Background teacher notes


Reproductive and sexual anatomy: Males



The male reproductive and sexual anatomy includes the external and internal sex organs, such as the penis and testes, and the internal reproductive organs, such as the urethra and seminal vesicle. The male reproductive system produces hormones, which help a boy develop into a sexually mature man during puberty. Males also use these organs to produce and release semen into the reproductive system of a female during sexual intercourse where it can fertilise an egg.

Male reproductive organs






Egg shaped organs that sit in a soft pouch called the scrotum

Produce sperm


A sac of skin that contains the testes

Helps to regulate the temperature of the testicles to 36.8 °C which is slightly less than the body’s core temperature


Tightly coiled tube inside the testes

Sperm travel from testes to the epididymis where they mature - grow tails and are able to swim

Sperm duct (vas deferens)

The tubes coming out of each epididymis

During ejaculation, mature sperm travel along the vas deferens to the seminal vesicles

Seminal vesicle

Sac like gland that merges with vas deferens; 5 x 10 cm

Contributes 60% of seminal fluid which contains energy for the sperm in the form of fructose

Prostate gland

Gland at base of the bladder

Produces alkaline fluid, contributes 10-30% of seminal fluid

Cowper's gland

Small gland beneath prostate gland

Releases neutralising (pre-ejaculate) fluid to counter any traces of acidic urine still present in the urethra 


Tube running internally from bladder to penis and outside the body

Tube through which urine and semen pass to outside of body

Semen and urine cannot exit the body at the same time


Consists of the shaft or body and the head or glans

Is made of spongy tissue that grows and expands when filled with blood during an erection

The head is highly sensitive, containing a massive number of nerve endings and is covered with a protective foreskin

Passage of urine and sperm outside the body

Sexual pleasure

Relevant resources


Male reproductive system


Fact sheets/booklets/videos

Boys and puberty

This Background Note relates to the following Learning Activities: