Related: female genitalia - male genitalia - private - pubic hair - pudenda
A sex organ or primary sexual characteristic, narrowly defined, is any of those parts of the body (which are not always bodily organs according to the strict definition) which are involved in sexual reproduction and constitute the reproductive system in an complex organism; namely:
- Male: penis (including the foreskin), testicles, prostate, seminal vesicles, epididymis, Cowper's glands, Prostate
- Female: vulva (notably the clitoris and its covering the clitoral hood), vagina (notably the cervix), uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, Skene's glands, Bartholin's glands.
More generally and popularly, the term sex organ refers to any part of the body involved in erotic pleasure. The larger list would certainly include the anus for either sex, the breasts (especially the nipples) for females, and possibly the nipples for males. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genitalia [May 2004]
Intimate and private parts
An intimate or private part is a place on the human body. The term is a bowdlerized reference.
Definitions may vary of what are the human intimate or private parts, but in Western cultures they are approximately the parts involved in sexual arousal, procreation, and elimination of feces and urine:
- for males, the penis, the scrotum, and the buttocks
- for females, the vulva, the buttocks, as well as to a lesser extent the breasts.
In some periods of Chinese history (ending in 1911), foot binding made female feet private parts.
Exposure of one's intimate parts, particularly unintended exposure, is connected with feelings of shame, and subject to strict social rules, social control and criminal justice. (See nudity and indecent exposure.)
Touching the intimate parts of another person, even through clothing, is often associated with sexual intent. Thus, if this is done without consent (or with consent that is legally not valid), it may be considered to be sexual harassment or sexual assault.
In some societies, the human intimate parts are deemed sacred and are part of cultural rituals. For example, a village in Côte d'Ivoire considers female genital cutting a social ritual. ( (http://idcs0100.lib.iup.edu/~tconelly/Africa/Reading/SlowChallengeRitual.htm)). A routine cultural practice of male circumcision is still performed in most hospitals in the USA. In many cases, a sex reassignment is performed on intersex children. Some genital integrity groups perceive these practices as barbaric and violent. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intimate_part [Feb 2005]
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