The habituation of sexual responses in men and women

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Dawson, Samantha J
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Psychology, c2012
Studies investigating the sexual responses of men and women in the laboratory reveal reliable sex differences. Men’s genital and subjective sexual responses exhibit a high degree of concordance and are category-specific (i.e., are dependent on the types of sexual cues presented). In comparison, women’s genital and subjective responses exhibit lower concordance and their genital responses are much less category-specific. One functional explanation for these sex differences is the preparation hypothesis of women’s genital responses: Women’s genital responses occur automatically in the presence of any sexual cue to protect the reproductive tract from injuries that may result from sexual activity. If this hypothesis is correct, then there should be a sex difference in patterns of habituation of genital responses. Specifically, women’s genital responses should be more resistant to habituation than men’s because the costs of not producing a genital response to sexual cues are inherently higher for women than for men. The results of two studies of 38 men and 38 women suggest, however, that repeated exposure to sexual stimuli leads to similar degrees of habituation of genital responses in men and women. Of note, attention appeared to influence the pattern of genital responses in both studies and higher attention did not preclude habituation. Implications for the preparation hypothesis, models of sexual arousal, and directions for future research are discussed.
xii, 93 leaves ; 29 cm
Sex differences , Sex (Biology) , Sexual excitement , Men -- Sexual behavior , Women -- Sexual behavior , Dissertations, Academic