Open main menu

In biology and sexology, the proceptive phase is the initial period in a relationship when organisms are "courting" each other,[1] prior to the acceptive phase when copulation occurs. Behaviors that occur during the proceptive phase depend very much on the species, but may include visual displays, movements, sounds and odors.

The term proceptivity was introduced into general sexological use by Frank A. Beach in 1976[2][3] and refers to behavior enacted by a female to initiate, maintain, or escalate a sexual interaction. There are large species differences in proceptive behavior. The term has also been used to describe women’s roles in human courtship, with a meaning very close to Beach’s.[4][5][6][7] A near synonym is proception.

The term proceptive phase refers to pre-consummatory, that is, pre-ejaculatory, behavior and focuses attention on the active role played by the female organism in creating, maintaining, and escalating the sexual interaction.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ John Money, The Development of Sexuality and Eroticism in Humankind, The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 56, No. 4 (Dec., 1981), pp. 379-404
  2. ^ Beach, F.A. 1976 Sexual attractivity, proceptivity, and receptivity in female mammals. Hormones and Behavior, 7:105-138.
  3. ^ John Money, Human Sexuality: Concupiscent and Romantic, Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, Volume: 15 Issue: 1; ISSN 0890-7064 Pub Date: 16 December 2003
  4. ^ Perper, Timothy 1985. Sex Signals: The Biology of Love. Philadelphia: ISI Press. Chapters 4 and 5
  5. ^ Perper, Timothy 1994 "Courtship." In Vern L. Bullough and Bonnie Bullough, editors. Human Sexuality: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland. pages 152-155.
  6. ^ Moore, Monica M. 1985 Nonverbal courtship patterns in women: Context and consequences. Ethology and Sociobiology, 6:201-212.
  7. ^ Moore, Monica M. and Diane L. Butler 1989 Predictive aspects of nonverbal courtship behavior in women. Semiotica, 76:205-215.

External linksEdit