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    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
    Glossary list of "A"
    Abdomen
    Constitutes the stomach, intestines, liver, reproductive organs, and other organs around the region.
    Abortifacient
    A drug, herb, or device that can cause an abortion.
    Abortion
    The termination of pregnancy before birth.
    Abstinence
    Refraining from sexual intercourse.
    Abstinence Only Curricula
    Sexuality education programs that advocate sexual abstinence before marriage. They do not provide information about contraception, safer sex, or sexual orientation.
    Acquaintance Rape
    Sexual intercourse coerced by someone known to the victim.
    Acute
    Refers tointense, short-term symptoms or illnesses that either resolve or evolve into long-lasting, chronic disease manifestations.
    Adultery
    Sexual intercourse between a married person and someone who is not his or her spouse.
    Age of Consent
    The age at which one is considered old enough to decide to have sexual intercourse.
    Age of Majority
    The age at which one becomes a legal adult.
    AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
    A set of conditions associated with the last stages of HIV disease.
    Alveoli
    Sacs inside the breast that produce milk.
    Anal Intercourse
    Sex play in which the penis enters the anus.
    Androgens
    Certain hormones that stimulate male sexual development and secondary male sex characteristics. They are most abundantly produced in the testicles of men but are also produced in small amounts in women's ovaries. The most common androgen is testosterone.
    Androgyne
    A person who adopts characteristics of both genders in order to become gender neutral as a way to have fun, entertain, make a political statement about gender roles, or gain emotional satisfaction.
    Androgyny
    A gender identity that allows expression of both gender roles.
    Anorexia
    An eating disorder often caused by poor body image in which people, usually women, don't eat or eat very little to remain or become thin.
    Anorgasmia
    The inability to have an orgasm.
    Anti-choice
    Opposed to the belief that women have the right to choose abortion.
    Anus
    The opening from the rectum from which solid waste (feces) leaves the body .
    Aphrodisiac
    A substance that is supposed to increase sexual desire.
    Areola
    The dark area surrounding the nipples of women and men.
    Asyphyxophilia
    A paraphilia in which sexual arousal becomes dependent on being strangled up to the point of passing out.
    Autoerotic
    Providing sexual stimulation for one's self.
    Autoerotic Asphyxiation
    Self-strangulation for sexual arousal.
    Autonomy
    The ability to freely exercise one's own will.
    Glossary list of "B"
    Balanitis
    An inflammation of the glans and foreskin of the penis that can be caused by infections - including sexually transmitted infections - irritations, drugs, or other factors.
    Barrier Methods of Birth Control
    Contraceptives that block sperm from entering the uterus. These are the male and female condoms, diaphragm, cervical cap, and spermicide.
    Bartholins Glands
    Glands in the labia minora on each side of the opening to the vagina that provide lubrication during sexual excitement.
    Basal Body Temperature Method
    A method for predicting fertility in which women chart when ovulation occurs by taking their rectal temperature every morning before getting out of bed.
    Biastophilia
    A paraphilia in which sexual arousal becomes dependent on sexually attacking a nonconsenting, surprised, terrified, and struggling stranger. This is a kind of rape, but most rapes are committed by normophilic men.
    Binge Eating Disorder
    Compulsive overeating.
    Bimanual Exam
    Physical examination of the internal reproductive organs of the pelvis.
    Biology
    The scientific study of life.
    Bisexual
    One who is attracted to people of both genders.
    Bladder
    The organ that collects and stores urine produced by the kidney. The bladder is emptied through the urethra.
    Bule Balls
    The genital aching that may occur when men do not have an ejaculation following sexual stimulation. Women may experience similar aches if they do not reach orgasm, but because of sexist influences in development of our language about sex, there is no common expression to describe a woman's symptoms.
    Body Image
    One's attitudes and feelings about one's own body and appearance.
    Bondage and Discipline(B and D
    Sexual role play or behavior that includes elements of sadism or masochism. Often one partner is bound or leashed.
    Breasts
    Two glands on the chests of women. Men also have breast tissue. Breasts are considered sex organs because they are often sexually sensitive and may inspire sexual desire. They produce milk during and after pregnancy.
    Bubo
    A swollen gland and sore caused by chancroid.
    Bulimia
    An eating disorder in which binge eating is followed by purging with laxatives or self-induced vomiting.
    BV(Bacterial Vaginosis)
    An inflammation of the vagina - vaginitis - that is caused by a change in the balance of vaginal bacteria.
    Glossary list of "C"
    Calendar Method
    A method for predicting fertility for women with regular menstrual cycles to attempt to predict their fertility by charting their menstrual cycles on a calendar.
    Candida
    A type of yeast and a common cause of vaginitis.
    Celibacy
    Not having sex play.
    Censorship
    The official suppression of information or expression.
    Cereberal Cortex
    The area of the brain associated with higher functions, including learning and perception.
    Cervical Cap
    A firm rubber cap intended to fit securely on the cervix. Used with contraceptive jelly, the cervical cap is a barrier method of birth control that is reversible and available only by prescription.
    Cervical Mucus Method
    A method for predicting a woman's fertility by observing changes in her cervical mucus.
    Cervix
    The narrow lower part of the uterus (womb), with an opening connecting the uterus to the vagina.
    Chancroid
    A sexually transmitted bacterium that causes open genital sores.
    Chastity Belts
    A variety of devices designed to prevent women, men, or children from having sex. Used from medieval to modern times, these devices were also supposed to preserve morality. Some were meant to ensure fidelity in women in the absence of their husbands. Others were designed to prevent masturbation and nocturnal emissions in men and boys.
    Chemical Castrattion
    The use of a progestin-only injection to decrease sexual desire and arousal.
    Child Abuse
    Sexual assault against a child by an older person.
    Child Pornography
    Images of children designed to be sexually arousing.
    Chlamydia
    A common sexually transmitted organism that can cause sterility in women and men.
    Circumcision
    An operation to remove the foreskin of the penis. See also
    Climacteric
    The time of change that leads to menopause. The physiological midlife changes for women and men.
    Climax
    An orgasm or to have orgasm.
    Clinician
    A qualified health care professional, such as a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant.
    Clitoral Hood
    A small flap of skin that covers and protects the clitoris.
    Clitoris
    The female sex organ that is very sensitive to the touch - located between the labia at the top of the vulva.
    Cohabitation
    Living together in a sexual relationship.
    Colposcope
    A viewing instrument with a bright light and magnifying lens that is used to examine the vagina and cervix.
    Combined Oral Contraceptive
    Birth control pills that contain the hormones estrogen and progestin.
    Coming Out
    The process of accepting and being open about one's sexual orientation.
    Companionate Love
    Affection and deep emotional attachment that may be erotic.
    Comstock Act
    An 1873 law that made it a federal crime to use the U.S. mail to distribute anything considered "obscene, lewd, lascivious, indecently filthy, or vile," including information about contraception, abortion, and sexual health.
    Conception
    The moment when the pre-embryo attaches to the lining of the uterus and pregnancy begins; term also used to describe the fertilization of the egg.
    Condomn
    A sheath of thin rubber, plastic, or animal tissue that is worn on the penis during sexual intercourse. It is an over-the-counter, reversible barrier method of birth control, and it also provides protection against the most serious sexually transmitted infections.See also .
    Continous Abstinence
    Having no sex play for long periods of time - months or years.
    Contraception
    The prevention of pregnancy; birth control.
    Contraceptive Creams and Jellies
    Substances containing spermicide, which immobilizes sperm, preventing it from joining with the egg; used with diaphragms or cervical caps. These are over-the-counter, reversible barrier methods of birth control.
    Contraceptive Film
    Inserted deep into the vagina, a square of tissue that melts into a thick liquid and blocks the entrance to the uterus with a spermicide to immobilize sperm, preventing it from joining with an egg; an over-the-counter, reversible barrier method of birth control. Most effective when used with a condom.
    Contraceptive Foam
    Inserted deep into the vagina, a substance that blocks the entrance to the uterus with bubbles and contains a spermicide to immobilize sperm, preventing it from joining with an egg; an over-the-counter, reversible barrier method of birth control. Most effective when used with a condom.
    Contraceptive Suppository Capsule
    Inserted deep into the vagina, a solid that melts into a fluid liquid to immobilize sperm, preventing it from joining with an egg; an over-the-counter, reversible barrier method of birth control. Most effective when used with a condom.
    Corporal Punishment
    A form of discipline that inflicts pain on one's body.
    Corpus Cavernosa
    Two strips of tissue that ie on each side of the urethra in the penis. During sexual excitement, they fill with blood to create an erection.
    Corpus Spongiosum
    The tissue that surrounds the urethra inside the penis and is responsible, like the corpus cavernosa, for an erection; also the type of tissue that forms the glans of the clitoris and the penis.
    Cowper's Glands
    The glands beneath the prostate gland that are attached to the urethra. They produce a substance that makes seminal fluid sticky.
    Cremaster Reflex
    An automatic response to stimulation - for example, cold temperature or touching the inside of the thigh - in which the cremaster muscle pulls the scrotum and testes closer to the body.
    Cross Dresser
    A person who sometimes wears clothing associated with the opposite sex in order to have fun, entertain, gain emotional satisfaction, or make a political statement about gender roles, for example, drag kings and drag queens.
    Cryptochidism
    The condition in which one or both of the testicles do not descend from the lower abdomen before puberty.
    Cultural Norm
    An activity, belief, or value that is shared by members of a particular culture. Deviation from cultural norms often invites scorn, ridicule, punishment, or banishment.
    Culture
    The shared beliefs, values, heritage, customs, norms, art, food, language, and rituals of a community.
    Cystitis
    An infection of the bladder.
    Cytomegalovirus
    An infection that may be transmitted through sexual or intimate contact that may cause permanent disability, including hearing loss and mental retardation for infants and blindness and mental disorders for adults.
    Glossary list of "D"
    Date Rape
    Coerced sexual intercourse during a dating relationship.
    Delayed Ejaculation
    Commonly used term for inhibited orgasm in men.
    Depo Provera
    The common brand name of a progestin-only contraceptive that is injected every 12 weeks to prevent pregnancy. It is a reversible method of birth control available only by prescription.
    Depression
    The feeling of great sadness that takes control over one's life.
    Desire
    A feeling of sexual attraction or arousal. The first stage of the sexual response cycle.
    Diaphragm
    A soft rubber dome intended to fit securely over the cervix. Used with contraceptive cream or jelly, the diaphragm is a reversible barrier method of birth control available only by prescription.
    Diversity
    The presence of many different kinds of people, including people of various racial and ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, and social classes.
    Domestic Partnership
    The committed, long-term relationship of two unmarried people who live together.
    Dominance and Submission(D and S)
    Erotic activities that play out fantasies of power and powerlessness.
    Dominant Culture
    The group that holds political, ideological, and economic power in a diverse society.
    Don Juanism
    The desire by a man to have sex very frequently with many different partners.
    Double Standard
    An unequal set of moral standards, rules, or expectations that allows one group to have more privileges than another group within a society. A sexual double standard, for example, usually places more restrictions on women than on men.
    Douche
    A spray of water or solution of medication into the vagina.
    Dyspaurenia
    Painful intercourse for women that may be caused by hormonal imbalances, especially those that happen after menopause.
    Glossary list of "E"
    Early Ejaculation
    Ejaculation occurring before a man wants it to occur.
    Ectopic Pregnancy
    A life-threatening pregnancy that develops outside the uterus, often in a fallopian tube.
    Egg
    The reproductive cell in women; the largest cell in the human body.
    Ejaculation
    The moment when semen spurts out of the opening of the urethra in the glans of the penis.
    Ejaculatory Inevitability
    The moment during sexual excitement when a man cannot stop his ejaculation. The prostate begins contracting and pulsing out seminal fluid.
    Emanicepted Minor
    A minor who has legal autonomy and usually lives on her or his own without financial support from parents or guardians.
    Embryo
    The organism that develops from the pre-embryo and begins to share the woman's blood supply about nine days after fertilization.
    Emergency Contraception
    The use of oral contraceptives or IUDs to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse.
    Emergency Hormonal Contraception
    The use of oral contraceptives to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse.
    Endometrium
    The lining of the uterus that develops every month in order to nourish a fertilized egg. The lining is shed during menstruation if there is no fertilization.
    Epididymis
    The tube in which sperm mature. It is tightly coiled on top of and behind each testis. The plural of epididymis is epididymides.
    Epididymitis
    An inflammation of the epididymis.
    Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
    The inability to become erect or maintain an erection with a partner.
    Erection
    A "hard" penis when it becomes full of blood and stiffens.
    Erogenous Zones
    Any area of the body very sensitive to sensual touch.
    Erotic
    That which is sexually arousing.
    Erotica
    Sexually arousing imagery that is not considered pornographic, obscene, or offensive to the average person.
    Erotophilia
    Appreciation of the erotic.
    Erotophobia
    Fear and anxiety about the erotic.
    Estrogen
    A hormone commonly made in a woman's ovaries. Estrogen's major effects are seen during puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy.
    Estrus
    The period of fertility and sexual arousal in the female animal.
    Ethnocentric
    The belief that one's own country, culture, or ethnic group is superior to others'.
    Excitementd
    The body's physical response to desire and to stimulation. The second stage of the sexual response cycle.
    Exhibitionism
    A paraphilia in which sexual arousal becomes dependent on exposing the sex organs to those who will be surprised
    Exhibitionists
    Women or men who expose their sex organs to other people without their consent, usually in public places.
    External Sex and Reproductive Organs
    The sex organs and structures on the outside of the body that are primarily used during sexual activity. These include the vulva in a woman and the penis and scrotum in a man.
    Extramarital Sex
    Sexual intercourse by a married person with someone other than his or her spouse
    Glossary list of "F"
    Fake Orgasm
    The pretense of having reached climax in order to end sex play or please a partner.
    Fallopian Tube
    One of two narrow tubes that carry the egg from the ovary to the uterus.
    Fam(Fertility Awareness Method)
    Barrier methods of birth control for vaginal intercourse during the "unsafe days" of a woman's fertile phase.
    Fantasy
    A sexually arousing thought and mental image.
    Feces
    Solid waste that leaves the body through the anus.
    Female Circumcision
    The practice of removing a girl's clitoral hood, clitoris, and/or the labia; often called female genital mutilation. This is practiced in some African, Near Eastern, and Southeast Asian cultures.
    Female Condom
    A polyurethane sheath with flexible rings at each end that is inserted deep into the vagina like a diaphragm. It is an over-the-counter, reversible barrier method of birth control that may provide protection against many sexually transmitted infections.
    Female Genital Mutilation
    Female circumcision.
    Feminine
    Characteristics and ways of behaving that a culture associates with being a girl or a woman.
    Feminism
    The belief that women and men have equal social, economic, sexual, and political rights.
    Fertilization
    The joining of an egg and sperm.
    Fetal Alcohol Effects
    Fetal abnormalities caused by alcohol during pregnancy that may not be as severe as those associated with fetal alcohol syndrome.
    Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
    Fetal abnormalities affecting growth, the central nervous system, and facial features that are caused by women drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
    Fetishism
    A paraphilia in which certain objects, substances, or parts of the body become necessary for sexual arousal.
    Fetus
    The organism that develops from the embryo at the end of about seven weeks of pregnancy and receives nourishment through the placenta.
    Fidelity
    Strict observance of promises, especially of sexual faithfulness.
    Foreplay
    Physical and sexual stimulation - kissing, touching, stroking, and massaging - that often happens in the excitement stage of sexual response; often occurs before intercourse, but can lead to orgasm without intercourse, in which case it can be called outercourse.
    Foreskin
    A retractable tube of skin that covers and protects the glans of the penis.
    Formal Values
    Socially sanctioned ideals for human behavior that may or may not be consistent with actual behaviors that are sanctioned.
    Fornication
    Sexual intercourse between unmarried people.
    Glossary list of "G"
    Gamete
    The reproductive cell - egg or sperm.
    Gang Rape
    Sexual assault committed by two or more people; also known as fraternity or party rape.
    Gay
    Homosexual.
    Gay Bashing
    Physical or verbal assaults on people who are perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
    Gay Liberation Movement
    The movement to establish civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender women and men.
    Gay Rights
    Civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people that are equal to those guaranteed to straight people.
    Gender
    One's biological, social, or legal status as male or female.
    Gender Assignment
    Medical and legal description of one's gender that is given at birth.
    Gender Dysophoria
    Conflicted feelings about one's gender, gender assignment, and gender identity.
    Gender Identity
    Feelings about one's gender and gender role.
    Gender Norms
    Social standards about appropriate feminine and masculine behavior.
    Gender Roles
    Social norms about behaving feminine or masculine.
    Gender Scripting
    The socialization process by which one is conditioned to adopt certain behaviors, preferences, and attitudes considered appropriate for her or his gender.
    Gender Stereotypes
    Unrealistic expectations based on gender.
    Genitals
    External sex and reproductive organs - the penis and scrotum in men, the vulva in women. Sometimes the internal reproductive organs are also called genitals.
    Glans
    The soft, highly sensitive tip of the clitoris or penis. In men, the urethral opening is located in the glans.
    Gonadotropins
    Hormones secreted by the pituitary gland that trigger puberty by stimulating the gonads.
    Gonads
    The organs that produce reproductive cells - the ovaries of women, the testes of men
    Gonorrhea
    A sexually transmitted bacterium that can cause sterility, arthritis, and heart problems.
    Guilt
    Remorse at believing one has done something wrong.
    Gynecology
    Sexual and reproductive health care for women.
    Gynecomastia
    A usually temporary condition during puberty in which the breasts of boys become larger.
    Glossary list of "I"
    Implantation
    The attachment of the pre-embryo to the lining of the uterus.
    Impotence
    Inability to achieve an erection.
    Incest
    Sexual activity between members of the same family.
    Infatuation
    Impulsive, usually short-lived, emotional and erotic attachment to another person.
    Informal Values
    Social sanctions for behaviors that may or may not be consistent with socially sanctioned ideals for behavior.
    Inhibited Arousal
    The inability to become sexually aroused and enjoy sex play, despite one's sexual desire.
    Inhibited Orgasm
    Inability to have an orgasm.
    Inhibited Sexual Desire
    The lack of sexual desire.
    Inhibition
    Feeling restraint due to fear or guilt.
    Intercourse
    Sexual activity between two people in which insertion of the penis occurs. This includes vaginal intercourse, oral intercourse, and anal intercourse.
    Internalized Homophobia
    The fear of homosexuality within one's self.
    Internal Sex and Reproductive Organs
    The organs inside the body that are responsible for producing, moving, and nourishing human reproductive cells. Because internal organs may be sensitive or respond to sexual stimulation, these organs are also called sex organs.
    Intersex
    People with ambiguous sex organs, neither exclusively female nor exclusively male, for example, people with androgen insensitivity syndrome, Kleinfelter syndrome, or congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
    Intimacy
    The closeness and familiarity we feel as we share our private and personal selves with someone else.
    Introitus
    The tissue of the inner vulva that frames the opening to the vagina.
    IUD(Intrauterine Device)
    A small device made of plastic, which may contain copper or a natural hormone, that is inserted into the uterus by a clinician. A reversible method of birth control available only by prescription.
    Glossary list of "J"
    Jealousy
    Anxiety about a partner's love and commitment.
    Jock Itch
    A very common fungal skin infection in the genital area of men that is caused by wearing tight clothing, sweating, or not drying the genitals carefully after bathing. It can cause a reddish, scaly rash that can become inflamed, very itchy, and painful.
    Glossary list of "K"
    Kleptophilia
    A paraphilia in which sexual arousal becomes dependent on stealing.
    Glossary list of "L"
    Labia Majora
    The larger, outer lips of the vulva.
    Labia Minora
    The smaller, inner lips of the vulva.
    Lactobacilli
    Bacteria present in healthy vaginas of women. They help relieve vaginitis by limiting the growth of candida, a yeast.
    LAM(Lactational Amenorrhea Mehtod)
    Breast-feeding as birth control for up to six months after childbirth.
    Lesbian
    A homosexual woman.
    Leukorrhea
    A white, sticky vaginal discharge that is normal during adolescence.
    Levenorgestrel
    A synthetic progestin similar to the hormone progesterone, which is produced by the body to regulate the menstrual cycle; the active ingredient in Norplant.
    Libido
    The sex drive.
    Limerance
    A powerful and constantly distracting and obsessive infatuation.
    Lobes
    Groups of alveoli sacs in women's breasts.
    Long Term Reorganisation Phase
    The second phase of rape trauma syndrome, in which the victim tries to regain control of life.
    Love
    A strong caring for someone else. It comes in many forms. There can be love for romantic partners and also for close friends, for parents and children, for God, and for humankind.
    Love Map
    A blueprint of one's adult sexual appreciations and preferences that develops while one is growing up.
    Lust
    The desire for sexual pleasure.
    Glossary list of "M"
    Mammogram
    X-ray photographs of the breasts that can detect cancerous tumors before they can be felt.
    Morning After Pills
    Emergency hormonal contraception that is taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse.
    Marital Rape
    Coerced sexual intercourse within marriage.
    Masculine
    Characteristics and ways of behaving that a culture associates with being a boy or a man.
    Masochism
    A paraphilia in which sexual arousal becomes dependent on sexual role play or fantasy that includes receiving punishment, discipline, or humiliation.
    Masturbation
    Touching one's own sex organs for pleasure.
    Megans Law
    A Federal and state laws that require police to notify citizens of the presence of convicted pedophiles in their communities.
    Menarche
    The time of a girl's first menstruation.
    Meno Pause
    The time at "midlife" when menstruation stops; a woman's last period; usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. "Surgical" menopause, however - which results from removal of the ovaries - may occur earlier.
    Menstural Cycle
    The time from the first day of one period to the first day of the next period; a repeating pattern of fertility and infertility.
    Menstural Flow
    Blood, fluid, and tissue that are passed out of the uterus during the beginning of the menstrual cycle.
    Mensturation
    The flow of blood, fluid, and tissue out of the uterus and through the vagina that usually lasts from three to five day.
    Method Effectivenesss
    The reliability of a contraceptive method itself - when it is always used consistently and correctly.
    Milk Ducts
    The passages in women's breasts through which milk flows from the alveoli to the nipple.
    Mini Pills
    Birth control pills that contain only the hormone progestin.
    Molluscum Contagiosum
    A virus that can be sexually transmitted, causing small, pinkish-white, waxy, round, polyplike growths in the genital area or on the thighs.
    Monogamous Relationship
    A relationship in which both people date or have sex only with one another and no one else.
    Multiple Orgasm
    More than one orgasm occurring within the same sexual encounter.
    Mutuality
    Reciprocating equally with feelings and behavior.
    Myths
    Unfounded or false stories or ideas.
    Glossary list of "N"
    Nipple
    The dark tissue in the center of the areola of each breast in women and men that can stand erect when stimulated by touch or cold. In a woman's breast, the nipple may release milk that is produced by the breast.
    Normophilia
    Sexual preferences that are considered common or "normal" according to social norms.
    Norplant
    A contraceptive system of six small soft capsules containing the hormone levonorgestrel that is inserted under the skin of the upper arm. A reversible method of birth control that is available only by prescription.
    Nymphomania
    The desire by a woman to have sex very frequently with many different partners.
    Glossary list of "O"
    Obscenity
    Sexually arousing imagery that is considered socially offensive.
    Oedipal Conflict
    The Freudian theory that children have an unconscious sexual attachment to the parent of the other gender, causing them to be hostile toward the parent of the same gender.
    Open Relationship
    A relationship in which both partners are free to date or have sex with other people.
    Oral Contraceptive
    The birth control pill.
    Oral Sex
    Sex play involving the mouth and sex organs.
    Orgasm
    The peak of sexual arousal when all the muscles that were tightened during sexual arousal relax, causing a very pleasurable feeling that may involve the whole body. The fourth stage of the sexual response cycle.
    Outercourse
    Sex play that does not include inserting the penis in the vagina or anus.
    Ovaries
    The two organs that store eggs in a woman's body. Ovaries also produce hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
    Over-the-Counter
    Available without a prescription.
    Ovulation
    The time when an ovary releases an egg.
    Ovulation Method
    See Cervical Mucus Method.
    Glossary list of "P"
    Pap Test
    A procedure used to examine the cells of the cervix in order to detect infection and hormonal conditions. It can also detect precancerous and cancerous cells.
    Paragard
    An IUD that contains copper and can be left in place for 10 years.
    Paraphilia
    A sex practice that becomes necessary for sexual arousal but that is not approved by social norms.
    Parental Consent
    Requirement that one or both parents give written permission for a minor child to receive medical attention or to enter into a legal contract.
    Passionate Love
    Powerfully intense feelings of erotic attachment.
    Pedophilia
    A paraphilia in which sexual arousal for an adult becomes dependent on having sexual contact or fantasies of sexual contact with a child.
    Peer Pressure
    The efforts of a group of equals to maintain conformity to the group's social norms.
    Pelvic Exam
    Physical examination of the vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, and ovaries - usually includes taking cervical cells for a Pap test and a manual exam of the internal pelvic organs.
    Pelvic Girdle
    A bony and muscular structure inside a woman's body that supports her internal sex and reproductive organs.
    Penis
    A man's reproductive and sex organ that is formed of spongy tissue and fills with blood during sexual excitement, a process known as erection. Urine and seminal fluid pass through the penis.
    Perfect Use
    The contraceptive effectiveness for women and men whose use is consistent and always correct.
    Performance Anxiety
    The fear of being unable to please a partner.
    Perimenopause
    The period of change leading to menopause
    Period
    The days during menstruation.
    Periodic Abstinence
    Not having vaginal intercourse during the "unsafe days" of a woman's fertile phase in order to prevent pregnancy.
    Peyronie's Disease
    A rare condition that is caused by fibrous growths inside the penis.
    Pheromones
    Odors given off by animals that attract the other gender.
    Physical Fitness
    A condition of good health that results from healthful foods, exercise, and regular medical checkups.
    Pictophilia
    A paraphilia in which sexual arousal becomes dependent on viewing pornographic pictures, movies, or videos with or without a partner.
    PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease)
    An infection of a woman's internal reproductive system that can lead to sterility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pain. It is often caused by sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea and chlamydia.
    Pill, The
    Common expression for oral hormonal contraception.
    Plateau
    The stage of sexual arousal in which a person has been sexually excited and may approach orgasm. The third stage of the sexual response cycle.
    Polygamy
    Having more than one spouse
    Pornography
    Erotic imagery that is considered obscene and offensive.
    Post-Ovulation Method
    A method of contraception using periodic abstinence or FAMs from the beginning of menstruation until the morning of the fourth day after predicted ovulation - more than half of the menstrual cycle.
    Pre-Ejaculate
    The liquid that oozes out of the penis during sexual excitement before ejaculation; produced by the Cowper's glands.
    Pre-Embryo
    The ball of cells that develops from the fertilized egg until after about nine days, when it attaches to the lining of the uterus and the embryo is formed.
    Premarital Sex
    Sexual intercourse between people before marriage.
    Premature Ejaculation
    Ejaculation occurring before a man wants it to occur - often before his partner reaches orgasm.
    Priapism
    A continuous partial erection without sexual stimulation that is caused by dysfunctional blood flow into the corpus cavernosa.
    Primary Sex Characteristics
    The body organs and reproductive structures and functions that differ between women and men. The differences include the external and internal sex and reproductive organs. It also includes a woman's ability to produce eggs and a man's ability to produce sperm.
    Pro-Choice
    The belief that women have the right to choose abortion.
    Progestasert
    An IUD containing natural hormones that must be replaced every year
    Progestin
    A synthetic progesterone.
    Progesterone
    A hormone produced in the ovaries of women that is important in puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy.
    Prophylactic
    A device used to prevent infection; the condom.
    Prostatitis
    An enlargement and inflammation of the prostate gland that results in a dull persistent pain in the lower back, testes, scrotum, and glans of the penis. There may also be a thin mucus discharge from the penis, especially in the morning.
    Prostitution
    The performance of sexual acts for pay.
    Prostate
    An internal reproductive organ below the bladder that produces a fluid that helps sperm move.
    Psychology
    The study of the mind and its processes.
    Puberty
    A time in life when a girl is becoming a woman and a boy is becoming a man. Puberty is marked by physical changes of the body such as breast development and menstruation in girls and facial hair growth and ejaculation in boys.
    Pubic Hair
    Hair that grows in the genital area of women and men. Pubic hair is a secondary sex characteristic appearing at puberty.
    Pubic Lice
    Tiny insects that can be sexually transmitted. They live in pubic hair and cause intense itching in the genitals or anus.
    Puritans
    Early American Protestant colonists who established English laws and social and sexual mores in the northeastern United States. Though actually less sexually restrictive than commonly believed, the Puritan is now the symbol of sexual suppression.
    Glossary list of "Q"
    Queer
    Pejorative, slang term for a homosexual.
    Quickening
    The first movements by the fetus felt by a pregnant woman.
    Glossary list of "R"
    Rape
    Coerced sexual intercourse.
    Rape Trauma Syndrome
    The emotional and physical consequences one experiences after being sexually assaulted.
    Rapid Orgasm
    When a woman climaxes more quickly than her partner and loses interest in continued sex play.
    Reality Based Sexual Education
    Age-appropriate, culturally sensitive sexuality education programs that include open, nonjudgmental information about all aspects of sexuality; they encourage critical thinking, self-actualization, and behavioral changes through the empowerment of holistic knowledge about the body, sex, relationships, birth control, safer sex, gender role, and so on, by being realistic about people's lives. Also referred to as comprehensive sexuality education.
    Rectovaginal Exam
    Physical examination of the reproductive organs and the tissues that separate the vagina and rectum.
    Rectum
    The lowest end of the intestine before the anus, where solid waste (feces) is stored.
    Refractory Period
    The time after ejaculation during which a man is not able to have an erection.
    Reproductive Cell
    The unique cell - egg in women, sperm in men - that can join with its opposite to make reproduction possible.
    Resolution
    The period after orgasm in which the body returns to a nonstimulated state. The last stage in the sexual response cycle.
    Retarded Ejaculation
    Commonly used term for inhibited orgasm in men.
    Retrograde Ejaculation
    An ejaculation from the prostate into the bladder.
    Roe V.Wade
    The 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
    Role Play
    Acting out a fantasy with a partner.
    Romantic Love
    An idealized love relationship that is often as unrealistic as it is passionate. In courtship, romance may have elements of flattery, excitement, and the feeling of being "swept away," as in a fairy tale.
    Rut
    The period of sexual arousal in male animals that is a response to estrus.
    Rythm Method
    See Calendar Method
    Glossary list of "Q"
    Queer
    Pejorative, slang term for a homosexual.
    Quickening
    The first movements by the fetus felt by a pregnant woman.
    Glossary list of "T"
    Taboo
    Behavior that is beyond the moral limits of cultural norms.
    Tampon
    A firm roll of absorbent cotton or other fiber that is worn inside the vagina to absorb menstrual flow.
    Tenting
    The expansion of the inner vagina during sexual excitement.
    Testes
    Two ball-like glands inside the scrotum that produce sperm.
    Testicles
    The testes.
    Testosterone
    An androgen that is produced in the testes of men and in smaller amounts in the ovaries of women.
    Thelarche
    The time when a girl's breasts begin to develop.
    Toxic Shock Syndrome
    A rare but very dangerous overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina. Symptoms include vomiting, high fever, diarrhea, and a sunburn-type rash.
    Trans Sexuals
    People who desire to have their sexual anatomy altered because it is in conflict with their gender identity.
    Transgender
    People who often choose to live the role of the opposite gender because their gender identity conflicts with their sexual anatomy. Also often used as an umbrella term to describe the community of androgyne, cross-dressing, transgender, transsexual, or transvestite people whose gender identities do not conform to the psycho-social gender role expectations of their societies.
    Transvestite
    People who cross dress for erotic satisfaction.
    Transvestophilia
    A paraphilia in which sexual arousal becomes dependent on wearing clothing, especially underwear, associated with the other gender.
    Tubal Sterilization
    Surgical blocking of the fallopian tubes that is intended to provide permanent birth control.
    Typical Use
    Contraceptive effectiveness for women and men whose use is not consistent or always correct.
    Glossary list of "U"
    Uncircumcised
    Description of a penis that has a foreskin.
    Ureters
    The two tubes that lead from the kidneys to the bladder.
    Urethra
    The tube and opening from which women and men urinate. The urethra empties the bladder and carries urine to the urethral opening. In men, the urethra runs through the penis and also carries ejaculate and pre-ejaculate during sex play.
    Use Effectiveness
    The reliability of a contraceptive method as it is usually used - when it is not always used consistently or correctly.
    Uterus
    The pear-shaped, muscular reproductive organ from which women menstruate and where normal pregnancy develops; the womb.
    UTI(Urinary Tract Infection)
    A bacterial infection of the bladder (also called cystitis), the ureters, or the urethra; can be sexually transmitted.
    Glossary list of "V"
    Vagina
    The stretchable passage that connects a woman's outer sex organs - the vulva - with the cervix and uterus.
    Vaginal Intercourse
    Sex play in which the penis enters the vagina.
    Vaginitis
    An inflammation of the vagina that is caused by a change in the normal balance of vaginal bacteria.
    Vaginusmus
    Painful intercourse for a woman that occurs when her fear and anxiety about vaginal intercourse cause the muscles around her vagina to go into spasm when her partner tries to insert a penis or dildo.
    Values
    Ideas of what is right, worthwhile, or moral.
    Varicocele
    An enlargement of the spermatic vein, which supplies blood to the testis. It can reduce blood flow and increase the temperature of the testicle, thereby causing infertility.
    Vas Deferens
    A long, narrow tube that carries sperm from each epididymis to the seminal vesicles. The plural of vas deferens is vasa deferentia.
    Vasectomy
    Surgical blocking of the vasa deferentia in men that is intended to provide permanent birth control.
    Venereologist
    One who studies sexually transmitted infections.
    Viability
    The ability of a fetus to survive outside a woman's body.
    Victorians
    People who lived during and after the reign of Britain's Queen Victoria (1837-1901) - especially those who shared her fears about human sexuality.
    Virginity
    Never having had sexual intercourse.
    Voluntary Sterilization
    Surgically implemented contraception that is intended to be permanent and that is freely chosen.
    Voyeurism
    A paraphilia in which sexual arousal becomes dependent on watching people undress or have sex play unaware that they are being watched.
    Voyeurs
    Women or men who become aroused by secretly watching another person undress or engage in sexual behavior.
    Vulva
    A woman's external sex organs, including the clitoris, the labia (majora and minora), the opening to the vagina (introitus), and two Bartholin's glands.
    Glossary list of "W"
    Wank Off
    Slang term for masturbation.
    Wasserman Test
    A blood test for syphilis.
    Wasserman Test
    A blood test for syphilis.
    Western Blot
    A blood test for HIV antibodies.
    Wet Dream
    Slang term for nocturnal emission.
    Withdrawal
    A method of birth control in which the male withdraws his penis from the vagina before he ejaculates; because men often secrete a small amount of fluid that often contains sperm prior to actual ejaculation, this is not a very reliable method of birth control.
    Wolffian Ducts
    Fetal tissue that develops into the internal male reproductive structures if the fetus is genetically male.
    Womb
    The term used for uterus by some individuals when referring to it as a container for the developing infant.
    Woody
    Slang term for an erection.
    Womb
    The term used for uterus by some individuals when referring to it as a container for the developing infant.
    Glossary list of "X"
    X-Rated
    Visually explicit. Derived from the Motion Picture Association's rating system.
    Glossary list of "Y"
    Yeast Infection
    A vaginal infection caused by the fungus Candida albicans. Also known as candidiasis or moniliasis.
    Yohimbine
    An alleged aphrodisiac derived from the bark of the African yohimbe tree.
    Glossary list of "Z"
    Zift
    Acronym for zygote intrafallopian transfer.
    Zoophilia
    A nonspecified paraphilia referring to sexual excitement derived from sexual interactions with animals; often referred to as bestiality.
    Zygote
    The developing organism from fertilization to implantation; a fertilized egg.
    Zygote intra-fallopian transfer (ZIFT)
    A procedure often used with infertile couples in which an egg is fertilized by sperm in a laboratory dish and is then placed into the fallopian tube of the woman.