Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 252–265

Factors that Influence Sexual Arousal in Men: A Focus Group Study

  • Erick Janssen
  • Kimberly R. McBride
  • William Yarber
  • Brandon J. Hill
  • Scott M. Butler
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10508-007-9245-5

Cite this article as:
Janssen, E., McBride, K.R., Yarber, W. et al. Arch Sex Behav (2008) 37: 252. doi:10.1007/s10508-007-9245-5


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.


Sexual arousalSexual desireSexual response modelsGenderMen

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erick Janssen
    • 1
  • Kimberly R. McBride
    • 2
  • William Yarber
    • 3
  • Brandon J. Hill
    • 4
  • Scott M. Butler
    • 5
  1. 1.The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and ReproductionIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics, Section of Adolescent MedicineIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  3. 3.Department of Applied Health ScienceIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Gender StudiesIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  5. 5.Department of KinesiologyGeorgia College and State UniversityMilledgevilleUSA