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Clitoris

Female sex organ / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The clitoris (/ˈklɪtərɪs/ (listen) or /klɪˈtɔːrɪs/ (listen)) is a female sex organ present in mammals, ostriches and a limited number of other animals. In humans, the visible portion – the glans – is at the front junction of the labia minora (inner lips), above the opening of the urethra. Unlike the penis, the male homologue (equivalent) to the clitoris, it usually does not contain the distal portion (or opening) of the urethra and is therefore not used for urination. In most species, the clitoris lacks any reproductive function. While few animals urinate through the clitoris or use it reproductively, the spotted hyena, which has an especially large clitoris, urinates, mates, and gives birth via the organ. Some other mammals, such as lemurs and spider monkeys, also have a large clitoris.[1]

Quick facts: Clitoris, Details, Precursor, Artery, Vein...
Clitoris
The internal anatomy of the human vulva, with the clitoral hood and labia minora indicated as lines. The clitoris extends from the visible portion to a point below the pubic bone.
Location of (1) clitoral hood and (2) clitoral glans
Details
PrecursorGenital tubercle
ArteryDorsal artery of clitoris, deep artery of clitoris
VeinSuperficial dorsal veins of clitoris, deep dorsal vein of clitoris
NerveDorsal nerve of clitoris
Identifiers
LatinClitoris
MeSHD002987
TA98A09.2.02.001
TA23565
FMA9909
Anatomical terminology
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The clitoris is the human female's most sensitive erogenous zone and generally the primary anatomical source of human female sexual pleasure.[2] In humans and other mammals, it develops from an outgrowth in the embryo called the genital tubercle. Initially undifferentiated, the tubercle develops into either a penis or a clitoris during the development of the reproductive system depending on exposure to androgens (which are primarily male hormones). The clitoris is a complex structure, and its size and sensitivity can vary. The glans (head) of the human clitoris is roughly the size and shape of a pea and is estimated to have 8,000, and possibly more than 10,000, sensory nerve endings.[3][4]

Sexological, medical, and psychological debate have focused on the clitoris,[5] and it has been subject to social constructionist analyses and studies.[6] Such discussions range from anatomical accuracy, gender inequality, female genital mutilation, and orgasmic factors and their physiological explanation for the G-spot.[7] Although, in humans, the only known purpose of the clitoris is to provide sexual pleasure, whether the clitoris is vestigial, an adaptation, or serves a reproductive function has been debated.[8] Social perceptions of the clitoris include the significance of its role in female sexual pleasure, assumptions about its true size and depth, and varying beliefs regarding genital modification such as clitoris enlargement, clitoris piercing and clitoridectomy.[9] Genital modification may be for aesthetic, medical or cultural reasons.[9]

Knowledge of the clitoris is significantly impacted by cultural perceptions of the organ. Studies suggest that knowledge of its existence and anatomy is scant in comparison with that of other sexual organs and that more education about it could help alleviate social stigmas associated with the female body and female sexual pleasure, for example, that the clitoris and vulva in general are visually unappealing, that female masturbation is taboo, or that men should be expected to master and control women's orgasms.[10]