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A sex difference in the specificity of sexual arousal

Chivers, ML and Rieger, G and Latty, E and Bailey, JM (2004) 'A sex difference in the specificity of sexual arousal.' Psychological science, 15 (11). pp. 736-744. ISSN 0956-7976

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Abstract

Sexual arousal is category-specific in men; heterosexual men are more aroused by female than by male sexual stimuli, whereas homosexual men show the opposite pattern. There is reason to believe that female sexual arousal is organized differently. We assessed genital and subjective sexual arousal to male and female sexual stimuli in women, men, and postoperative male-to-female transsexuals. In contrast to men, women showed little category specificity on either the genital or the subjective measure. Both heterosexual and homosexual women experienced strong genital arousal to both male and female sexual stimuli. Transsexuals showed a category-specific pattern, demonstrating that category specificity can be detected in the neovagina using a photoplethysmographic measure of female genital sexual arousal. In a second study, we showed that our results for females are unlikely to be explained by ascertainment biases. These findings suggest that sexual arousal patterns play fundamentally different roles in male and female sexuality.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans; Photoplethysmography; Sensitivity and Specificity; Photic Stimulation; Sexual Behavior; Homosexuality; Libido; Arousal; Transsexualism; Sex Factors; Adult; Female; Male
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2015 15:23
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 01:07
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/12961

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