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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.