This book explores the full consequences of the dissociation between sexual behaviors and reproduction. Among the themes covered is the difference between the stereotyped sexual behaviors in non-human mammals and the astounding variety of human sexual behaviors. The role of learning in shaping sexual behaviors is explained, and it is shown how particular sexual experiences may be at the origin of common human sexual dysfunctions. Chapters on sexual incentives and a summary of the endocrine and central nervous control of sexual behaviors are included.

Key Features

Analyzes the origin and foundations of some of the myths surrounding sexual behaviors Highlights how learning shape human sexual behaviors Provides an overview of the endocrine and neural regulation of mammalian sexual behaviors Presents a comprehensive analysis of human sexual desire disorders Employs many entertaining examples for illustrating main points Written by a scientist thoroughly familiar with the research literature Presents examples of translational sex research


Neuroscientists, biologists, sexologists, psychiatrists, clinical psychologists.

Table of Contents

Preface. Introduction. On the purpose of sex and some notes on scientific explanations. An incentive motivational framework and the description of sexual behaviours. The stimulus control of sexual incentive motivation: Non-human mammals. The stimulus control of sexual incentive motivation: The human. Endocrine control of sexual behavior. Neural control of sexual behavior. Learning and sex: Sexual activity as reinforcement and reward. Preference for same sex partners: Basic concepts and its occurrence in non-human mammals. Preference for same sex partners in the human. Some comments on the concepts of “normal” or “functional” sexual behavior. Hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Hyperactive sexual desire and the paraphilias. On the omissions.


No. of pages:
© 2007
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
Print ISBN:

About the author

Anders Agmo

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Tromsø, Norway