It is not typical to talk about the sequence of events that lead to an erection, but it is important for your son to know what is happening in his body. Although the topic is a little embarrassing, I think your son will be interested and has probably been curious about erections for a long time.
An erection is the result of thoughts or stimulation that is relayed to pleasure centers in the brain. One of the responses of the brain is to send nerve messages to the penis.
This anatomy figure from my book, I’m a Boy, Hormones! , describes the inside of the penis.
Understanding Structure and Function
The inside looks like a sponge wrapped around a tube. The tube is the urethra that carries urine from the urinary bladder and out of the end of the penis.
The spaces in the spongy part of the penis are usually collapsed. When the brain sends its message through nerves to the penis, tiny blood vessels inside the spongy spaces begin to open up. Blood is released into the spongy spaces and like a sponge filled with water, the spaces expand.
As the spaces expand with blood, the penis becomes erect. The erection lasts until the brain stops sending its message to the tiny blood vessels. Blood leaves the spongy spaces and the penis becomes soft again.
Giving Our Sons the Knowledge They Need
Let’s make sure that our sons learn about their reproductive structures and how they function. This knowledge can lead them to better understand what changes happen during puberty and can help them make wise choices as they mature.
No comments yet