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Abstract

Women’s genital responses measured with a vaginal photoplethysmograph (VPP) demonstrate relatively low cue-specificity for gender/sex cues—the diff erence in genital responses between sexual stimuli with male or female content is relatively small compared to that of men. Cue-specifi city for gender/sex cues is particularly low for androphilic women. It is common practice to compare responses to sexual stimuli (typically 60–120 s film clips) using a mean or peak (highest) value. Th is approach overlooks the continuous and dynamic nature of sexual responding during a stimulus. Recent results suggest that cue-specificity of genital response may increase throughout the duration of a sexual stimulus. We tested this possibility in a sample of 18 androphilic women. Sexual stimuli consisted of 240 s audiovisual film clips depicting male and/or female partnered sex or solitary masturbation. Gender/sex cue-specificity, assessed using vaginal photoplethysmography, did not vary across time: Th e degree of cue-specificity and the magnitude of genital response were established by approximately 60–90 s and were consistent throughout the stimulus duration. Low cue-specificity for genital response was observed despite variation in self-reported sexual arousal across stimulus categories. Th e findings are discussed within the context of initial- and later-occurring aspects of the sexual response, according to the information processing model of sexual arousal. Th e results also suggest that 90–120 s stimuli are of sufficient duration to capture vaginal photoplethysmographic responses to audiovisual stimuli in sexual psychophysiological research.

Keywords

cue-specificity, gender and sex, genital response, sexual stimuli, vaginal photoplethysmography

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Additional Information

ISSN
2291-7063
Print ISSN
1188-4517
Launched on MUSE
2020-04-30
Open Access
No
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