Anatomy of Male Sexual Function

  • A. J. Wein
  • K. Van Arsdalen
  • Ph. M. Hanno
  • R. M. Levin


The physiology of male sexual function in the human involves a complex series of neurologically mediated vascular phenomena which occur within a certain hormonal milieu. Supraspinal psychological and neurological factors are also important, especially in humans, in modifying what are largely reflex phenomena for perpetuation of the species. Masters and Johnson [4] have defined the male sexual response cycle and divided it into four phases for descriptive purposes, although it actually progresses as a continuum (Fig. 1). Each phase involves genital and extra-genital responses that generally occur, whether for procreation or recreation. This chapter will review the pertinent male anatomy and the physiology of erection, emission, ejaculation, and orgasm as defined by experimental work in animals and humans, and by inference from clinical observation. Human data will be emphasized where available, as the human psyche as well as certain anatomic variations make extrapolation of animal data to man very difficult in some cases. Examples of sexual dysfunction will be included only as they help to clarify the normal physiology.


Corpus Cavernosa Tunica Albuginea Pelvic Plexus Dorsal Vein Corpus Spongiosum 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. J. Wein
  • K. Van Arsdalen
  • Ph. M. Hanno
  • R. M. Levin

There are no affiliations available

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