surface of the penis instead of extending through the centre to the tip of the penis.
Episiotomy (ih-pee-see-ah-tuh-mee): An incision made in the skin just behind the vagina, allowing the baby to be delivered more easily.
Episodic memory: The retention of information about the where, when, and what of life’s happenings—that is, how individuals remember life’s episodes.
Equity theory: A theory that states that people mentally calculate the benefits and costs for them in a relationship; their behavior is then affected by whether they feel there is equity or inequity, and they will act to restore equity if there is inequity.
Erectile disorder: The inability to have or maintain an erection.
Ergonomics: Also called human factors, a field that combines engineering and psychology and that focuses on understanding and enhancing the safety and efficiency of the human–machine interaction.
Erogenous zones: Areas of the body that is particularly sensitive to sexual stimulation.
Erotica: Sexually arousing material that is not degrading or demeaning to women, men, or children.
Erotographomania: Strong desire to write love letters or poetry.
Erotophilia: Feeling comfortable with sex, lacking in feelings of guilt and fear about sex.
Erotophobia: Feeling guilty and fearful about sex.
Estrogens: The group of “female” sex hormones.
Ethnocentrism: The tendency to regard one’s own ethnic group and culture as superior to others and to believe that its customs and way of life are the standards by which other cultures should be judged.
Evolution: A theory that all living things have acquired their present forms through gradual changes in their genetic endowment over successive generations.
Evolutionary approach: An approach to psychology centered on evolutionary ideas such as adaptation, reproduction, and natural selection as the basis for explaining specific human behaviors.
Evolutionary psychology: The study of psychological mechanisms that have been shaped by natural selection.
Excitement: The first stage of sexual response, during which erection in the male and vaginal lubrication in the female occur.
Exercise: Structured activities whose goal is to improve health.
Exhibitionist: A person who derives sexual gratification from exposing his genitals to others in situations in which this is inappropriate.
Expiration Date: The date on the box of Condoms that lets you know when it is not safe to continue using the Condoms. So, if the date is 12/05/07, then you cannot use those Condoms after December 5th, 2007, because they are more likely to break or tear.
Experiment: A type of research study in which one variable (the independent variable) is manipulated by the experimenter while all other factors are held constant; the researcher can then study the effects of the independent variable on some measured variable (the dependent variable); the researcher is permitted to make causal inferences about the effects of the independent variable on the dependent variable.
Experimental group: The participants in an experiment who receive the drug or other treatment under study—that is, those who are exposed to the change that the independent variable represents.
Experimenter bias: Occurs when the experimenter’s expectations influence the outcome of the research.
Explicit memory: Also called declarative memory, the conscious recollection of information, such as specific facts or events and, at least in humans, information that can be verbally communicated.
External validity: The degree to which an experimental design actually reflects the real-world issues it is supposed to address.
Extinction (in classical conditioning): The weakening of the conditioned response when the unconditioned stimulus is absent.
Extinction (in operant conditioning): Decreases in the frequency of a behavior when the behavior is no longer reinforced.
Extramarital sex: Sexual activity between a married person and someone other than that person’s spouse; adultery.
Extrinsic motivation: Motivation that involves external incentives such as rewards and punishments.
Exudate: a fluid with a high content of protein and cellular debris which has escaped from the blood vessels and has deposited in tissues.
Face validity: The extent to which a test item appears to be a good fit to the characteristic it measures.
Facial feedback hypothesis: The idea that facial expressions can influence emotions as well as reflect them.
Fag/Faggot: Pejorative terms for a gay man. As unacceptable at school as racial or religious slurs.
Failure rate: The pregnancy rate occurring using a particular contraceptive method; the percentage of women who will be pregnant after a year of use of the method.
Fallopian tube: The tube extending from the uterus to the ovary; also called the oviduct.
False consensus effect: Observers’ overestimation of the degree to which everybody else thinks or acts the way they do.
Family Planning Clinic: It is a place that provides reproductive health care including Pap smears, pelvic and breast exams, pregnancy testing and options counseling, birth control, and testing for sexually transmitted infections including HIV. Some clinics have special services for teens and still others provide services specifically for guys.
Family therapy: Group therapy with family members.
Fatty: Slang term for someone’s (usually a female’s) buttocks.
Fear-Based Sexuality Programs: Educational programs that use scare tactics to keep teens from having sex. These programs discuss only the negative, dangerous parts of sex. They exaggerate the risks of sexual activities to make sex seem more frightening. This report from SIECUS provides several examples of fear-based sexuality progamming.
Feature detectors: Neurons in the brain’s visual system that responds to particular features of a stimulus.
Fellatio: Mouth stimulation of the male genitals.
Female circumcision: Amputation of the clitoris.
Female Condom: It is a polyurethane pouch that has two flexible rings on either end. One ring is inserted into the vagina and the other ring stays outside the vagina. They can be purchased without a prescription and can be used during anal intercourse as well. Female Condoms should not be used at the same time as male Condoms.
Female impersonator: A man who dresses up as a woman as part of a job in entertainment.
Female orgasmic disorder: A sexual disorder in which the woman is unable to have an orgasm.
Female sexual arousal disorder: Sexual disorder in which there is a lack of response to sexual stimulation.
Fertile: The ability to become pregnant.
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS): Serious growth deficiency and malformations in the child of a mother who abuses alcohol during pregnancy.
Fetish: An object or activity that arouses sexual interest and desire.
Fetishism: A person’s sexual fixation on some object other than another human being and attachment of great erotic significance to that object.
Fetus: Organism that develops from an embryo at the end of about seven weeks of pregnancy and receives nourishment through the placenta. It will eventually develop into a baby ready to be born.
Fighting fair: A set of rules designed to make arguments constructive rather than destructive.
Figure-ground relationship: The principle by which we organize the perceptual field into stimuli that stand out (figure) and those that are left over (ground).
Fingering: Touching a woman’s genitals with a person’s fingers, usually involves touching or rubbing the clitoris and/or placing fingers inside her vagina.
First-stage labor: The beginning of labor during which there are regular contractions of the uterus; the stage lasts until the cervix is dilated 8 centimeters (3 inches).
Fixation: Using a prior strategy and failing to look at a problem from a fresh new perspective.
Flashbulb memory: The memory of emotionally significant events that people often recall with more accuracy and vivid imagery than everyday events.
Flaccid: Refers to when a penis is limp, not erect.
Flat affect: The display of little or no emotion— a common negative symptom of schizophrenia.
Flatuphilia: Arousal from others passing gas.
Flow: The optimal experience of a match between one’s skills and the challenge of a task.
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH): A hormone secreted by the pituitary; it stimulates follicle development in females and sperm production in males.
Follicular phase: The first phase of the menstrual cycle, beginning just after menstruation, during which an egg matures in preparation for ovulation.
Foreplay: All of the sexual activities that people might do to get each other sexually aroused either before or instead of intercourse.
Forebrain: The brain’s largest division and its most forward part.
Foreskin: A layer of skin covering the glans or tip of the penis in an uncircumcised male; also called prepuce.
Form fetish: A fetish whose object is a particular shape, such as high-heeled shoes.
Formicophilia: Sex play with ants/insects.
Formal operational stage: Piaget’s fourth stage of cognitive development, which begins at 11 to 15 years of age and continues through the adult years; it features thinking about things that are not concrete, making predictions, and using logic to come up with hypotheses about the future.
Formicophilia: Fetish for having small insects crawl on your genitals.
Free association: It is a psychoanalytic technique that involves encouraging individuals to say aloud whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial or embarrassing.
French Kissing: It is a kiss in which both people open their mouths. People use their tongues in the other person’s mouth. This makes saliva go from one person’s mouth to the other person’s. Most STDs are not passed this way.
Frequency theory: Theory on how the inner ear registers the frequency of sound, stating that the perception of a sound’s frequency depends on how often the auditory nerve fires.
Frequency: How often a person does something.
Frontal lobes: The portion of the cerebral cortex behind the forehead, involved in personality, intelligence, and the control of voluntary muscles.
Functional fixedness: Failing to solve a problem as a result of fixation on a thing’s usual functions.
Functionalism: James’s approach to mental processes, emphasizing the functions and purposes of the mind and behavior in the individual’s adaptation to the environment.
Fundamental attribution error: Observers’ overestimation of the importance of internal traits and underestimation of the importance of external situations when they seek explanations of an actor’s behavior.
Gang Bang: When a girl has sex with more than one guy at a time; this can mean rape.
Gardasil: A vaccine for females and males, ages nine to 26, that helps prevent four strains of human papillomavirus (HPV). The Gardasil vaccine is given in three injections over six months. It’s most effective BEFORE someone starts having sex, but has benefits even if someone has had sex in the past.
Gardasil may not fully protect everyone and does not prevent all types of cervical cancer, so it is important for girls and women to continue to see their gynecologist or health care provider to get regular cervical cancer screenings, called Pap tests. Guys should also check with their health care provider if they notice any unusual lumps or growths on their genitals.
Gay bar: A gay-friendly bar or club frequented by lesbians and gays.
Gay Bashing: It refers to the persecution of people who are perceived to be gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered. Bashing can include uttering threats, physical assault and battery, sexual assault and rape, torture, attempted murder, and murder.
Gay baths: Clubs where gay men can socialize; features include a swimming pool or whirlpool and access to casual sex.
Gay: Homosexual; especially male homosexuals.
Gaydar: It is the intuitive ability and learned ability to sense when a person is gay without any direct confirmation.
Genderqueer: It is a way of describing one’s gender as neither traditionally male nor female. A person who uses the term “genderqueer” may also identify as transgender or transsexual.
Gender dysphoria (dis-FOR-ee-uh): Unhappiness with one’s gender; another term for transsexualism.
Gender identity disorder (GID): Strong, persistent cross-sex identification and a continuing discomfort with, or sense of inappropriateness of, one’s assigned sex.
Gender identity: An individual’s multifaceted sense of belonging to the male or female sex.
Gender Neutral: Nondiscriminatory language to describe relationships–e.g. “spouse” and “partner” are gender-neutral alternatives to the gender-specific words “husband” and “wife.”
Gender roles: Expectations for how females and males should think, act, and feel.
Gender similarities hypothesis: Hyde’s proposition that men and women (and boys and girls) are much more similar than they are different.
Gender stereotypes: Overly general beliefs and expectations about what women and men are like.
Gender: The social and psychological aspects of being female or male; gender goes beyond biological sex to include a person’s understanding of the meaning to his or her own life of being male or female.
General adaptation syndrome (GAS): Selye’s term for the common effects of stressful demands on the body, consisting of three stages: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion.
Generalization (in classical conditioning): The tendency of a new stimulus that is similar to the original conditioned stimulus to elicit a response that is similar to the conditioned response.
Generalization (in operant conditioning): Performing a reinforced behavior in a different situation.
Generalized anxiety disorder: Psychological disorder marked by persistent anxiety for at least six months and in which the individual is unable to specify the reasons for the anxiety.
Genes: The units of hereditary information, consisting of short segments of chromosomes composed of DNA.
Genotype: An individual’s genetic heritage; his or her actual genetic material.
Genitals: It is the external sexual and reproductive organs of both males and females; the vagina, labia and clitoris of a female and the penis and scrotum of a male.
Genital Warts: A sexually transmitted infection caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) that causes small, painless bumps around and in the genitals, anus and/or mouth.
Gerontophilia: Arousal from people who are significantly older.
Gestalt psychology: A school of thought interested in how people naturally organize their perceptions according to certain patterns.
Getting Head: It is used to describe when a male is receiving oral sex.
Getting Wet: When a woman becomes sexually aroused, her vagina becomes lubricated or wet.
GIFT: Gamete intra-fallopian transfer, a procedure in which sperm and eggs are collected and then inserted together into the fallopian tube.
Gifted: Possessing high intelligence (an IQ of 130 or higher) and/or superior talent in a particular area.
Gigolo (JIG-uh-loh): A male who provides companionship and sexual gratification on a continuing basis to a woman in exchange for money.
Glans: It is the head of a penis.
Glands: Organs or tissues in the body that create chemicals that control many of our bodily functions.
GLBTQ: It is an acronym for “gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer (or questioning).” It is also known as LGBTQ.
Glial cells: Also called glia; the second of two types of cells in the nervous system; glial cells provide support, nutritional benefits, and other functions and keep neurons running smoothly.
Gomphipothic: Arousal from the sight of teeth.
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH): A hormone secreted by the hypothalamus that regulates the pituitary’s secretion of gonad-stimulating hormones.
Gonads: Glands that produce sex hormones and generate ova (eggs) in females and sperm in males; collectively called gametes, the ova and sperm are the cells that will eventually be used in reproduction.
Gonorrhea: A sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria. Symptoms in men include a discharge from the penis and increased need to urinate. For women, there may be a discharge from the vagina, but many women (and some men too) will not have any symptoms. Gonorrhea can be treated and cured with antibiotics. It is also referred to as “the clap” or “the drip.”
Gräfenberg spot (G-spot): A hypothesized small region on the front wall of the vagina, emptying into the urethra, and responsible for female ejaculation.
Grinding: It is a sexual dance that involves grinding the hips and genitals against those of your partner.
Group polarization effect: The solidification and further strengthening of an individual’s position as a consequence of a group discussion or interaction.
Group Sex: It is when more than two people are having sex with each other at the same time. Also called an orgy.
Group therapy: A sociocultural approach to the treatment of psychological disorders that brings together individuals who share a particular psychological disorder in sessions that are typically led by a mental health professional.
Groupthink: The impaired group decision making that occurs when making the right decision is less important than maintaining group harmony.
Guardian: A guardian (also known as a legal guardian) is a person who has the legal responsibility for providing care for a person who is a minor (generally a person under 18).
Gynecologist: A medical doctor specializing in women’s reproductive health care. It is recommended that young women make an appointment to see a gynecologist if she needs hormonal birth control, such as the Pill, or three years after first intercourse, or when she turns 21.
Gynelophilous: Arousal from the sight/touch of pubic hair.
Gynemimetophilia: Someone is aroused by a male who is impersonating a female.
Habituation: Decreased responsiveness to a stimulus after repeated presentations.
Hallucinations: Sensory experiences that occur in the absence of real stimuli.
Hallucinogens: Also called psychedelics, psychoactive drugs that modify a person’s perceptual experiences and produce visual images that are not real.
Halo effect: It is a bias, common in performance ratings, that occurs when a rater gives a person the same rating on all of the items being evaluated, even though the individual varies across the dimensions being assessed.
Hand Job: A “hand job” is slang for manual stimulation of another person’s genitals (touching another person’s vulva or penis). When people stimulate each other’s’ genitals some people call it “mutual masturbation”.
Hardiness: A personal quality characterized by a sense of commitment rather than alienation, and of control rather than powerlessness; a hardy person sees problems as challenges rather than threats.
Harassment: It is the unwelcome or offensive behavior by one person to another. Examples are bullying, unwanted sexual attention, or intimidation.
Hard On: When the penis fills with blood in response to sexual excitement and becomes larger and stands away from the body. Erection.
Harmatophilia – Arousal from mistake or from breaking rules.
Harpaxophilia – sexual arousal from being robbed.
Hate Crime: An act committed on the basis of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person.
Hate Crimes Laws: Laws that protect people from violent crimes (like physical attacks) due to their race or sex. Some states also have hate crimes laws that protect people from violent attacks due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Some states do not.
Hawthorne effect: The tendency of individuals to perform better simply because of being singled out and made to feel important.
Head: Slang term for oral sex on a guy.
Health behaviors: Practices that have an impact on physical well-being, such as adopting a healthy approach to stress, exercising, eating right, brushing one’s teeth, performing breast and testicular exams, not smoking, drinking in moderation (or not at all), and practicing safe sex.
Health Care Provider: A doctor, nurse or midwife who provides medical care.
Health psychology: A subfield of psychology that emphasizes psychology’s role in establishing and maintaining health and preventing and treating illness.
Hebephilia: Attraction to teenagers.
Hepatitis B: A sexually transmitted infection caused by a virus that can result in serious liver damage, even death. Infection occurs through contact with infected blood, semen, vaginal fluids or saliva. Symptoms include nausa, vomiting, headache, fever, dark urine and jaundice. Hep B has a vaccine to prevent infection.
Hepatitis C: A sexually transmitted infection caused by a virus that can cause liver damage. Infection occurs through contact with another person’s infected blood, most often from sharing needles with someone who already has Hepatitis C. There are usually no symptoms associated with Hepatitis C. It is diagnosed through a blood test.
Heritability: The proportion of observable differences in a group that can be explained by differences in the genes of the group’s members.
Herpes: A sexually transmitted infection that is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). It can also be transmitted non-sexually and causes small, blister-like sores (cold sores) around the mouth or genitals. Herpes type 1 is typically associated with sores around the mouth, while Herpes type 2 is typically associated with sores around the genitals or anus. Genital herpes cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be treated using antiviral medications.
Hit: Slang term for sex. It is usually stated by a male, referring to a female.
Heteroflexibility: It is an expression of sexual identity. For most people this term means they are typically in a heterosexual romantic relationship but also are open to having sexual experiences or romantic relationships with persons of the same gender.
Heterosexual: A person who is sexually attracted to members of the other gender.
Heterosexism: It is the assumption that all people are heterosexual or they should be and that heterosexuality is superior and more desirable than homosexuality or bisexuality heterosexual.
Heuristics: Shortcut strategies or guidelines that suggest a solution to a problem but do not guarantee an answer.
Hierarchy of needs: Maslow’s theory that human needs must be satisfied in the following sequence: physiological needs, safety, love and belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization.
Hindbrain: Located at the skull’s rear, the lowest portion of the brain, consisting of the medulla, cerebellum, and pons.
Hindsight bias: The tendency to report falsely, after the fact, that we accurately predicted an outcome.
Hippocampus: The structure in the limbic system that has a special role in the storage of memories.
HIV: The human immunodeficiency virus causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). The virus weakens a person’s immune system so that a person can’t fight off everyday infections. HIV is transmitted from exposure to an infected person’s blood, semen, vaginal fluids or breast milk.
HIV Test: A blood test or oral swab test to detect antibodies to the HIV virus. Testing should occur 3 months or more after exposure to HIV in order to be accurate.
HIV/AIDS Education: Education that discusses how HIV is transmitted and how to protect yourself from becoming infected with the HIV virus. These courses may include information about safer sex and condom use (including demonstration and instruction on condom use), but many simply use scare tactics and offer little information about coping with real-life situations. Many states now have laws that require schools to provide HIV/AIDS education.
HIV/STI Education: Classes or workshops that teach about how to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections ( STI’s ) from infecting individuals. Usually HIV/ STI education refers to classes that take place in a school rather than in a youth group or organization.
Ho: It is a derogatory word for a girl who is perceived to have had many sexual partners.
Hodophilia: Sexual arousal from travelling to new or strange places.
Homeostasis: The body’s tendency to maintain an equilibrium, or steady state.
Homilophilia: Arousal from giving or receiving a sermon or speech.
Homologous organs: Organs in the male and female that develop from the same embryonic tissue.
Homonegativity: Negative attitudes and behaviors toward gays and lesbians. It is sometimes called antigay prejudice.
Homophily: The tendency to have contact with people who are equal in social status.
Homophobia: A strong, irrational fear of homosexuals; negative attitudes and reactions to homosexuals.
Homoseductive mother: Bieber’s term for the mother, who is seductive toward her son, traumatizing the boy and turning him into a homosexual.
Homosexual: A person whose sexual orientation is toward members of the same gender.
Homosocial: A general form of social grouping in which males play and associate with other males, and females play and associate with other females; that is, the genders are separate from each other.
Hooking Up: Slang expression that can mean different things to different people. Generally refers to when two people are sexual with one another — kissing, touching or having sexual intercourse.
Hormones: Chemical messengers that are produced by the endocrine glands and carried by the bloodstream to all parts of the body.
Hormonal Injection: Hormonal injections are a progestin shot that is injected into a woman’s body to change the hormonal cycle in order to prevent pregnancy from occurring (i.e.: Depo-Provera and Lunelle). Hormonal injections do not prevent sexually transmitted diseases or infections.
Hormonal Method: It is a method of birth control that changes a woman’s hormonal cycle to prevent ovulation (release of egg from ovary).
Horn Dog: Slang for a person who thinks about sex all the time.
Horny: Feeling sexually excited or turned on.
HPV: The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection that may cause small, painless bumps around the genitals, anus and/or mouth. The virus cannot be cured. Some strains of HPV are linked to an increased risk of cervical cancer among women, which is why it is very important to get regular Pap smears. Early detection can prevent cervical cancer.
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG): A hormone secreted by the placenta; it is the substance detected in pregnancy tests.
Human relations approach: A management approach emphasizing the psychological characteristics of workers and managers, stressing the importance of factors such as morale, attitudes, values, and humane treatment of workers.
Human sexual response pattern: Masters and Johnson’s model of human sexual response, consisting of four phases—excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution.
Humanistic approach: An approach to psychology emphasizing a person’s positive qualities, the capacity for positive growth, and the freedom to choose any destiny.
Humanistic perspectives: Theoretical views stressing a person’s capacity for personal growth and positive human qualities.
Humanistic therapies: Treatments, unique in their emphasis on people’s self-healing capacities that encourage clients to understand themselves and to grow personally.
Humping: Using your hips to rub and thrust against another person or object.
Hustler: A male prostitute who sells his services to men.
Hyaluronidase: An enzyme secreted by the sperm that allows one sperm to penetrate the egg.
Hygiene: The practice and process of keeping your body clean.
Hygrophilia: Arousal from contact with body secretions (tears, salvia etc.)
Hymen: A thin membrane that may partially cover the vaginal entrance.
Hyphephilia – Sexual arousal from touching (certain) fabrics.
Hypersexuality: An excessive, insatiable sex drive in either men or women.
Hypnosis: An altered state of consciousness or a psychological state of altered attention and expectation in which the individual is unusually receptive to suggestions.
Hypoactive sexual desire: A sexual disorder in which there is a lack of interest in sexual activity; also termed “inhibited sexual desire” or “low sexual desire.”
Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis): The complex set of interactions among the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the adrenal glands that regulates various body processes and controls reactions to stressful events.
Hypothalamus (hy-poh-THAL-ah-mus): A small forebrain structure, located just below the thalamus, that monitors three pleasurable activities—eating, drinking, and sex—as well as emotion, stress, and reward.
Hypothesis: An educated guess that derives logically from a theory; a prediction that can be tested.
Hysterectomy: A method of abortion sometimes used during the second trimester. It is also the surgical removal of the uterus.
Iantronudia: The arousal that some people have when they expose themselves to doctors.
Id: The part of the person that Freud called the “it,” consisting of unconscious drives; the individual’s reservoir of sexual energy (libido).
Identity versus identity confusion: Erikson’s fifth psychological stage, in which adolescents face the challenges of finding out who they are, what they are all about, and where they are going in life.
Idrophrodisia – Arousal from perspiration.
Immunoassay: A laboratory technique that makes use of the binding between an antigen and its homologous antibody in order to identify and quantify.
Immunocompetent: the ability of the body to produce a normal immune response following exposure to an antigen.
Immunocompromised: A person who has an immunodeficiency of any kind.
Immunodeficiency: A state in which the immune system’s ability to fight infectious disease is compromised or entirely absent.
Immunogenicity: The property enabling a particular substance to provoke an immune response in the body of a human or animal, or the degree to which a substance possesses this property.
Immunoprophylaxes: The prevention of disease by the production of active or passive immunity.
Impact: It is what someone else understands the speaker to mean.
Implanon: IMPLANON™ is a small, thin, implantable hormonal contraceptive that is effective for up to three years. It was approved in July, 2006 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A trained health care professional inserts the small rod under the skin of a woman’s upper arm. The rod can be removed by a health care professional whenever a woman is ready to become pregnant or when she wants to change her birth control method.
Implementation intentions: Specific strategies for dealing with the challenges of making a life change.
Implicit memory: Also called non-declarative memory, memory in which behavior is affected by prior experience without a conscious recollection of that experience.
Impotence: It is the inability to have or maintain an erection.
In vitro fertilization (IVF): A procedure in which an egg is fertilized by sperm in a laboratory dish.
In-call service: A residence in which prostitutes work regular shifts, selling sexual services on an hourly basis.
Incest taboo: A regulation prohibiting sexual interaction between blood relatives, such as brother and sister or father and daughter.
Incest: Sexual contact between blood relatives.
Incidence: The percentage of people giving a particular response.
Independent variable: A manipulated experimental factor; the variable that the experimenter changes to see what its effects are.
Individual psychology: Adler’s view that people are motivated by purposes and goals and that perfection, not pleasure, is thus the key motivator in human life.
Inductive reasoning: Reasoning from specific observations to make generalizations.
Infant attachment: The close emotional bond between an infant and its caregiver.
Inferential statistics: Mathematical methods that are used to indicate whether results for a sample are likely to generalize to a population.
Infertility: A woman’s inability to conceive and give birth to a child, or a man’s inability to impregnate a woman.
Infibulation: A ritual practice of cutting off the inner lips of the vagina and sewing together the outer lips, making intercourse impossible.
Infinite generativity: The ability of language to produce an endless number of meaningful sentences.
Informational social influence: The influence other people have on us because we want to be right.
Informed consent: An ethical principle in research, in which people have a right to be informed, before participating, of what they will be asked to do in the research.
Inhibin: A substance secreted by the testes and ovaries which regulates FSH levels.
Inner ear: The part of the ear that includes the oval window, cochlea, and basilar membrane and whose function is to convert sound waves into neural impulses and send them to the brain.
Inner lips: Thin folds of skin lying on either side of the vaginal entrance.
Insight learning: A form of problem solving in which the organism develops a sudden insight into or understanding of a problem’s solution.
Instinct: An innate (unlearned) biological pattern of behavior that is assumed to be universal throughout a species.
Instinctive drift: The tendency of animals to revert to instinctive behavior that interferes with learning.
Integrative therapy: A combination of techniques from different therapies based on the therapist’s judgment of which particular methods will provide the greatest benefit for the client.
Integrity test: A type of job-screening examination that is designed to assess whether a candidate will be honest on the job.
Intellectual disability: A condition of limited mental ability in which an individual has a low IQ, usually below 70 on a traditional intelligence test, and has difficulty adapting to everyday life.
Intelligence: All-purpose ability to do well on cognitive tasks, to solve problems, and to learn from experience.
Intelligence quotient (IQ): An individual’s mental age divided by chronological age multiplied by 100.
Intent: It is what the speaker means.
Intercoder reliability: In content analysis, the correlation or percent of agreement between two coders independently rating the same texts.
Interfemoral intercourse: A sexual technique used by gay men in which one man moves his penis between the thighs of the other.
Interference theory: The theory that people forget not because memories are lost from storage but because other information gets in the way of what they want to remember.
Internal validity: The degree to which changes in the dependent variable are due to the manipulation of the independent variable.
Interpretation: A psychoanalyst’s search for symbolic, hidden meanings in what the client says and does during therapy.
Intersex: An individual who has a mixture of male and female reproductive structures, so that it is not clear at birth whether the individual is a male or a female. It is also called a pseudohermaphrodite.
Interstitial cells: Cells in the testes that manufacture testosterone.
Intimacy: A quality of relationships characterized by commitment, feelings of closeness and trust, and self-disclosure.
Intrafamilial sexual abuse: Sexual contact between a child and an adult who is the child’s relative or caregiver, such as a stepfather.
Intrauterine device (IUD): A plastic device sometimes containing metal or a hormone that is inserted into the uterus for contraceptive purposes.
Intrinsic motivation: Motivation based on internal factors such as organismic needs (competence, relatedness, and autonomy), as well as curiosity, challenge, and fun.
Introitus: Another word for the vaginal entrance.
Investment model: A model of long-term relationships that examines the ways that commitment, investment, and the availability of attractive alternative partners predict satisfaction and stability in relationships.
Ithyphallophobia: A morbid fear of seeing, thinking about or having an erect penis.
Jacking Off: Male masturbation, touching or stroking the penis for sexual pleasure. See also “jerking off.”
Jactitation: Excitement or arousal from bragging about their own sexual exploits.
James-Lange theory: The theory that emotion results from physiological states triggered by stimuli in the environment.
Jerking Off: Male masturbation, touching or stroking the penis for sexual pleasure.
Job analysis: The process of generating a description of what a job involves, including the knowledge and skills that are necessary to carry out the job’s functions.
Job crafting: The physical and cognitive changes individuals can make within the constraints of a task to make the work “their own.”
Job satisfaction: The extent to which a person is content in his or her job.
Job stress: The experience of stress on the job and in the workplace setting.
Jock Strap: An article of underclothing designed to hold a guy’s testicles and penis close to the body when exercising or participating in sports. It is also called an athletic supporter.
Judicial Bypass: If a minor wants an abortion and lives in a state that requires parental consent before she can get one, she can go before a judge. The judge will then decide whether or not it is in the young woman’s best interests to obtain an abortion without her parents knowing because of physical or emotional abuse or incest. This process is called a judicial bypass.
(Keggul) exercises: A part of sex therapy for women with orgasmic disorder, in which the woman exercises the muscles surroel (KAY-unding the vagina; also called pubococcygeal or PC muscle exercises.
Kinesthetic senses: Senses that provide information about movement, posture, and orientation.
Kinky: Relating to or appealing to unconventional tastes especially in sex.
Kleptolagnia: Arousal from stealing.
Klismaphilia: Arousal from having an enema.
Knismolagnia: Arousal from tickling.
Knowledge: Slang term for oral sex on a guy.
Koochie: Slang term for a female’s vagina.
Koochiesnorcher: Slang term for a female’s vagina. Originates from Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues.”
KSAOs (KSAs): Common elements in a personoriented job analysis; an abbreviation for knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics.
Labor: The series of stages involved in giving birth.
Lactaphilia: Arousal from lactating breasts.
Lagnonector: A person that kills in order to have sex with the corpse.
Lamaze method: A method of “prepared” childbirth involving relaxation and controlled breathing.
Language: A form of communication—whether spoken, written, or signed—that is based on a system of symbols.
Laparoscopy: A method of female sterilization.
Late-Term Abortion: It is a term used to describe an abortion performed “late” in the pregnancy. However, experts do not agree about exactly when that is. The consensus is that “late” abortions are those that take place between the 20th and 27th week of pregnancy.
Latent content: According to Freud, a dream’s hidden content; it’s unconscious and true meaning.
Latent learning: Also called implicit learning, unreinforced learning that is not immediately reflected in behavior.
Latex Barriers: Condoms or squares of latex (dental dam or cut open condom) used as barriers during sexual behaviors (oral, vaginal, and anal sex) between two people.
Law of effect: Thorndike’s law stating that behaviors followed by positive outcomes are strengthened and that behaviors followed by negative outcomes are weakened.
Learned helplessness: It is an organism’s learning through experience with unavoidable negative stimuli that it has no control over negative outcomes.
Learning: A systematic, relatively permanent change in behavior that occurs through experience.
Legal Guardian: A person who has the legal responsibility for providing care for a person who is a minor (generally a person under 18).
Leisure: The pleasant times before or after work when individuals are free to pursue activities and interests of their own choosing, such as hobbies, sports, and reading.
Leptosadism: Mild sadism.
Lesbian: A woman whose sexual orientation is toward other women.
Leveling: Telling your partner what you are feeling by stating your thoughts clearly, simply, and honestly.
Levels of processing: A continuum of memory processing from shallow to intermediate to deep, with deeper processing producing better memory.
Libido: In psychoanalytic theory, the term for the sex energy or sex drives.
Lifespan development: Development from birth through old age.
LGBTQ: It is the acronym for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (or questioning).” Also known as GLBTQ.
Limbic system: A set of structures in the interior of the brain, including the amygdala, hippocampus, and fornix; believed to be important for sexual behavior in both animals and humans.
Lithium: The lightest of the solid elements in the periodic table of elements, widely used to treat bipolar disorder.
Longitudinal design: A special kind of systematic observation, used by correlational researchers, that involves obtaining measures of the variables of interest in multiple waves over time.
Long-term memory: A relatively permanent type of memory that stores huge amounts of information for a long time.
Love: One of the strongest human emotions; a powerful, positive feeling towards another. There are many different kinds of love.
Love story: A story about what love should be like, including characters, a plot, and a theme.
Lubricant: It is a jelly-like substance that reduces friction during sexual activities i.e. AstroGlide, K-Y Jelly, and Slippery Stuff. All are water-based and safe to use with Condoms. Lubrication can help reduce chaffing, irritation and discomfort during many types of sexual activities.
Lumpectomy: A surgical treatment for breast cancer in which only the lump and a small bit of surrounding tissue are removed.
Lunelle: A monthly birth control injection. A combination of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, it prevents ovulation. It is injected into the arm, thigh or buttock by a health care professional and requires a prescription. It is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, if taken as prescribed. It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
Lust: A strong feeling of sexual attraction and desire towards another person.
Luteal phase: The third phase of the menstrual cycle, following ovulation.
Luteinizing hormone (LH): A hormone secreted by the pituitary; it regulates estrogen secretion and ovum development in the female and testosterone production in the male.
Lybrel: Lybrel is a new, FDA -approved birth control pill in the United States. Lybrel is different from other birth control pills because women never experience their periods while taking the pills.
Lygerastia: Being aroused only when in darkness.
Mac Daddy: A guy who is perceived to have had many sexual partners.
Madam: A woman, who manages a brothel, in-call, out-call, or escort service.
Maieusiophilia: Arousal from the sight or presence of pregnant females
Mainstreaming: In communications theory, the view that exposure to the mass media makes people think that what they see there represents the mainstream of what really occurs.
Maintaining factors: It is various ongoing life circumstances, personal characteristics, and lovemaking patterns that inhibit sexual response.
Major depressive disorder (MDD): Psychological disorder involving a significant depressive episode and depressed characteristics, such as lethargy and hopelessness, for at least two weeks.
Make Out: The act of kissing and touching another, usually for an extended period of time. (i.e.: “making out”)
Male condoms: A contraceptive sheath that is placed over the penis.
Male orgasmic disorder: A sexual disorder in which the male cannot have an orgasm, even though he is highly aroused and has had a great deal of sexual stimulation.
Male-to-female transsexual: A person who is born with a male body but who has a female identity and wishes to become a female biologically in order to match her identity.
Mammography: X-rays for diagnosing breast cancer.
Mandate: An order or requirement given by a legislative body like a state legislature or school board that require a certain subject area, like sexuality education, to be taught. Often these mandates do not spell out how much information should be provided or what topics should be taught.
Mandatory Waiting Period: A waiting period that is imposed on any female before she can have an abortion performed. Not all states have waiting periods. For the most up-to-date information on abortion laws in your state call the National Abortion Federation hotline at 1-800-772-9100.
Manifest content: According to Freud, the surface content of a dream, containing dream symbols that disguise the dream’s true meaning.
Marital sexual assault: The sexual assault of a person by his or her spouse.
Marriage: The process by which two people who love each other make their relationship public, official, and permanent. It is the joining of two people in a bond that putatively lasts until death, but in practice is increasingly cut short by divorce.
Married Minor: A legal status that is different from being a minor. It is more like having the rights and responsibilities of an adult. The laws vary state to state, but generally you are a married minor if you are under 18 and you are legally married.
Maschalophilous: Arousal from armpits.
Masochism: A sexual variation in which the person derives sexual pleasure from experiencing physical or mental pain.
Masochist: A person who derives sexual satisfaction from experiencing pain.
Massage parlor: A place where massages, as well as sexual services, can generally be purchased.
Mastectomy: Surgical removal of the breast.
Mastix: A female sadist.
Mastofact: Breast fetish.
Masturbation: Stimulation of one’s own genitals with the hand or with some object, such as a pillow or vibrator.
Matching phenomenon: The tendency for men and women to choose as partners people who match them, i.e., who are similar in attitudes, intelligence, and attractiveness.
Mazoperosis: Mutilation of the breasts.
Meable: Easily penetrated.
Mean: A measure of central tendency that is the average for a sample.
Meat: Slang term for male genitals.
Media fetish: A fetish whose object is anything made of a particular substance, such as leather.
Median: A measure of central tendency that is the middle score in a sample.
Medical model: A theoretical model in psychology and psychiatry in which mental problems are thought of as sickness or mental illness; the problems in turn are often thought to be due to biological factors.
Medicaid: A joint federal and state program that helps with medical costs for some people with low incomes and limited resources. Medicaid programs are different in each state, but most health care costs are covered if you qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid in your state.
Medical Abortion: Involves taking medication that causes a miscarriage. First, a woman is given Mifepristone (you may have heard it called RU-486). It works by inhibiting her body’s ability to produce progesterone, a hormone that is necessary for sustaining a pregnancy. Three days later, another medication, Misoprostol, is given. This medication causes a woman’s uterus to contract causing her to have a heavy period and a miscarriage. Medical abortions are 95% effective.
Medically Necessary Abortions: Refers to a term used by a doctor when he or she has determined that an abortion is the best course of action for a woman. The medical practitioner takes into account many physical, emotional, psychological and familial factors, as well as a woman’s age to determine if an abortion is medically necessary.
In some states, when a doctor determines that a woman’s planned abortion is a “medically necessary abortion” that makes her eligible for Medicaid funds to pay for her abortion.
Melcryptovestimentaphilia: Attraction to women’s black underwear.
Melolagnia: Arousal from music.
Memory: The retention of information or experience over time as the result of three key processes: encoding, storage, and retrieval.
Menage A Trois: It is the French expression that refers to three people having sex together.
Menarche: First menstruation.
Menopause: The cessation of menstruation in middle age.
Menophilist: Arousal from menstruating women.
Menses: A girl or woman’s menstrual period.
Menstruation (Period): The fourth phase of the menstrual cycle, during which the endometrium of the uterus is sloughed off in the menstrual discharge.
Menstrual Cycle: It is the monthly process in the female body, which involves the release of an egg (ovum), the preparation of the body for a pregnancy, and the release of the lining of the uterus if no pregnancy occurs. In a 28-day menstrual cycle, the egg leaves the ovary approximately 14 days after the first day of her period.
Mental age (MA): An individual’s level of mental development relative to that of others.
Mental processes: The thoughts, feelings, and motives that each of us experiences privately but that cannot be observed directly.
Mentoring: A relationship between an experienced employee—a mentor—and a novice, in which the more experienced employee serves as an advisor, a sounding board, and a source of support for the newer employee.
Mere-exposure effect: The tendency to like a person more if we have been exposed to him or her repeatedly.
Meretricium: A tax on prostitution.
Merinthophilia: Arousal from being bound.
Meta-analysis: A method that allows researchers to combine the results of several different studies on a similar topic in order to establish the strength of an effect.
Midbrain: Located between the hindbrain and forebrain, an area in which many nerve-fiber systems ascend and descend to connect the higher and lower portions of the brain; in particular, the midbrain relays information between the brain and the eyes and ears.
Middle ear: The part of the ear that channels sound through the eardrum, hammer, anvil, and stirrup to the inner ear.
Midwife: A person (often a nurse) trained as a birth attendant.
Mifepristone: A steroid hormone used to end a pregnancy during the first seven weeks. This medication is available by prescription only.
Mind reading: Making assumptions about what your partner thinks or feels.
Mindfulness: The state of being alert and mentally present for one’s everyday activities.
Minilaparotomy: A method of female sterilization.
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI): The most widely used and researched empirically keyed self-report personality test.
Minor: A person who is not old enough to be an adult under state law. The age varies by state. In most states, you are a minor if you are 17 years or younger. That means that in most states you are an adult if you are 18 or older.
Minor Living Apart: A legal status that is different from being a minor. It is more like having the rights and responsibilities of an adult. The laws vary state to state, but generally you are a minor living apart if you are under 18 and no longer live with your family and you do not receive any financial help from them.
Minor Parent: A legal status that is different from being a minor. It is more like having the rights and responsibilities of an adult. The laws vary state to state, but generally you are a minor parent if you are under 18 and you have a child or are the father of the child. This status allows you certain “adult” rights, like the right to get medical care for you and your child without your parent’s permission.
Misattribution of arousal: When one is in a stage of physiological arousal (e.g., from exercising or being in a frightening situation), attributing these feelings to love or attraction to the person present.
Miscarriage: The termination of a pregnancy before the fetus is viable, as a result of natural causes (not medical intervention).
Miscegenation: Sex or marriage between people of different races.
Missionary Position: A sexual position in which a man places his penis inside a woman’s vagina while lying on top of her and they are face-to-face.
Mixoscopy: The secret observation of a sex act.
Mode: A measure of central tendency that is the most common score in a sample.
Molestation: It is inappropriate sexual touching typically between an adult and a younger person. Molestation is illegal.
Mono: Mononucleosis (Mono) is an infection caused by Epstein-Barr or Cytomeglovirus. Symptoms include sore throat, swollen glands and low-grade fever. It is transmitted through saliva and is often called the “kissing disease.”
Monocular cues: Powerful depth cues available from the image in one eye, either the right or the left.
Monogamy: Having only one partner.
Mons pubis: The fatty pad of tissue under the pubic hair.
Mood disorders: Psychological disorders—the main types of which are depressive disorders and bipolar disorder—in which there is a primary disturbance of mood: prolonged emotion that colors the individual’s entire emotional state.
Moriaphilia: Arousal from telling sex related jokes.
Morphology: A language’s rules for word formation.
Motivated forgetting: Forgetting that occurs when something is so painful or anxiety-laden that remembering it is intolerable.
Motivation: The force that moves people to behave, think, and feel the way they do.
Motor cortex: A region in the cerebral cortex that processes information about voluntary movement, located just behind the frontal lobes.
Mucophagy: The consuming of nasal mucus.
Muff Diving: Oral sex on a woman.
Müllerian ducts: Ducts found in both male and female fetuses; in males they degenerate and in females they develop into the fallopian tubes, the uterus, and the upper part of the vagina.
Multiple orgasm: A series of orgasms occurring within a short period of time.
Munchausen’s syndrome: Arousal from opening a wound.
Mutual Masturbation: When partners either touch their own genitals while they are together, or touch each other’s genitals at the same time.
Myelin sheath: A layer of fat cells that encases and insulates most axons.
Myotonia: Muscle contraction.
Mysophilia: The arousal from handling soiled underwear or foul odors.
Nanophilia: Attraction to short people.
Naphephilia: Arousal from touching or being touched.
Narratophilia: Arousal from telling sex related stories, poems, jokes etc.
Nasophilia: Arousal from kissing, sucking, touching or looking at another’s nose.
Natural Family Planning: A form of birth control in which a woman charts her cervical mucus and daily temperatures with a basal thermometer to determine the time of ovulation and then does not have intercourse on or around the time of ovulation. The effectiveness of this method depends on how regular a woman’s cycle is and her ability to avoid intercourse or use a barrier method (e.g. condoms, diaphragm) when she might be ovulating. Also referred to as the rhythm, it is typically 75-80% effective in preventing pregnancy.
Natural selection: Darwin’s principle of an evolutionary process in which organisms that are best adapted to their environment will survive and produce off spring.
Naturalistic observation: The observation of behavior in a real-world setting.
Nature: An individual’s biological inheritance, especially his or her genes.
Necrochlesis: The act of having sex with a corpse.
Necrophilia: Deriving sexual satisfaction from contact with a dead person.
Necrosadism: Mutilation of corpses for sexual purposes.
Need: A deprivation that energizes the drive to eliminate or reduce the deprivation.
Nepiophilia: Adults attraction to an infant of the opposite sex.
NGU: Non-Gonococcal Urethritis (NGU) is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria that usually causes inflammation of the urethra and cervix, a discharge from the penis or vagina and a burning sensation during urination. Antibiotics can cure it.
Negative affect: Unpleasant emotions such as anger, guilt, and sadness.
Negative Oedipus complex: Freud’s term for the opposite of the Oedipus complex; in the negative Oedipus complex the child loves and sexually desires the parent of the same gender and identifies with the parent of the other gender.
Negative punishment: The removal of a positive stimulus following a given behavior in order to decrease the frequency of that behavior.
Negative reinforcement: An increase in the frequency of a behavior in response to the subsequent removal of something that is unpleasant.
Neglectful parenting: A parenting style characterized by a lack of parental involvement in the child’s life.
Neocortex: The outermost part of the cerebral cortex, making up 80 percent of the cortex in the human brain.
Nervous system: The body’s electrochemical communication circuitry.
Neural networks: Networks of nerve cells that integrate sensory input and motor output.
Neurons: One of two types of cells in the nervous system; neurons are the nerve cells that handle the information-processing function.
Neuroscience: The scientific study of the structure, function, development, genetics, and biochemistry of the nervous system, emphasizing that the brain and nervous system are central to understanding behavior, thought, and emotion.
Neurotransmitters: Chemical substances that are stored in very tiny sacs within the terminal buttons and involved in transmitting information across a synaptic gap to the next neuron.
Nipples: It is the tips of the breasts on the male and female chest, sensitive to touch and temperature.
Nocturnal Emission: The technical term for a wet dream, it is the release of semen from a male’s penis while he is sleeping.
Noise: Irrelevant and competing stimuli—not only sound but also any distracting stimuli for our senses.
Nonoxynol-9 (N-9): A spermicide (sperm killing chemical) used for birth control, widely used in vaginal foams, jelly, film, and lubricated Condoms. Recent studies have found that Nonoxynol-9 can irritate the vagina and anus and do not recommend using it for repeated sessions of sex.
Nonverbal communication: Communication not through words, but through the body, e.g., eye contact, tone of voice, touching.
Nookie: It refers to sexual touching, kissing, cuddling and possibly intercourse.
Normal distribution: A symmetrical, bell-shaped curve, with a majority of the scores falling in the middle of the possible range and few scores appearing toward the extremes of the range.
Normative commitment: A kind of job commitment deriving from the employee’s sense of obligation to the organization for the investment it has made in the individual’s personal and professional development.
Normative social influence: The influence others have on us because we want them to like us.
Norplant: An implanted progestin-only Contraceptive for women.
Nosolagnia: Arousal from knowing that ones partner has a terminal illness.
NuvaRing: It is a form of hormonal birth control. The NuvaRing itself is a soft, flexible and transparent ring that prevents pregnancy when inserted in the back of the vagina. It releases a combination of hormones, progestin and estrogen, and is 98% effective at preventing pregnancy if used correctly. NuvaRing is worn inside a woman’s vagina for three weeks and then removed at the beginning of the fourth week. It must be prescribed by a health care provider. It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections. To learn more, visit nuvaring.com.
Nurture: An individual’s environmental and social experiences.
Nymphomania: An excessive, insatiable sex drive in a woman.
Nymphophilia: The love of a female adolescent by an adult.
Nymphotomy: The surgical procedure whereby the inner labia is cut away.
Obedience: Behavior that complies with the explicit demands of the individual in authority.
Obscenity: That which depicts the undue exploitation of sex; depictions of violent, degrading, or dehumanizing sex.
Observational learning: Learning that occurs when a person observes and imitates another’s behavior.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): Anxiety disorder in which the individual has anxietyprovoking thoughts that will not go away and/ or urges to perform repetitive, ritualistic behaviors to prevent or produce some future situation.
Occipital lobes: Structures located at the back of the head that respond to visual stimuli.
Ochlophilia: Refers to those own find the presence of crowds to bring sexual pleasure.
Oculophilia: Eyeball fetish.
Oculolinctus: The act of licking a persons eyeball for sexual arousal/fulfilment.
Ochlophilia: Arousal from biting.
Odontophilia: Arousal from teeth.
Oedipus complex: According to Freud, the sexual attraction of a little boy to his mother.
Olfactory epithelium: The lining of the roof of the nasal cavity, containing a sheet of receptor cells for smell.
Omolagnia: Arousal from nudity.
Ondinisme: Arousal from urine.
Oophorectomy: Surgical removal of the ovaries.
Open-mindedness: The state of being receptive to other ways of looking at things.
Operant conditioning: The process of changing the frequency of a behavior (the operant) by following it with reinforcement (which will make the behavior more frequent in the future) or punishment (which should make the behavior less frequent in the future).
Operational definition: Defining some concept or term by how it is measured, for example, defining intelligence as those abilities that are measured by IQ tests.
Ophidiophilia: Arousal from snakes.
Opiates: Opium and its derivatives; narcotic drugs that depress activity in the central nervous system and eliminate pain.
Opponent-process theory: Theory stating that cells in the visual system respond to complementary pairs of red-green and blue-yellow colors; a given cell might be excited by red and inhibited by green, whereas another cell might be excited by yellow and inhibited by blue.
Opt-In Or Opt-Out: A school policy that typically pertains to sexuality education courses. Most schools tell parents when their children will be taking a sexuality education course by sending a letter home. In some school districts, parents have to sign and return a permission slip agreeing to let their children take the course. That’s called opt-in. In other districts, school officials simply notify parents that the course will be given. If parents object, it’s up to them to write the school to say they don’t want their teen to participate. That’s called opt-out.
Optic nerve: The structure at the back of the eye, made up of axons of the ganglion cells that carries visual information to the brain for further processing.
Oral Contraceptives: Another name for birth control pills.
Oral Sex: Using the mouth and/or tongue to stimulate the genitals of a partner.
Organic causes of sexual disorders: Physical factors, such as disease or injury, that cause sexual disorders.
Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB): Discretionary actions on the part of an employee that promote organizational effectiveness but are not included in the person’s formal responsibilities.
Organizational culture: An organization’s shared values, beliefs, norms, and customs.
Organizational identity: Employees’ feelings of oneness with the organization and its goals.
Organizing effects of hormones: It is the effects of sex hormones early in development, resulting in a permanent change in the brain or reproductive system.
Orgasm: The third stage of sexual response; an intense sensation that occurs at the peak of sexual arousal and is followed by release of sexual tensions.
Orgasmic platform: A tightening of the entrance to the vagina caused by contractions of the bulbospongiosus muscle (which covers the vestibular bulbs) that occur during the plateau stage of sexual response.
Orgy: A sexual encounter involving many people, also called group sex.
Orientation: A program by which an organization introduces newly hired employees to the organization’s goals, familiarizes them with its rules and regulations, and lets them know how to get things done.
Outercourse: Sexual behaviors that do not involve the insertion of fingers, penis, tongue or sex toys into mouth, anus or vagina of another person. Can include kissing and other kinds of touching.
Outing: It is when someone reveals the sexual orientation of someone who has chosen not to share it.
Ortho Evra: A birth control patch that is worn on a woman’s buttocks, lower back or upper arm that releases hormones to prevent pregnancy. It is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly. The patch is worn for a week at a time, for three consecutive weeks, and then replaced with a new one. One week is “patch free” (during a woman’s period). It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections and must be prescribed by a health care provider. To learn more, visit www.orthoevra.com.
Out-call service: A service that sends a prostitute to a location specified by the client to provide sexual services.
Outer ear: The outermost part of the ear, consisting of the pinna and the external auditory canal.
Outer lips: Rounded pads of fatty tissue lying on either side of the vaginal entrance.
Ovaries: Sex-related endocrine glands in the uterus that produce hormones related to women’s sexual development and reproduction.
Overlearning: Learning to perform a task so well that it becomes automatic.
Overt aggression: Physically or verbally harming another person directly.
Overt homosexual: A homosexual, who is “out of the closet,” who is open about his or her sexual orientation.
Ovulation: Release of an egg from the ovaries; the second phase of the menstrual cycle.
Ovum: A female egg.
Ozolagnia: Arousal from odors.
Paedophilia: Adult sexual attraction to children.
Pageism: Male submitting to a female.
Pathicant: A minor who engages in anal sex with an adult.
Pain: The sensation that warns us of damage to our bodies.
Package: Slang term for a male’s genitals.
Pad: Also called maxi pad or sanitary napkin; a soft, absorbent product worn outside the body to absorb menstrual flow.
Pancreas: A dual-purpose gland under the stomach that performs both digestive and endocrine functions.
Panderer: The person who helps the prostitute and client find each other.
Panic disorder: Anxiety disorder in which the individual experiences recurrent, sudden onsets of intense apprehension or terror, often without warning and with no specific cause.
Pap test: It is a medical test that examines cells from a girl or woman’s cervix to determine whether there are any irregular cells that could indicate a pre-cancerous condition. During a pelvic exam, a gynecologist will gently rub the cervix with something similar to a tongue depressor (but smaller) to collect some of the cells near the opening to the cervix. These cells are placed on a slide and examined under a microscope at a lab.
Papillae: Rounded bumps above the tongue’s surface that contain the taste buds, the receptors for taste.
Parallel processing: The simultaneous distribution of information across different neural pathways.
Paraphilia (par-uh-FILL-ee-uh): Recurring, unconventional sexual behavior that is obsessive and compulsive. (Fetish).
Paraphilias: Sexual disorders that feature recurrent sexually arousing fantasies, urges, or behaviors involving nonhuman objects; the suffering or humiliation of oneself or one’s partner; or children or other nonconsenting persons.
Paraphrasing: It is saying in your own words, what you thought your partner meant.
Parasite: A tiny organism that causes scabies and pubic lice which can be killed with medicine.
Parasympathetic nervous system: The part of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body.
Parental Consent: A law that requires minors to get permission from one or both parents or sometimes a grandparent before getting an abortion. Not all states require parental consent. The process for getting consent in some states requires a young woman to get “written consent,” such as a letter with a signature or a phone call between the required family member and the physician performing the abortion. For the most up-to-date information, call the National Abortion Federation hotline at 1-800-772-9100.
Parental Notification: A law that requires minors to tell one or both parents before or after getting an abortion. You don’t need your parent/s’ permission; you just need to tell them what is going on. The process for notification in some states is for the physician who performs the abortion to personally deliver the notice to the required guardian (like a parent) 48 hours before the abortion. Not all states require parental consent. For the most up-to-date information, call the National Abortion Federation hotline at 1-800-772-9100.
Parenteral: Given through the veins of the circulatory system, rather than through the digestive system.
Parietal lobes: Structures at the top and toward the rear of the head that are involved in registering spatial location, attention, and motor control.
Partial-Birth Abortion: It is an incorrect term used to describe a rare medical procedure called “intact dilation and extraction” (also known as “intact D&X”) or “intact dilation and evacuation” (also known as “intact D&E”).
This is a rare medical procedure that makes up about .17% of all abortions performed in the United States. (That’s less than a quarter of one percent of all abortions.) The procedure is generally used only when the pregnant woman’s life is at risk.
If you want to know more about the political controversy over this medical procedure click here.
Participant-observer technique: A research method in which the scientist becomes part of the community to be studied and makes observations from inside the community.
Passionate love: A state of intense longing for union with the other person and of intense physiological arousal.
Pecattiphilia: Sexual excitement from stealing or sinning.
Pediophilia: Attraction to dolls.
Pedophilia: A paraphilia in which an adult or an older adolescent sexually fantasizes about or engages in sexual behavior with individuals who have not reached puberty.
Peggy Lee syndrome: The feelings of disappointment experienced by teenage girls at first intercourse when it is not as thrilling as they expected.
Pegylation (Pyglate): The process of covalent attachment of polyethylene glycol polymer chains to another molecule, normally a drug or therapeutic protein.
Pelvic Exam: It is a medical examination of the female’s internal reproductive organs (ovaries, uterus and cervix) and external genitals (inner and outer labia and vaginal area). This exam should done every year beginning when a girl is 21 or when she becomes sexually active.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): Infection of the pelvic organs, such as the fallopian tubes.
Penile prosthesis (prahs-THEE-sis): A surgical treatment for erectile dysfunction, in which inflatable tubes are inserted into the penis.
Penile strain gauge: A device used to measure physiological sexual arousal in the male; it is a flexible loop that fits around the base of the penis.
Penile-Vaginal Intercourse: The act of sexual intercourse where a male’s erect penis is inserted into a woman’s lubricated vagina for pleasure.
Penis: The male external sexual organ, which functions both in sexual activity and in urination.
Penotherapy: Regulation of prostitutes as a form of disease control.
Perception: The process of organizing and interpreting sensory information so that it has meaning.
Perceptual constancy: The recognition that objects are constant and unchanging even though sensory input about them is changing.
Perceptual set: A predisposition or readiness to perceive something in a particular way.
Percutaneous: Any medical procedure where access to inner organs or other tissue is done via needle-puncture of the skin.
Performance appraisal: The evaluation of a person’s success at meeting his or her organization’s goals.
Perineum: The skin between the vaginal entrance and the anus.
Peripheral nervous system (PNS): The network of nerves that connects the brain and spinal cord to other parts of the body.
Permissive parenting: A parenting style characterized by the placement of few limits on the child’s behavior.
Permissiveness with affection: A standard in which premarital intercourse is considered acceptable if it occurs in the context of a loving, committed relationship.
Permissiveness without affection: A standard in which premarital intercourse is acceptable even if there is no emotional commitment.
Permucosal: A path of entry via the mucous membranes.
Personality: A pattern of enduring, distinctive thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that characterize the way an individual adapts to the world.
Personality disorders: Chronic, maladaptive cognitive-behavioral patterns that are thoroughly integrated into an individual’s personality.
Person-centered sex: Sexual expression in which the emphasis is on the relationship and emotions between the two people.
Personological and life story perspectives: Theoretical views stressing that the way to understand the person is to focus on his or her life history and life story.
Phallophilia: Arousal from an erect penis of exceptional dimensions (length or girth)
Phenotype: An individual’s observable characteristics.
Pheromones: Biochemicals secreted outside the body that are important in communication between animals and that may serve as sex attractants.
Philemanmania: Compulsion to kiss.
Philematology: The art of kissing.
Phlebotomy: Blood letting. Often practiced for sexual purposes by Vampyres.
Phobic disorder or phobia: Anxiety disorder characterized by an irrational, overwhelming, persistent fear of a particular object or situation.
Phobophilia: Arousal from fear.
Phone Sex: Sexual encounters that take place entirely via the telephone.
Phonology: A language’s sound system.
Photoplethysmograph: An acrylic cylinder that is placed inside the vagina in order to measure physiological sexual arousal in the female. It is also called a photometer.
Phygephilia – Arousal from flight (as in run away).
Physical dependence: The physiological need for a drug that causes unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as physical pain and a craving for the drug when it is discontinued.
Pimp: A guy who is perceived to have had many sexual partners.
Pituitary gland: A small endocrine gland located on the lower side of the brain below the hypothalamus; the pituitary is important in regulating levels of sex hormones.
Place theory: Theory on how the inner ear registers the frequency of sound, stating that each frequency produces vibrations at a particular spot on the basilar membrane.
Placebo effect: Occurs when participants’ expectations, rather than the experimental treatment, produce an outcome.
Placebo: In a drug study, a harmless substance that has no physiological effect, given to participants in a control group so that they are treated identically to the experimental group except for the active agent.
Placenta: An organ formed on the wall of the uterus through which the fetus receives oxygen and nutrients and gets rid of waste products.
Plan B: A brand of emergency contraceptive pills (EC), which can prevent pregnancy if taken within 120 hours of unprotected intercourse.
Plasticity: The brain’s special capacity for change.
Plateau: The second stage of sexual response, just before orgasm.
Platonic: A relationship that doesn’t include romance or sex.
Player: A guy who is perceived to have had many sexual partners.
Podophilia: Foot fetish.
Polygamy: It is when a man is married to more than one wife at a time.
Polygraph: A machine, commonly called a lie detector, that monitors changes in the body, used to try to determine whether someone is lying.
Polyiterophilia: The need for several sex partners before orgasm can occur.
Polymorphous perverse: Freud’s term for the infant’s indiscriminate, undifferentiated sexuality.
Pootie: Slang term for vagina.
Popping The Cherry: Refers to the first time a girl has vaginal intercourse and her hymen breaks from penetration; however, sometimes the hymen breaks before a girl has intercourse from using tampons or riding bicycle.
Population: A group of people a researcher wants to study and make inferences about.
Pornography: Sexually arousing art, literature, or films.
Positions: It refers to the different ways that people put their bodies together during sexual intercourse i.e. missionary position, doggie style or “69.”
Positive affect: Pleasant emotions such as joy, happiness, and interest.
Positive illusions: Positive views of the self that are not necessarily rooted in reality.
Positive psychology: A branch of psychology that emphasizes human strengths.
Positive punishment: The presentation of an unpleasant stimulus following a given behavior in order to decrease the frequency of that behavior.
Positive reinforcement: An increase in the frequency of a behavior in response to the subsequent presentation of something that is good.
Postpartum depression: Mild to moderate depression in women following the birth of a baby.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Long-term psychological distress suffered by someone who has experienced a terrifying event.
Pragmatics: The useful character of language and the ability of language to communicate even more meaning than is said.
Predisposing factors: Experiences that people have had in the past—for example, in childhood—that now affect their sexual response.
Pre-Cum: Pre-ejaculatory fluid that is released from the Cowper’s Gland when a male gets an erection. Generally does not contain sperm, but can transmit an STD (sexually transmitted disease).
Preeclampsia: A serious disease of pregnancy, marked by high blood pressure, severe edema, and proteinuria.
Preferential looking: A research technique that involves giving an infant a choice of what object to look at.
Pregnancy: The process of an implanted, fertilized egg developing into a fetus.
Pregnancy Test: A test to determine whether or not a woman is pregnant. Pregnancy tests come in two varieties: a urine test and a blood test. The urine test is by far the most widely used and can be used within 10-14 days after fertilization (unprotected intercourse). You can buy a home pregnancy test at most drug stores for about $20. You do not need a prescription. Another option is to go get a blood test done for you at a hospital, clinic, or your doctor’s office. Call Planned Parenthood 1-800-230-PLAN for more information.
Pregnant Minor; A legal status that is different from being a minor. It is more like having the rights and responsibilities of an adult. The laws vary state to state, but generally you are a pregnant minor if you are under 18 and pregnant. This status allows you certain “adult” rights, like the right to get medical care without your parent’s permission.
Prenatal Care: Medical services a woman receives during her pregnancy. The purpose of prenatal care is to monitor the health of the pregnant mother and fetus to ensure proper growth and development for both. Prenatal care can also detect birth defects early on.
Preven: A brand of emergency contraceptive pills (EC), which can prevent pregnancy if taken within 120 hours of unprotected intercourse.
Pre-Jack: Also known as pre-cum, the pre-ejaculatory fluid that generally does not contain sperm.
Prejudice: An unjustified negative attitude toward an individual based on the individual’s membership in a particular group.
Premature ejaculation: A sexual disorder in which the male ejaculates too soon and he feels he cannot control when he ejaculates; early or rapid ejaculation.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS): A combination of severe physical and psychological symptoms, such as depression and irritability, occurring just before menstruation.
Prenatal period (pree-NAY-tul): The time from conception to birth.
Preoperational stage: Piaget’s second stage of cognitive development, lasting from about 2 to 7 years of age, during which thought is more symbolic than sensorimotor thought.
Preparedness: The species-specific biological predisposition to learn in certain ways but not others.
Primary reinforcer: A reinforcer that is innately satisfying; one that does not take any learning on the organism’s part to make it pleasurable.
Primary sexual disorder: A sexual disorder which the individual has always had.
Priming: The activation of information that people already have in storage to help them remember new information better and faster.
Primipara: A woman having her first baby.
Pro-Choice: Supports a woman’s right to decide whether or not to have an abortion.
Pro-Life: Opposed to abortion.
Proactive interference: Situation in which material that was learned earlier disrupts the recall of material that was learned later.
Probability sampling: An excellent method of sampling in research, in which each member of the population has a known probability of being included in the sample.
Problem of refusal or nonresponse: The problem that some people will refuse to participate in a sex survey, thus making it difficult to have a random sample.
Problem solving: The mental process of finding an appropriate way to attain a goal when the goal is not readily available.
Problem-focused coping: The coping strategy of squarely facing one’s troubles and trying to solve them.
Procedural memory: Memory for skills.
Progesterone: A “female” sex hormone secreted by the ovaries.
Projective test: A personality assessment test that presents individuals with an ambiguous stimulus and asks them to describe it or tell a story about it—to project their own meaning onto the stimulus.
Prostitution: Providing sexual acts in exchange for payment. It is illegal in every state in the U.S. except Nevada. It is legal in some parts of the world, for example, in Germany and Amsterdam.
Prosocial behavior: Behavior that is intended to benefit other people.
Prospective memory: Remembering information about doing something in the future; includes memory for intentions.
Prostaglandin abortion: A method of abortion that is done in the late second trimester and involves inducing labor by injecting prostaglandins into the amniotic sac.
Prostaglandins: Chemicals secreted by the uterus that cause the uterine muscles to contract; they are a likely cause of painful menstruation.
Prostate: The gland in the male, located below the bladder that secretes some of the fluid in semen.
Prostatectomy (pros-tuh-TEK-tuh-mee): Surgical removal of the prostate.
Prostitute: A person who engages in sexual acts in return for money or drugs and does so in a promiscuous, fairly nondiscriminating fashion.
Prototype model: A model emphasizing that when people evaluate whether a given item reflects a certain concept, they compare the item with the most typical item(s) in that category and look for a “family resemblance” with that item’s properties.
Pseudocyesis: False pregnancy, in which the woman displays the signs of pregnancy but is not actually pregnant.
Psychoactive drugs: Drugs that act on the nervous system to alter consciousness, modify perception, and change mood.
Psychoanalysis: Freud’s therapeutic technique for analyzing an individual’s unconscious thoughts.
Psychoanalytic theory: A psychological theory originated by Freud; it contains a basic assumption that part of human personality is unconscious.
Psychodynamic approach: An approach to psychology emphasizing unconscious thought, the conflict between biological drives (such as the drive for sex) and society’s demands, and early childhood family experiences.
Psychodynamic perspectives: Theoretical views emphasizing that personality is primarily unconscious (beyond awareness).
Psychodynamic therapies: Treatments that stress the importance of the unconscious mind, extensive interpretation by the therapist, and the role of early childhood experiences in the development of an individual’s problems.
Psychological dependence: The strong desire to repeat the use of a drug for emotional reasons, such as a feeling of well-being and reduction of stress.
Psychology: The scientific study of behavior and mental processes.
Psychoneuroimmunology: A new field of scientific inquiry that explores connections among psychological factors (such as attitudes and emotions), the nervous system, and the immune system.
Psychopathology: The scientific study of psychological disorders and the development of diagnostic categories and treatments for those disorders.
Psychosurgery: A biological therapy, with irreversible effects, that involves removal or destruction of brain tissue to improve the individual’s adjustment.
Psychotherapy: A nonmedical process that helps individuals with psychological disorders recognize and overcome their problems.
Psychrocism – Arousal from cold, or, arousal from seeking another that is cold.
Psychrotentiginous – Arousal from cold water.
Puberty: The time during which there is sudden enlargement and maturation of the gonads, other genitalia, and secondary sex characteristics, so that the individual becomes capable of reproduction.
Pubic Hair: The coarse, dark hair that typically grows around the genitals in both males and females.
Pubic Lice: A parasite that lives in a person’s pubic hair causing intense itching. Can be sexually transmitted and cured with anti-lice medicated shampoo and body wash such as Kwell, which can be purchased in a drug store.
Pubococcygeus muscle: A muscle around the vaginal entrance.
Pulling Out: It is an (unreliable) method of birth control when a guy pulls his penis out of his partner’s vagina just before ejaculation. It is not recommended, but it’s better than not using any method of birth control. This method does not protect against STDs. Also known as withdrawal or coitus interruptus.
Putting Out: It refers to girls who are willing to have sex with guys.
Punishment: A consequence that decreases the likelihood that a behavior will occur.
Purposeful distortion: Purposely giving false information in a survey.
Pussy: Slang term for female genitals.
Pygmalionism: Attraction to manikins.
Pygophilia: Arousal from touching, playing with or seeing another’s buttocks.
Pyrolagnia: Sexual arousal form watching fire.
Pyrophilia: Sexual arousal from fire.
Queef: Also known as vaginal farting. It happens when air is forced out of a girl’s vagina, such as during vaginal sex or when she is doing certain exercises on her own.
Queer: It is another name for a person who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. The term “queer” is currently used by people within the gay and trans community as an affirmation of their sexual and gender as different and wonderful, as in “I’m queer and proud.”
The term “queer” has historically been used as a derogatory word used against gay and lesbian people, or those suspected as being gay or lesbian.
Questioning: Someone who hasn’t yet accepted or defined their sexual orientation or identity.
Radical mastectomy: A surgical treatment for breast cancer in which the entire breast, as well as underlying muscle and lymph nodes, is removed.
Random assignment: Researchers’ assignment of participants to groups by chance, to reduce the likelihood that an experiment’s results will be due to preexisting differences between groups.
Random sampling: An excellent method of sampling in research, in which each member of the population has an equal chance of being included in the sample.
Range: A measure of dispersion that is the difference between the highest and lowest scores.
Rape: Using force or threat of force to engage in sexual intercourse with another person or having sexual intercourse with someone who is physically or mentally unable to give consent to have sex. (This can include having sex with someone who is drunk or high). It is illegal, even if you know the person.
Raptophilia: Arousal from raping a victim.
Rational-emotive behavior therapy (REBT): A therapy based on Ellis’s assertion that individuals develop a psychological disorder because of irrational and self-defeating beliefs and whose goal is to get clients to eliminate these beliefs by rationally examining them.
Reasoning: The mental activity of transforming information to reach conclusions.
Referential thinking: Ascribing personal meaning to completely random events.
Reflective speech: A technique in which the therapist mirrors the client’s own feelings back to the client.
Refractory period: The period following orgasm during which the male cannot be sexually aroused.
Reinforcement: The process by which a rewarding stimulus or event (a reinforcer) following a particular behavior increases the probability that the behavior will happen again.
Relapse: A return to former unhealthy patterns.
Relational aggression: Behavior that is meant to harm the social standing of another person.
Reliability: The extent to which a test yields a consistent, reproducible measure of performance.
REM sleep: An active stage of sleep during which dreaming occurs.
Renewal: The recovery of the conditioned response when the organism is placed in a novel context.
Representativeness heuristic: The tendency to make judgments about group membership based on physical appearances or the match between a person and one’s stereotype of a group rather than on available base rate information.
Research participant bias: Occurs when the behavior of research participants during the experiment is influenced by how they think they are supposed to behave or their expectations about what is happening to them.
Resilience: A person’s ability to recover from or adapt to difficult times.
Resistance: A client’s unconscious defense strategies that interfere with the psychoanalyst’s understanding of the individual’s problems.
Resolution: The fourth stage of sexual response, in which the body returns to the unaroused state.
Resting potential: In an inactive neuron, the voltage between the inside and outside of the axon wall.
Reticular formation: A system in the midbrain comprising a diffuse collection of neurons involved in stereotyped patterns of behavior such as walking, sleeping, and turning to attend to a sudden noise.
Retina: The multilayered light-sensitive surface in the eye that records electromagnetic energy and converts it to neural impulses for processing in the brain.
Retifism: Shoe fetish.
Retrieval: The memory process that occurs when information that was retained in memory comes out of storage.
Retroactive interference: Situation in which material that was learned later disrupts the retrieval of information that was learned earlier.
Retrograde amnesia: Memory loss for a segment of the past but not for new events.
Retrograde ejaculation: A condition in which orgasm in the male is not accompanied by an external ejaculation; instead, the ejaculate goes into the urinary bladder.
Retrospective memory: Remembering information from the past.
Rhabdophilia – Arousal from being flogged, beaten or caned.
Rhythm method: A method of birth control that involves abstaining from intercourse around the time the woman ovulates.
Rim Job: Contact between one person’s mouth and another person’s anus (i.e.: rimming).
Ripped: Slang term for when a female bleeds during sex.
Rimming: Contact between one partner’s mouth and another partner’s anus. Also known as analingus.
Risky shift: The tendency for a group decision to be riskier than the average decision made by the individual group members.
Robotism: Attraction to or the use of robots in sex play
Rods: The receptor cells in the retina that are sensitive to light but not very useful for color vision.
Role conflict: The kind of stress that arises when a person tries to meet the demands of more than one important life role, such as worker and mother.
Romantic love: Also called passionate love; love with strong components of sexuality and infatuation, often dominant in the early part of a love relationship.
Rorschach inkblot test: A famous projective test that uses an individual’s perception of inkblots to determine his or her personality.
RU-486: The “abortion pill.”
Rub One Out: Slang terms for male masturbation.
Sacofricosis: The practice of cutting a hole in the pockets of trousers so that a person can masturbate (usually in public).
Sadism: A sexual variation in which the person derives sexual pleasure from inflicting pain on someone else.
Sadist: A person who derives sexual satisfaction from inflicting pain on another person.
Safe Schools Laws: IN the United State it is a statewide legal protection in schools that are based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Currently only eight states plus Washington, D.C., have adopted Safe Schools Laws. To check and see if your state has adopted a Safe Schools Law, visit http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/library/record/2344.html?state=media
Safer Sex: Being responsible about sex by doing things that reduce your chances of getting or spreading a sexually transmitted disease or becoming (or getting a girl) pregnant. Usually, this means educating oneself about STDs and pregnancy, using latex barriers like Condoms and dental dams, limiting the number of partners a person has, and getting tested for STDs on a regular basis.
When someone says they practice “safer sex” they recognize that no sex is completely “safe” or risk-free, but that there are effective ways to reduce these risks.
Saline-induced abortion: A method of abortion that is done in the late second trimester and involves inducing labor by injecting a saline solution into the amniotic sac.
Saliromania: A desire to damage or soil a woman or her clothes.
Sample: The subset of the population chosen by the investigator for study.
Sarmassophilia: Arousal from kneading flesh.
Satyriasis: An excessive, insatiable sex drive in a male. Male equivalent of nymphomania.
Scabies: A sexually transmitted infection that is caused by a mite (kind of insect) that burrows under the skin causing intense itching and the formation of pus. Scabies can be cured by using medicated shampoo and body wash such as Kwell, which can be purchased at a drug store.
Schedules of reinforcement: Specific patterns that determine when a behavior will be reinforced.
Schema: A general knowledge framework that a person has about a particular topic.
Schizophrenia: Severe psychological disorder characterized by highly disordered thought processes, referred to as psychotic because they are so far removed from reality.
School Board: A group of people in charge of decision-making for local public (not-private) schools in a school district. To find out more about your school board, ask your principal or school secretary, or check out your school’s Web site.
Science: The use of systematic methods to observe the natural world, including human behavior, and to draw conclusions.
Scientific management: The managerial philosophy that emphasizes the worker as a well-oiled machine and the determination of the most efficient methods for performing any work-related task.
Scopophilia: Arousal from looking at people or events.
Scoptophilia: A sexual variation in which the person becomes sexually aroused by observing others’ sexual acts and genitals.
Screwing: It is having sexual intercourse.
Scripts: What we have learned to be appropriate sequences of behavior.
Scrotum: The pouch of skin that contains the testes in the male.
Secondary reinforcer: A reinforcer that acquires its positive value through an organism’s experience; a secondary reinforcer is a learned or conditioned reinforcer.
Secondary sex characteristics: Traits that differ between the two sexes but are not part of the reproductive system; they include breasts in females and facial hair in males.
Secondary sexual disorder: Cases in which an individual currently has a sexual disorder but did not have the problem in the past.
Second-stage labor: The stage during which the baby moves out through the vagina and is delivered.
Secure attachment: The ways that infants use their caregiver, usually their mother, as a secure base from which to explore the environment.
Selective attention: The process of focusing on a specific aspect of experience while ignoring others.
Self-actualization: The motivation to develop one’s full potential as a human being—the highest and most elusive of Maslow’s proposed needs.
Self-determination theory: Deci and Ryan’s theory asserting that all humans have three basic, innate organismic needs: competence, relatedness, and autonomy.
Self-disclosure: Telling personal information to another person.
Self-efficacy: A sense of competence at performing an activity.
Self-Esteem: It is a person’s overall appraisal person’s sense of his or her own worth and value.
Self-objectification: The tendency to see oneself primarily as an object in the eyes of others.
Self-perception theory: Bem’s theory on how behaviors influence attitudes, stating that individuals make inferences about their attitudes by perceiving their behavior.
Self-regulation: The process by which an organism effortfully controls behavior in order to pursue important objectives.
Self-report test: Also called an objective test or an inventory, a method of measuring personality characteristics that directly asks people whether specific items describe their personality traits.
Self-serving bias: The tendency to take credit for our successes and to deny responsibility for our failures.
Semen: aka Cum. It is the whitish, sticky fluid that is released from a male’s penis during ejaculation. A typical ejaculation contains anywhere from a teaspoon to a tablespoon of semen, and hundreds of millions of sperm.
Semantic memory: A person’s knowledge about the world, including his or her areas of expertise; general knowledge, such as of things learned in school; and everyday knowledge.
Semantics: The meaning of words and sentences in a particular language.
Semicircular canals: Three fluid-filled circular tubes in the inner ear containing the sensory receptors that detect head motion caused when we tilt or move our head and/or body.
Seminal vesicles: Sac-like structures that lie above the prostate which produce about 70 percent of the seminal fluid.
Seminiferous tubules: Tubes in the testes that manufacture sperm.
Sensate focus exercises: A part of the sex therapy developed by Masters and Johnson in which one partner caresses the other, the other communicates what is pleasurable, and there are no performance demands.
Sensation: The process of receiving stimulus energies from the external environment and transforming those energies into neural energy.
Sensorimotor stage: Piaget’s first stage of cognitive development, lasting from birth to about 2 years of age, during which infants construct an understanding of the world by coordinating sensory experiences with motor (physical) actions.
Sensory adaptation: A change in the responsiveness of the sensory system based on the average level of surrounding stimulation.
Sensory memory: Memory system that involves holding information from the world in its original sensory form for only an instant, not much longer than the brief time it is exposed to the visual, auditory, and other senses.
Sensory receptors: Specialized cells that detect stimulus information and transmit it to sensory (afferent) nerves and the brain.
Serial monogamy: A premarital sexual pattern in which there is an intention of being faithful to the partner, but the relationship may end and the person will then move on to another partner.
Serial position effect: The tendency to recall the items at the beginning and end of a list more readily than those in the middle.
Seroconversion: The production of antibodies in response to an antigen.
Serology: The science that deals with the properties and reactions of serums, especially blood serum and other bodily fluids.
Serosorting: The practice of using HIV status as a decision-making point in choosing sexual behavior.
Set point: The weight maintained when the individual makes no effort to gain or lose weight.
7-Eleven (7/11): Slang term for a short, quick act of sexual intercourse.
Sex chromosomes: In humans, the pair of genes that differs between the sexes and determines a person’s sex as male or female.
Sex: The properties of a person that determine his or her classification as male or female.
Sexism: Discrimination based on gender, especially discrimination against women; attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender.
Sex Toy: It is any device, like a dildo or vibrator, which is used for sexual pleasure and is available for purchase by adults only.
Sexual Abuse: Sexual touching or behaviors that are unwanted. It is illegal even if you know the person.
Sex-change operation: The surgery done on transsexuals to change their anatomy to the other gender.
Sexual assault: Any nonconsensual sexual activity ranging from unwanted touching to forced oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse to sexual violence in which the victim is wounded, or maimed, or their life is endangered or when the victim is incapable of giving consent.
Sexual behavior: Behavior that produces arousal and increases the chance of orgasm.
Sexual disorder: A problem with sexual response that causes a person mental distress.
Sexual dissatisfaction: Masters and Johnson’s term for the discontent of gays and lesbians who seek therapy to become heterosexual.
Sexual fantasy: Sexual thoughts or images that alter the person’s emotions or physiological state.
Sexual harassment Unwelcome behavior or conduct of a sexual nature that offends, humiliates, or intimidates another person.
Sexual Intercourse: Typically, when people say “sexual intercourse” they mean when a man’s penis is inserted into a woman’s vagina. But sexual intercourse can mean other kinds of intercourse too, like oral or anal intercourse between two men, two women or a man and a woman.
Sexuality Education: Classes and workshops that teach about sexuality and sexual health. “Sexuality education” usually refers to classes that take place in a school rather than in a youth group or organization.
Sexual identity: One’s self-identity as homosexual, heterosexual, or bisexual.
Sexual orientation: A person’s erotic and emotional orientation toward members of his or her own gender or members of the other gender.
Sexual selection: According to Darwin’s theory of evolution, the differentiation between the male and female members of a species because of the differences between the two in competition and choice.
Sexuality: The ways people experience and express themselves as sexual beings.
Sexually transmitted infection (STI): An infection that is contracted primarily through sexual activity—vaginal intercourse as well as oral and anal sex.
Shaft: The long part of the penis below the head (glans) of the penis.
Shag: To have sex. (British slang)
Shaping: It is the rewarding approximations of a desired behavior.
Short-term memory: Limited-capacity memory system in which information is usually retained for only as long as 30 seconds unless we use strategies to retain it longer.
Shooting Blanks: Slang term for not having sperm that is capable of impregnating a woman in semen.
Shunammitism: Contact (does not have to be physical) with young girls by old men to encourage or restore sexual vigor.
Siderodromophilia: Sexual excitement from either viewing or riding upon trains.
Signal detection theory: A theory of perception that focuses on decision making about stimuli in the presence of uncertainty.
Sitophilia: The use of food for sexual purposes.
Situational sexual disorder: Cases in which an individual has a sexual disorder in some situations but not in others.
69 (sixty-nine): A sexual position considered to be one of the best oral intercourse positions as it allows both partners to stimulate each other at the same time. Usually involves lying on top of each other head-to-toe or side-to-side. It can also be performed reversed (called inverted 69) with the male taking the top position.
Sleep: A natural state of rest for the body and mind that involves the reversible loss of consciousness.
Sliding-Scale Fee: A fee based on how much you earn. So, if you earn very little, you pay very little, and if you earn a lot, you pay the full amount for services.
Slut: A derogatory word for a girl who is perceived to have had too many sexual partners.
Smash: Slang term for sex.
Smegma: A smelly, white, cheesy substance that accumulates around the genitals of both males and females. Smegma is normal and can be rinsed off with soap and water.
Snatch: Slang term for a female’s vagina.
Snow Blowing: After a guy ejaculates into his partner’s mouth during oral sex, the couple kisses and the semen is exchanged from one person to the other.
Social cognitive behavior view of hypnosis: Theory that hypnosis is a normal state in which the hypnotized person behaves the way he or she believes that a hypnotized person should behave.
Social cognitive perspectives: Theoretical views emphasizing conscious awareness, beliefs, expectations, and goals.
Social comparison: The process by which individuals evaluate their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and abilities in relation to those of other people.
Social contagion: Imitative behavior involving the spread of actions, emotions, and ideas.
Social exchange theory: The view of social relationships as involving an exchange of goods, the objective of which is to minimize costs and maximize benefits.
Social facilitation: Improvement in an individual’s performance because of the presence of others.
Social identity theory: Tajfel’s theory that our social identities are a crucial part of our self-image and a valuable source of positive feelings about ourselves.
Social identity: The way we define ourselves in terms of our group membership.
Social loafing: Each person’s tendency to exert less effort in a group because of reduced accountability for individual effort.
Social psychology: It is the study of how people think about, influence, and relate to other people.
Social support: Information and feedback from others indicating that one is loved and cared for, esteemed and valued, and included in a network of communication and mutual obligation.
Socialization: The ways in which society conveys to the individual its norms or expectations for his or her behavior.
Sociobiology: The application of evolutionary biology to understanding the social behavior of animals, including humans.
Sociocultural approach: An approach to psychology that examines the ways in which social and cultural environments influence behavior.
Sodomy: A legal term used to describe oral sex or anal intercourse.
Speculum: A plastic or metal device that is used to hold the walls of the vagina open during a pelvic exam or other medical procedure so that the cervix can be seen.
Somatic nervous system: The body system consisting of the sensory nerves, whose function is to convey information from the skin and muscles to the CNS about conditions such as pain and temperature, and the motor nerves, whose function is to tell muscles what to do.
Somatosensory cortex: A region in the cerebral cortex that processes information about body sensations, located at the front of the parietal lobes.
Somnophilia: Fondling a stranger in their sleep.
Spectatoring: Masters and Johnson’s term for acting as an observer or judge of one’s own sexual performance; hypothesized to contribute to sexual disorders.
Spectrophilia: Either coitus with spirits or arousal from images in mirrors
Sperm: The mature male reproductive cell, capable of fertilizing an egg.
Spermicide: A substance that kills sperm.
Sponge: A contraceptive device containing spermicide that is placed against the cervix and provides a barrier against sperm.
Spooj: Slang for to spurt, to ejaculate.
Spooning: It is when two people lie close together sideways and front to back with bent knees, so as to fit together like spoons. It can also be a position for sexual intercourse.
Spontaneous recovery: The process in classical conditioning by which a conditioned response can recur after a time delay, without further conditioning.
Stages of change model: Theoretical model describing a five-step process by which individuals give up bad habits and adopt healthier lifestyles.
Standard deviation: A measure of dispersion that tells us how much scores in a sample differ from the mean of the sample.
Standardization: The development of uniform procedures for administering and scoring a test, and the creation of norms (performance standards) for the test.
Statutory Rape: It is the Sexual intercourse with a person who is under a certain age. This age varies from state to state, but it is usually between 12 and 18 years old.
Sexual intercourse with a person who is mentally deficient or unconscious (drunk or high) and therefore unable to agree to have sex is also considered statutory rape.
STD: STD stands for sexually transmitted disease. Sexually transmitted diseases can also be called sexually transmitted infections ( STI’s ). STDs are spread through sexual behavior or contact. Some STDs are also transmitted through skin-to-skin contact or body fluids such as blood, pre-cum, semen, vaginal fluids or breast milk. STDs generally infect the genital area (penis, scrotum, vulva, and vaginal opening), anus, or mouth, although they can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated.
STI : STI stands for sexually transmitted infection. Sexually transmitted infections can also be called sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). STI’s are spread through sexual behavior or contact. Some STI’s are also transmitted through skin-to-skin contact or body fluids such as blood, pre-cum, semen, vaginal fluids or breast milk. STI’s generally infect the genital area (penis, scrotum, vulva, and vaginal opening), anus, or mouth, although they can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated.
Stud: A guy who is perceived to have had many sexual partners.
Stem cells: Unique primitive cells that have the capacity to develop into most types of human cells.
Stereotype: A generalization about a group’s characteristics that does not consider any variations from one individual to another.
Stereotype threat: An individual’s fast-acting, self-fulfilling fear of being judged based on a negative stereotype about his or her group.
Stereotype: A generalization about a group of people (e.g., men) that distinguishes them from others (e.g., women).
Sterilization: A surgical procedure by which an individual is made sterile, that is, incapable of reproducing.
Sthenolagnia: Arousal from a display of strength and/or the sight or muscles.
Stigmatophilia: Finding body modifications arousing (tattoos, piercings, scarification etc.)
Stimulants: Psychoactive drugs that increase the central nervous system’s activity. The most widely used stimulants are caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines, and cocaine.
Storage: The retention of information over time and how this information is represented in memory.
Strabismus: Arousal from eyes of partner
Straight: Heterosexual; that is, a person whose sexual orientation is toward members of the opposite gender.
Stream of consciousness: Term used by William James to describe the mind as a continuous flow of changing sensations, images, thoughts, and feelings.
Streetwalker: A lower-status prostitute who walks the streets selling sexual services.
Strengths-based management: A management style emphasizing that maximizing an employee’s existing strengths is much easier than trying to build such attributes from the ground up.
Stress management program: A regimen that teaches individuals how to appraise stressful events, how to develop skills for coping with stress, and how to put these skills into use in everyday life.
Stress: The responses of individuals to environmental stressors.
Stressors: Circumstances and events that threaten individuals and tax their coping abilities and that cause physiological changes to ready the body to handle the assault of stress.
Structuralism: Wundt’s approach to discovering the basic elements, or structures, of mental processes; so called because of its focus on identifying the structures of the human mind.
Structured interview: A kind of interview in which candidates are asked specific questions that methodically seek to obtain truly useful information for the interviewer.
Subgoals: Intermediate goals or intermediate problems that put us in a better position for reaching the final goal or solution.
Subincision: A form of male genital cutting in which a slit is made on the lower side of the penis along its entire length.
Subjective well-being: A person’s assessment of his or her own level of positive affect relative to negative affect, and the individual’s evaluation of his or her life in general.
Subliminal perception: The detection of information below the level of conscious awareness.
Supercision: A form of male genital cutting in which a slit is made the length of the foreskin.
Superego: The Freudian structure of personality that serves as the harsh internal judge of our behavior; what we often call conscience.
Suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN): A small brain structure that uses input from the retina to synchronize its own rhythm with the daily cycle of light and dark; the mechanism by which the body monitors the change from day to night.
Surgical Abortion: Utilizes a procedure called vacuum aspiration to end a pregnancy. Under local or general anesthesia, a woman’s cervix is dilated (widened) so that a vacuum-like tube can be inserted and the contents of the uterus can be withdrawn. The procedure takes between five and 15 minutes. It is 99% effective.
Sustained attention: Also called vigilance, the ability to maintain attention to a selected stimulus for a prolonged period of time.
Swinging: A form of extramarital sex in which married couples exchange partners with each other.
Sympathetic nervous system: The part of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body.
Symphorophilia: Sexual arousal from causing many casualties (train crash, burning hospitals, explosions).
Sympto-thermal method: A type of rhythm method of birth control combining both the basal body temperature method and the cervical mucus method.
Synapses: Tiny spaces between neurons; the gaps between neurons are referred to as synaptic gaps.
Syntax: A language’s rules for combining words to form acceptable phrases and sentences.
Syphilis: A sexually transmitted infection that is caused by bacteria and results in chancres or painless sores in the genital area. When an infected person comes into contact with another uninfected person’s vagina, penis, anus or mouth, it is transmitted. Syphilis can be cured with antibiotics.
Systematic desensitization: A method of behavior therapy that treats anxiety by teaching the client to associate deep relaxation with increasingly intense anxiety-producing situations.
Tampon: A firm roll of absorbent cotton or other fiber that is worn inside the vagina to absorb menstrual flow.
Tantalolagnia: Arousal from teasing.
Tap: Same as “hit” (as in “tap that ass”).
Taphephilia: Arousal from being buried alive.
Teledildonics: Arousal from computer sex games.
Telephonicophilia: Arousal from using phone calls for sexual conversations.
Temperament: An individual’s behavioral style and characteristic way of responding.
Temporal lobes: Structures in the cerebral cortex that are located just above the ears and are involved in hearing, language processing, and memory.
Teratogen: A substance that produces defects in a fetus.
Testes: Sex-related endocrine glands in the scrotum that produce hormones related to men’s sexual development and reproduction.
Testis-determining factor (TDF): A gene on the Y chromosome that causes testes to differentiate prenatally. It is also called SRY, for sex-determining region, Y chromosome.
Testosterone: A hormone secreted by the testes in the male (and present at lower levels in the female).
Test Results: The results you get from your health care provider or doctor after you are tested for pregnancy or for sexually transmitted infections ( STI’s ), like chlamydia, gonorrhea, HPV, or HIV. A test result will be “negative” if you are not pregnant or do not have the STI . A result will be “positive” if you are pregnant or have one or more STI’s . Your health care provider or doctor will talk to you about the results to make sure you understand them.
Test-retest reliability: It is a method for testing whether self-reports is reliable or accurate; participants are interviewed (or given a questionnaire) and then interviewed a second time sometime later to determine whether their answers are the same both times.
Testicular Exam: During a testicular exam, a health care provider visually and manually checks the scrotum—the loose bag of skin which holds the testes—and penis for lumps or warts. There are two types of testicular exams: one done by a health care provider and a testicular self-exam. The purpose of a testicular exam is to have a guy familiarize himself with his body, so if there are lumps, bumps or warts, he can have them checked out by his health care provider. Some doctors recommend that guys perform monthly testicular self-exams. Early detection is the best way to improve the chances of survival if the abnormality is found to be cancerous. Learn how to perform a testicular self-exam.
Testing: Various tests for sexually transmitted infections, like chlamydia or gonorrhea, that are performed in doctors’ offices and health care clinics. The tests are generally done by using a swab in a person’s throat, vagina (cervix), or anus. Some tests are done by getting a urine sample. Other tests are done by simply looking at a person’s genitals during a medical examination.
Thalamus: The forebrain structure that sits at the top of the brain stem in the brain’s central core and serves as an important relay station.
Thalpotentiginy: Arousal from heat.
The Bases: It is a slang expression that refers to baseball and how far two people have gone sexually. The following is a general guide to what they mean:
- First base = kissing, including open-mouth (French) kissing
- Second base = petting above the waist, including touching, feeling, and fondling the chest, breasts, and nipples
- Third base = petting and/or orally stimulating below the waist, including touching, feeling, and fondling the vagina, clitoris, penis, and testicles
- Fourth base or Home run = sexual intercourse
The Big “O”: Slang term for someone’s first real orgasm.
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT): A projective test that is designed to elicit stories that reveal something about an individual’s personality.
Theory of planned behavior: Theoretical model that includes the basic ideas of the theory of reasoned action but adds the person’s perceptions of control over the outcome.
Theory of reasoned action: Theoretical model stating that effective change requires individuals to have specific intentions about their behaviors, as well as positive attitudes about a new behavior, and to perceive that their social group looks positively on the new behavior as well.
Theory X managers: Managers who assume that work is innately unpleasant and that people have a strong desire to avoid it; such managers believe that employees need direction, dislike responsibility, and must be kept in line.
Theory Y managers: Managers who assume that engaging in effortful behavior is natural to human beings; they recognize that people seek out responsibility and that motivation can come from allowing employees to suggest creative and meaningful solutions.
Theory: A broad idea or set of closely related ideas that attempts to explain observations and to make predictions about future observations.
Therapeutic alliance: The relationship between the therapist and client—an important element of successful psychotherapy.
Thermoreceptors: Sensory nerve endings under the skin that respond to changes in temperature at or near the skin and provide input to keep the body’s temperature at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
Thinking: The mental process of manipulating information mentally by forming concepts, solving problems, making decisions, and reflecting critically or creatively.
Thlipsosis: arousal from pinching others
Third variable problem: The circumstance where a variable that has not been measured accounts for the relationship between two other variables. Third variables are also known as confounds.
Third-stage labor: The stage during which the afterbirth is expelled.
Timophilia: Arousal from power or wealth.
Tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) phenomenon: A type of effortful retrieval that occurs when we are confident that we know something but cannot quite pull it out of memory.
Titillagnia: arousal from tickling
Title X: Title X, pronounced “title ten,” is a federal program devoted to providing comprehensive family planning services.Title X clinics give confidential health services to teens and adults. (Confidential means only you know about the visit.) They also provide contraception, including counseling, gynecological exams, screening for sexually transmitted diseases, and other reproductive health care for women and men.Services are provided on a sliding scale based on income, so that teens and adults with limited incomes receive care at reduced or no cost.
You can find a Title X clinic by clicking here.
Tits: A slang term for a female’s breasts.
Tolerance: The need to take increasing amounts of a drug to get the same effect.
Top-down processing: It is the operation in sensation and perception, launched by cognitive processing at the brain’s higher levels that allows the organism to sense what is happening and to apply that framework to information from the world.
Tossing Salad: Toss the salad refers to male masturbation, female masturbation or contact between one person’s mouth and another person’s anus.
Train: When guys get in a line and take turns having intercourse with one or more girls, often against her will, which is gang rape.
Transvestite: A person who dresses in the clothing typically associated with the other gender. Also known as crossdresser.
Toxic shock syndrome: A sometimes fatal bacterial infection associated with tampon use during menstruation.
Tragolimia: Desire for sex regardless of attraction to partner.
Training: Teaching a new employee the essential requirements to do the job well.
Trait theories: Theoretical views stressing that personality consists of broad, enduring dispositions (traits) that tend to lead to characteristic responses.
Tranquilizers: Depressant drugs, such as Valium and Xanax that reduce anxiety and induce relaxation.
Transactional leader: An individual in a leadership capacity who emphasizes the exchange relationship between the worker and the leader and who applies the principle that a good job should be rewarded.
Transference: A client’s relating to the psychoanalyst in ways that reproduce or relive important relationships in the individual’s life.
Transformational leader: An individual in a leadership capacity who is concerned not with enforcing the rules but with changing them.
Transgender: Experiencing one’s psychological gender as different from one’s physical sex, as in the cases of biological males who identify as female, and biological females who identify as male.
Transition: The difficult part of labor at the end of the first stage, during which the cervix dilates from 8 to 10 centimeters (3 to 4 inches).
Transsexual: A person who believes he or she is trapped in the body of the other gender. It is also known as a transgender person.
Transvestism: The practice of deriving sexual gratification from dressing as a member of the other gender.
Triarchic theory of intelligence: Sternberg’s theory that intelligence comes in three forms: analytical, creative, and practical.
Tribadism: A sexual technique used by lesbians in which one woman lies on top of another and move rhythmically in order to produce sexual pleasure, particularly clitoral stimulation.
Trichomoniasis: A sexually transmitted infection that is caused by an organism that lives in the lining of the vaginal walls and causes an odorous, foamy, irritating discharge. Trichomoniasis, or Trich, can be passed between sexual partners and can be cured with antibiotics.
Trichophilia: Hair Fetish.
Trichromatic theory: Theory stating that color perception is produced by three types of cone receptors in the retina that are particularly sensitive to different, but overlapping, ranges of wavelengths.
Trimester: Any of three periods of approximately three months each into which a pregnancy is divided. The three trimesters make up the nine months of a typical pregnancy.
Triphasic model: Kaplan’s model of sexual response in which there are three phases: vasocongestion, muscular contractions, and sexual desire.
Triphasic pill: A birth control pill containing a steady level of estrogen and three phases of progesterone, intended to mimic more closely women’s natural hormonal cycles.
Tripsolagnia: Arousal from having one’s hair shampooed by another.
Tripsolagnophilia: Arousal from massage.
Troilism: Three people having sex together.
Tubal Ligation: A surgical procedure in which a female’s fallopian tubes are cut to prevent ova (eggs) from entering the uterus. It is a permanent procedure and is sometimes called “getting tubes tied.”
Twat: Slang term for a female’s vagina.
Two-component theory of love: Berscheid and Walster’s theory that two conditions must exist simultaneously for passionate love to occur: physiological arousal and attaching a cognitive label (“love”) to the feeling.
Two-factor theory of emotion: Schachter and Singer’s theory that emotion is determined by two factors: physiological arousal and cognitive labeling.
Type A behavior pattern: A cluster of characteristics—such as being excessively competitive, hard-driven, impatient, and hostile—related to the incidence of heart disease.
Type B behavior pattern: A cluster of characteristics—such as being relaxed and easygoing—related to good health.
Umbilical cord: The tube that connects the fetus to the placenta.
Unconditional positive regard: Rogers’s construct referring to the individual’s need to be accepted, valued, and treated positively regardless of his or her behavior.
Unconditioned response (UCR): An unlearned reaction that is automatically elicited by the unconditioned stimulus.
Unconditioned stimulus (UCS): A stimulus that produces a response without prior learning.
Unconscious thought: According to Freud, a reservoir of unacceptable wishes, feelings, and thoughts that are beyond conscious awareness; Freud’s interpretation viewed the unconscious as a storehouse for vile thoughts.
Urethra: A tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body in both males and females. In males, the urethra is also a passageway for semen.
Urinary Tract Infection: An infection caused by bacteria entering the urethra or bladder. Symptoms include an intense desire to urinate frequently and a burning sensation when urinating. It can be cured by antibiotics. Also known as a bladder infection.
Urine: Fluid waste that collects in the bladder and leaves the body from the urethra in both males and females. Also known as “pee.”
Urophilia (or urolagnia): Deriving sexual satisfaction from contact with urine.
Urtication: The use of stinging plants to stimulate the skin.
Uterus: The organ in the female in which the fetus develops.
Vacuum aspiration: A method of abortion that is performed during the first trimester and involves suctioning out the contents of the uterus.
Vagina: The tube-shaped organ in the female into which the penis is inserted during coitus and through which a baby passes during birth.
Vaginal Canal: The muscular passageway between the vaginal opening the cervix.
Vaginal Contraceptive Film (VCF): A spermicide that is a paper-thin sheet of film that is placed on or near the cervix and dissolves with body heat. This is a method of birth control that is meant to be used as a back-up to another method, such as the birth control pill. On its own, VCF has a very low effectiveness rate for preventing pregnancy.
Vaginal Discharge: Fluid that is released every day from a female’s vagina. Its purpose is to clean the vagina. The amount of fluid released varies throughout the month.
Vaginal Fluids: The wetness in the vagina.
Vaginal Intercourse: When a man’s erect penis is inserted into a woman’s vagina.
Vaginal Lubrication: Fluid that is released when a woman is sexually aroused.
Vaginal Opening: The largest of three openings between a female’s legs. The other two are the urethra and the anus.
Vaginal orgasm: Freud’s term for orgasm in the female resulting from stimulation of the vagina in heterosexual intercourse; Freud considered vaginal orgasm to be more mature than clitoral orgasm.
Vaginal Sex: Vaginal sex (also called vaginal intercourse) is one of many ways for a couple to give and receive pleasure. Vaginal sex is when a couple places the man’s erect penis into the woman’s vagina. Then both people move together to create pleasure and possibly orgasm. For couples who choose to have vaginal sex, the most effective way to avoid a pregnancy or STDs is by using both hormonal birth control, like the Pill, and a condom.
Vaginismus (Vaj-in-IS-mus): A sexual disorder in which there is a spastic contraction of the muscles surrounding the entrance to the vagina, in some cases so severe that intercourse is impossible.
Validation: Telling your partner that, given his or her point of view, you can see why he or she thinks a certain way.
Validity: The extent to which a test measures what it is intended to measure.
Values: Beliefs held by one person, or a group of people. Values shape people’s opinions, actions, as well as their ways of thinking and are often influenced by a person’s family, religion, culture and life experiences.
Vampirism – The drinking of blood/fetishism for blood.
Variable: Anything that can change.
Vas deferens: The tube through which sperm pass on their way from the testes and epididymis, out of the scrotum, and to the urethra.
Vasectomy: A surgical procedure for male sterilization involving severing of the vas deferens.
Vasocongestion: An accumulation of blood in the blood vessels of a region of the body, especially the genitals; a swelling or erection results.
Vestibular bulbs: Erectile tissue running under the inner lips.
Vestibular sense: Sense that provides information about balance and movement.
Viagra: A drug used in the treatment of erectile disorder. Sildenafil.
Vibrator: A battery or electrical powered device used to massage and provide stimulation to the body, especially the genitals.
Vicarphilia: Arousal from another person sexual experience/s.
Vincilagnia: Arousal from bondage.
Viremia: A medical condition where viruses enter the bloodstream and hence have access to the rest of the body.
Virgin: It often means a person who has never had sexual intercourse.
Virus: A tiny organism that can cause many sexually transmitted infections in which the symptoms can be treated but the virus itself can’t be cured.
Volley principle: Modification of frequency theory stating that a cluster of nerve cells can fire neural impulses in rapid succession, producing a volley of impulses.
Volunteer bias: A bias in the results of sex surveys that arises when some people refuse to participate, so that those who are in the sample are volunteers who may in some ways differ from those who refuse to participate.
Voyeur: A person who becomes sexually aroused from secretly viewing nudes.
Vulva: The collective term for the external genitals of the female.
Vulvar Cancer: Cancer of the vulva (the external female genital organs, including the clitoris, vaginal lips, and the opening to the vagina).
Waigawa system: A management system dedicated to the idea that when the corporation faces a difficult problem, all rank-related concerns are temporarily set aside so that anyone from any level of the organization can propose a solution.
Weber’s law: The principle that two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage (rather than a constant amount) to be perceived as different.
Well-being therapy (WBT): A short-term, problem-focused, directive therapy that encourages clients to accentuate the positive.
Wisdom: Expert knowledge about the practical aspects of life.
Wet: Refers to when a woman’s vagina becomes lubricated (wet) when she is sexually aroused.
Wet Dream: Nocturnal emission, the release of semen from a boy’s penis while he is sleeping, common during puberty.
Whore: It is a derogatory word for a girl who is perceived to have had many sexual partners.
Withdrawal: A method of birth control in which the man withdraws his penis from his partner’s vagina before he has an orgasm.
Wolffian ducts: Ducts found in both male and female fetuses; in females they degenerate and in males they develop into the epididymis, the vas deferens, and the ejaculatory duct.
Woody: When the penis fills with blood in response to sexual excitement and becomes larger and stands away from the body. It can also be called Erection.
Working memory: A three-part system that allows us to hold information temporarily as we perform cognitive tasks; a kind of mental workbench on which the brain manipulates and assembles information to help us understand, make decisions, and solve problems.
Xenophilia: Sexual arousal from strangers.
Yerkes-Dodson law: The psychological principle stating that performance is best under conditions of moderate arousal rather than either low or high arousal. You can find images of Yerkes-Dodson Law here
Yeast Infection: A vaginal yeast infection is irritation of the vagina and the area around it called the vulva. Yeast is a type of fungus. Yeast infections are caused by overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans. Small amounts of yeast are always in the vagina. But when too much yeast grows, you can get an infection.
Yeast infections are very common. About 75 percent of women have one during their lives. And almost half of women have two or more vaginal yeast infections. Symptoms can include itching, skin irritation, redness, white and clumpy discharge and burning during urination. The infection can be cured by using an anti-fungal medication which can be bought in a drug store. Wearing cotton, loose-fitting underwear and keeping the area around the vagina dry can help prevent infection.
Zelophilia: Arousal from jealousy.
Zoophilia: Sexual contact with an animal; also called bestiality or sodomy.
Zwischenstufe: Arousal from person/s of the same sex.
Zygote: A fertilized egg.