PSYC 436 Lecture Notes - Sexual Arousal, Sex In Film, Sexual Dysfunction

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20 Apr 2012
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OCTOBER 13 LECTURE NOTES
measuring sexual arousal
intrusive and disruptive
quantitative limitations
cannot compare across genders
Q. how does thermal imaging work?
any object with temperature greater then absolute zero emits infrared radiation
thermal imaging camera detects the ration and translates it into temperature
technological capabilities
o continuous measurement, highly specific temp, high resolution
current applications:
o dermatology, rheumatology, breast cancer detection, surgery
thermal imaging advantages
remote/no physical contact
known scale
continuous measure
comparable between genders
questions to be asked about thermal imaging
can thermography be used to detect physiological sexual arousal in men and women?
can thermography differentiate between sexual arousal, neutral and humor controls?
does thermography output correlate with subjective arousal?
do men and women experience similar patterns of sexual arousal when same instrumentation is
used for measurement?
Binik thermal imaging study
58 healthy heterosexual English speaking participants
o 30 women, 28 men
18-28 years
education range: 13-19 years
relationship status
o 52% dating, 43% single, 5% married/cohabiting
thermal imaging camera - TSA ImagIR System
1a. video 1: nature (temperature stabilization)
1b. subjective arousal questionnaire
2a. video 2: nature (baseline)
subjective arousal questionnaire
video 3: random assignment to one of four categories
o erotic
o positive arousal - humor
o anxiety
o nature
personal video display (goggles)
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subjective arousal questionnaire given again
results: genital temperature
both males and females genital temperature increased once the erotic film started
none of the other categories produced changes
results: men vs. women
experimenters tried using two different types of porn -> no difference in results
‘women friendly’ erotic films vs. standard porn
standardized films used for previous sexual arousal studies
time and pattern to peak arousal -> same for men and women
sparked media attention due to the time similarity
results: thigh temperature (as a control)
mean thigh temp did not change
results: subjective arousal
corresponded to the film type
results: correlations between subjective arousal and temperature
men show high correlation - throughout the 15 mins
women show high correlation during 5-15 mins
not synchronous during first 5 mins (only difference in subjective arousal and
temperature found in the study)
CURRENT STUDIES OF THERMOGRAPHY
older subjects (50+)
reliability of thermography
time to baseline
comparison with penile ultrasound
MEASURING SEXUAL AROUSAL
peripheral genital vasocongestion vs. brain (fMRI)
is arousal in the genitals or in the brain?
ANXIETY & SEXUAL AROUSAL RESEARCH: MASTERS & JOHNSON
focus : on men with errection problems
premises for research and clinical settings on anxiety & sexual arousal
anxiety/fear inhibits arousal/erection
treatments for lack of arousal target anxiety
process of arousal in functional vs. dysfunctional men are different
some men are able to perform under threat
exhibitionist & voyeurs may be aroused by anxiety
Capilano bridge experiment - showed that anxiety can inc. interpersonal attraction
and arousal
ORIGINAL BARLOW MODEL
different model for functional vs. dysfunctional men *
different set of cognitive/emotional events occurs
functional model:
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