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sexual arousal lecture notes

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McGill University
PSYC 436
Irving Binik

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)  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:  presence of sexual stimuli -> positive affect  attentional focus -> on stimuli  inc. autonomic arousal -> positive feedback -> becomes more efficient  functional performance dysfunctional model:  presence of sexual stimuli -> negative affect (anxiety, fear)  attentional focus -> not on the stimuli  inc autonomic arousal -> negative feedback  dysfunctional performance -> results in avoidance BARLOW CONTINGENT SHOCK STUDY  manipulate anxiety in the lab  functional vs. dysfunctional men should react differently  ie. improves arousal of functional men, decreases arousal of dysfunctional men  penile plethysmography  listening to arousing audio (more variance in arousability to audio stimuli, vs. visual stimuli which has little variance in arousability )
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