Date: 27 Nov 2007
Factors that Influence Sexual Arousal in Men: A Focus Group Study
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
The goal of this study was to improve our understanding of men’s sexual response and its components as well as the factors or types of situations that men describe as facilitating or interfering with sexual arousal. Six focus groups, involving 50 mostly white, heterosexual men (M age = 35.2 years; range, 18–70), were conducted. As it was previously found in women (Graham, Sanders, Milhausen, & McBride, Archives of Sexual Behavior, 33, 527–538, 2004), men described a wide range of physical (genital as well as nongenital) and cognitive/affective cues for sexual arousal. Also, men described the relationship between sexual desire and arousal as being variable and complex, presented a wide range of factors that increased or decreased sexual arousal, and showed substantial variability in both the importance and direction of their effects. The findings may help further development of models of sexual response and inform discussions about gender differences in sexual desire and arousal.
Anderson, P., & Sorenson, W. (1996). Male and female differences in reports of women’s heterosexual initiation and aggression. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 28, 243–253.CrossRef
Bancroft, J. (1990). Man and his penis—a relationship under threat? Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, 2, 7–32.CrossRef
Bancroft, J., & Janssen, E. (2000). The dual control model of male sexual response: A theoretical approach to centrally mediated erectile dysfunction. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Review, 24, 571–579.CrossRef
Barlow, D. H., Becker, R., Leitenberg, H., & Agras W. (1970). A mechanical strain gauge for recording penile circumference change. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 6, 355–367.CrossRef
Brod, H. (1988). Pornography and the alienation of male sexuality. Social Theory and Practice, 14, 265–284.
Buss, D. (1994). The evolution of desire. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Carpenter, D., Janssen, E., Graham, C., Vorst, H., & Wicherts, J. (2007). Women’s scores on the Sexual Excitation/Sexual Inhibition Scales (SIS/SES): Gender similarities and differences. Journal of Sex Research, in press.
Connell, R. W. (1995). Masculinities. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Dworkin, S. L., & O’Sullivan, L. (2005). Actual versus desired initiation patterns among a sample of college men: Tapping disjunctures within traditional male sexual scripts. Journal of Sex Research, 42, 150–158.PubMed
Janssen, E., & Bancroft, J. (2007). The dual-control model: The role of sexual inhibition and excitation in sexual arousal and behavior. In E. Janssen (Ed.), The psychophysiology of sex (pp. 197–222). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Janssen, E., & Everaerd, W. (1993). Determinants of male sexual arousal. Annual Review of Sex Research, 4, 211–245.
Janssen, E., Everaerd, W., Spiering, M., & Janssen, J. (2000). Automatic processes and the appraisal of sexual stimuli: Toward an information processing model of sexual arousal. Journal of Sex Research, 37, 8–23.
Janssen, E., Vorst, H., Finn, P., & Bancroft, J. (2002a). The sexual inhibition (sis) and sexual excitation (SES) scales: I. Measuring sexual inhibition and excitation proneness in men. Journal of Sex Research, 39, 114–126.PubMed
Janssen, E., Vorst, H., Finn, P., & Bancroft, J. (2002b). The sexual inhibition (SIS) and sexual excitation (SES) scales: II. Predicting psychophysiological response patterns. Journal of Sex Research, 39, 127–132.PubMed
Kaplan, H. S. (1977). Hypoactive sexual desire. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 3, 3–9.PubMed
Kaplan, H. S. (1979). Disorders of sexual desire. New York: Brunner/Mazel.
Lief, H. I. (1977). What’s new in sex research? Inhibited sexual desire. Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality, 11(7), 94–95.
Lykins, A., Janssen, E., & Graham, C. A. (2006). The relationship between negative mood and sexuality in heterosexual college women and men. Journal of Sex Research, 43, 136–143.PubMed
Masters, W. H., & Johnson, V. E. (1966). Human sexual response. New York: Little, Brown and Company.
Morgan, D. L. (1997). Focus groups as qualitative research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Nisbett, R. E., & Wilson, T. D. (1977). Telling more than we can know: Verbal reports on mental processes. Psychological Review, 84, 231–259.CrossRef
Palace, E. M. (1995). A cognitive-physiological process model of sexual arousal and response. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 2, 370–384.CrossRef
Robinson, M. D., Johnson, J. T., & Shields, S. A. (1998). The gender heuristic and the database: Factors affecting the perception of gender-related differences in the experience and display of emotions. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 20, 206–219.CrossRef
Seal, D. W., Bogart, L. M., & Ehrhardt, A. A. (1998). Small group dynamics: The utility of focus group discussions as a research method. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 2, 253–266.CrossRef
Seal, D. W., & Ehrhardt, A. A. (2003). Masculinity and urban men: Perceived scripts for courtship, romantic, and sexual interactions with women. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 5, 295–319.CrossRef
The Working Group for a New View of Women’s Sexual Problems. (2001). A new view of women’s sexual problems. In E. Kaschak & L. Tiefer (Eds.), A new view of women’s sexual problems (pp. 1–8). New York: The Haworth Press.
Tiefer, L. (1986). In pursuit of the perfect penis: The medicalization of male sexuality. American Behavioral Scientist, 29, 579–599.CrossRef
Tiefer, L. (1991). Historical, scientific, clinical, and feminist criticisms of “The Human Sexual Response Cycle” model. Annual Review of Sex Research, 2, 1–23.
Tiefer, L. (2001). A new view of women’s sexual problems: Why new? Why now? Journal of Sex Research, 38, 89–96.CrossRef
Tolman, D. L., Spencer, R., Harmon, T., Rosen-Reynose, M., & Striepe, M. (2004). Getting close, staying cool: Early adolescent boys’ experiences with romantic relationships. In N. Way & J. Y. Chu (Eds.), Adolescent boys: Exploring diverse cultures of boyhood (pp. 235–255). New York: New York University Press.
West, C., & Zimmerman, D. (1987). Doing gender. Gender and Society, 1, 125–151.CrossRef
Wilkinson, S. (1999). Focus groups. A feminist method. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 23, 221–244.CrossRef
- Factors that Influence Sexual Arousal in Men: A Focus Group Study
Archives of Sexual Behavior
Volume 37, Issue 2 , pp 252-265
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Sexual arousal
- Sexual desire
- Sexual response models
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Indiana University, Morrison Hall 313, 1165 East Third Street, Bloomington, IN, 47405-2501, USA
- 2. Department of Pediatrics, Section of Adolescent Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA
- 3. Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA
- 4. Department of Gender Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA
- 5. Department of Kinesiology, Georgia College and State University, Milledgeville, GA, USA