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:
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 prepuce, the breasts (especially the nipples) for females, and the nipples for males.
The Latin term genitalia is used to describe the sex organs, and in the English language this term and genital area are most often used to describe the externally visible sex organs or external genitalia: in males the penis and scrotum, in females the vulva. The other parts of the sex organs are called the internal genitalia.
The internal ducts and external genitalia may vary in development, since the presence of apparently male or female gonads does not necessarily correlate with the patient's gender identity.
The external genitalia of both sexes are identical during the first 7 weeks of gestation.
Therefore, the fetus is born with minimally virilized external genitalia (eg, pseudovaginal perineoscrotal hypospadias), although the fetus usually has a degree of phallic enlargement, reflecting the direct action of testosterone.
The morphology of malegenitalia has long been used to identify species and to study the relationships among bumblebees (reviewed in Williams, 1985, 1991 [pdf ], 1995 [pdf]).
The reason for this is that malegenitalia were found to have many characters that show high levels of congruence (especially when compared with colour patterns), so that they can be used to recognise species and groups of species.
The photographs of malegenitalia included here are taken from (upper image) the dorsal and (lower image) the posterior aspect.
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