What is sexuality?

What Does Sexuality Mean

We explain what sexuality is and what aspects it involves. Sexuality in adolescence and sexually transmitted diseases.

Sexuality is lived and expressed through thoughts, fantasies, desires, and more.

What is sexuality?

Sexuality is commonly understood as the forms of emotional, cultural and behavioral relationship between man and woman , or between male and female animals , associated with the search for sexual pleasure in its various possible manifestations.

To speak of sexuality, however, is not only to speak of reproduction and sexual organs, but of the cultural implications that sexual behavior generates and has generated in human civilization, for example.

Traditionally it was considered that the sexual aspect of human beings was part of their most instinctive life, of their animal side, which allowed to link sexuality to a certain “order of nature” and, among other things, to outlaw any conduct or choice sexual that did not pursue the reproduction of the species , such as masturbation or homosexuality. These ideas are currently subject to review and debate.

It can be said that human sexuality involves four equally important aspects:

  • Biological aspect. Represented by the body's drives and the mandate to reproduce that the species contains;
  • Psychological aspect. It represents the conscious or unconscious way of assuming the world of sexual referents;
  • Social aspect. It has to do with social pressures and social discourses around sex, what the historical moment says about it;
  • Ethical aspect. Linked to responsibility and individual and collective ways of handling sex in relation to others.

According to the World Health Organization , in fact, sexuality encompasses "sex, gender identities and roles, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy, reproduction, and sexual orientation." In addition, "It is lived and expressed through thoughts , fantasies, desires, beliefs , attitudes , values , behaviors, practices, roles and interpersonal relationships."

See also: Asexuality

Sexuality in adolescence

Since adolescence is the stage of human development in which the awakening of sexual desire occurs and the body matures reproductively , it is the first contact of the individual with his sexuality, which represents a set of doubts, explorations and discoveries that are not always easy. to cope.

Adolescents are forging during this stage their identity and their relationship with themselves and with others, a key process in their adult life, and this also applies to the sexual. Adolescents often explore their sexuality in a variety of ways, often through experiences that allow them to define what they like and what they don't like, that is, who they are, sexually speaking.

This means that during their stages of change and exploration they are particularly vulnerable to risk , which requires open sexual education , which instructs them to live their wishes, taking the necessary precautions regarding early pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or the emotional and psychological impact of early sexual experiences.

In this sense, the idea of sex as a way of achieving intimacy with someone should be emphasized in the adolescent, so it only involves those who expressly wish to have this type of relationship, and it should never be given under duress, blackmail or violence.

More in: Adolescence

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

Sexually transmitted diseases are a part of human sexual life to consider, and can range from a temporary and curable discomfort to a chronic or fatal disease. Some of the best known STDs are:

  • Syphilis. Caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum , it causes small and often painless ulcers on the mucous membranes, genitals, and hands or feet. Over time, as it is a chronic disease, red spots and lesions also appear in the nervous system and circulatory system .
  • Gonorrhea. Also known as blenorrhea or gonococcia, it is caused by a bacterium commonly called gonococcus , which usually affects the genital mucosa, the urinary tract, the eyes, the pharynx or the rectum. It causes foul-smelling purulent lesions and can cause infertility in women.
  • AIDS. Acronym for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, it is the product of incurable infection with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), which is transmitted by the exchange of not only sexual fluids, but also blood and other internal substances. This disease destroys the body's ability to defend itself and leaves it at the mercy of other secondary diseases.
  • HPV. Acronym for Human Papillomavirus, it is one of the most common infections in the world, which includes a wide family of skin viruses, some of which cause warts and other types of flat lesions, some of which are linked to cancer of the skin. cervix and penis.
  • Crabs. It is an ectoparasite linked to the louse, which lives in the genital areas and feeds on blood, causing itching in the area. They are spread during intercourse or by wearing clothes from someone who is infected.
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