Psychology Wiki

Assessment | Biopsychology | Comparative | Cognitive | Developmental | Language | Individual differences | Personality | Philosophy | Social |
Methods | Statistics | Clinical | Educational | Industrial | Professional items | World psychology |

Biological: Behavioural genetics · Evolutionary psychology · Neuroanatomy · Neurochemistry · Neuroendocrinology · Neuroscience · Psychoneuroimmunology · Physiological Psychology · Psychopharmacology (Index, Outline)

male sexual organs
Male anatomy
1. Testicles
2. Epididymis
3. Corpus cavernosa
4. Foreskin
5. Frenulum
6. Urethral opening
7. 8. Corpus spongiosum
9. Penis
10. Scrotum
Latin GraySubject = 262
[[List of subjects in Gray's Anatomy:{{{GraySubject}}}#Gray.27s_page_.231248|Gray's]] subject #{{{GraySubject}}} 1248
MeSH [1]

The glans penis is the tip of the penis. It is also commonly referred to as the head of the penis or dick head/bell-end (coarse slang), although this is not the proper medical terminology. It is wholly or partially covered by the foreskin, except when the foreskin is retracted, such as during sexual intercourse or masturbation while the penis is erect, or when the foreskin has been removed by circumcision.

Anatomical details[]

The glans penis is the expanded cap of the corpus spongiosum. It is moulded on the rounded ends of the Corpora cavernosa penis, extending farther on their upper than on their lower surfaces. At the summit of the glans is the slit-like vertical external urethral orifice. The circumference of the base of the glans forms a rounded projecting border, the corona glandis, overhanging a deep retroglandular sulcus (the coronal sulcus), behind which is the neck of the penis.

The foreskin maintains the mucosa in a moist environment.[1] In males who have been circumcised, but have not undergone restoration, the glans is permanently exposed and dry. Szabo and Short found that the glans of the circumcised penis does not develop a thicker keratinization layer.[2] Studies have suggested that the glans is equally sensitive in circumcised and uncircumcised males,[3] [4] however, many males who have restored their foreskin or been circumcised as adults disagree with these findings.[How to reference and link to summary or text] The reported increase in sensitivity is often attributed to the increase in moistness of the covered glans or the gliding motion of the foreskin over the glans,[How to reference and link to summary or text] though others have proposed the placebo effect. [5][6] This could also be caused by large number of nerves in the foreskin itself.[How to reference and link to summary or text]

Halata & Munger (1986) report that the density of genital corpuscles is greatest in the corona glandis,[7] while Yang & Bradley (1998) report that their study "showed no areas in the glans to be more densely innervated than others."[8]

Halata & Spathe (1997) reported that "the glans penis contains a predominance of free nerve endings, numerous genital end bulbs and rarely Pacinian and Ruffinian corpuscles. Merkel nerve endings and Meissner corpuscles are not present."[9]

Yang & Bradley argue that "The distinct pattern of innervation of the glans emphasizes the role of the glans as a sensory structure".[8]

Additional images[]

See also[]


  1. Prakash, Satya, Raghuram Rao, K. Venkatesan & S. Ramakrishnan (July 1982). Sub-Preputial Wetness--Its Nature. Annals Of National Medical Science (India) 18 (3): 109-112.
  2. Szabo, Robert, Roger V. Short (June 2000). How does male circumcision protect against HIV infection?. British Medical Journal 320 (7249): 1592-4. PMID 10845974.
  3. Masters, William H.; Virginia E. Johnson (1966). Human Sexual Response, 189-91, Boston: Little, Brown & Co. ISBN 0-316-54987-8. (excerpt accessible here)
  4. Bleustein, Clifford B., James D. Fogarty, Haftan Eckholdt, Joseph C. Arezzo and Arnold Melman (April 2005). Effect of neonatal circumcision on penile neurologic sensation. Urology 65 (4): 773-7. PMID 15833526.
  5. Kirby, R. S. (September 1994). Views and Reviews: The Joy of Uncircumcising! Restore Your Birthright and Maximize Sexual Pleasure. British Medical Journal 309: 679.
  6. Waskett, Jake H. Circumcision and uncircumcision. Rapid responses to "Views and Reviews: The Joy of Uncircumcising! Restore Your Birthright and Maximize Sexual Pleasure". URL accessed on 2006-07-07.
  7. Halata, Zdenek, Bryce L. Munger (April 1986). The neuroanatomical basis for the protopathic sensibility of the human glans penis. Brain Research 371 (2): 205-30. PMID 3697758.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Yang, C. C., W.E. Bradley (July 1998). Neuroanatomy of the penile portion of the human dorsal nerve of the penis. British Journal of Urology 82 (1): 109-13. PMID 9698671.
  9. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named halata2

External links[]

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).