Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 153–169 | Cite as

Women's sexual and emotional responses to male- and female-produced erotica

  • Ellen Laan
  • Walter Everaerd
  • Gerdy van Bellen
  • Gerrit Hanewald

Abstract

Whether erotic films made by women are more arousing for women than erotic films made by men was studied. Forty-seven subjects were exposed to both a woman-made, female-initiated, and female-centered, erotic film excerpt and a man-made, male-initiated, and male-centered erotic film excerpt. Photoplethysmographic vaginal pulse amplitude was recorded continuously. Self-report ratings of sexual arousal and affective reactions were collected after each stimulus presentation. Contrary to expectation, genital arousal did not differ between films, although genital response to both films was substantial. Subjective experience of sexual arousal was significantly higher during the woman-made film. The man-made film evoked more feelings of shame, guilt, and aversion. Correlations between subjective experience of sexual arousal and photoplethysmographic measures of sexual arousal were nonsignificant. The largest contribution to female sexual excitement might result from the processing of stimulus-content and stimulus-meaning and not from peripheral vasocongestive feedback.

Key words

female sexual arousal vaginal plethysmography erotica emotion concordance 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Barlow, D. H. (1986). Causes of sexual dysfunction: The role of anxiety and cognitive interference.J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 54: 140–157.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Beck, J. G., Sakheim, D. K., and Barlow, D. H. (1983). Operating characteristics of the vaginal photoplethysmograph: Some implications for its use.Arch. Sex. Behav. 12: 43–58.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. BMDP Statistical Software, Inc. (1985).BMDP Statistical Software Manual, Los Angeles, CA.Google Scholar
  4. Dekker, J., and Everaerd, W. (1989). Psychological determinants of sexual arousal: A review.Behav. Res. Ther. 27: 353–364.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Dekker, J., Everaerd, W., and Verhelst, N. (1985). Attending to stimuli or to images of sexual feelings: Effects on sexual arousal.Behav. Res. Ther. 23: 139–149.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Everaerd, W. (1993). Male erectile disorder. In O'Donohue, W., and Geer, J. H. (eds.),Handbook of Sexual Dysfunctions: Assessment and Treatment Allyn and Bacon, Boston.Google Scholar
  7. Frijda, N. H. (1986).The Emotions Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.Google Scholar
  8. Geer, J. H. (1980). Measurement of genital arousal in human males and females. In Martin, L., and Venables, P. H. (eds.),Techniques in Psychophysiology Wiley, New York, pp. 431–459.Google Scholar
  9. Geer, J. H., Morokoff, P., and Greenwood, P. (1974). Sexual arousal in women: The development of a measurement device for vaginal blood volume.Arch. Sex. Behav. 3: 559–564.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Hatch, J. P. (1979). Vaginal photoplethysmography: Methodological considerations.Arch. Sex. Behav. 8: 357–374.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Heiman, J. R. (1977). A psychophysiological exploration of sexual arousal patterns in females and males.Psychophysiology 14: 266–274.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Henson, C., Rubin, H. B., and Henson, D. E. (1979). Women's sexual arousal concurrently assessed by three genital measures.Arch. Sex. Behav. 8: 459–469.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Hoon, P. W., Wincze, J. P., and Hoon, E. F. (1976). Physiological assessment of sexual arousal in women.Psychophysiology 13: 196–204.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Izard, C. E. (1972).Patterns of Emotions Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  15. Julien, E., and Over, R. (1988). Male sexual arousal across five modes of erotic stimulation.Arch. Sex. Behav. 17: 131–143.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Korff, J., and Geer, J. H. (1983). The relationship between sexual arousal experience and genital response.Psychophysiology 20: 121–127.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Mavissakalian, M., Blanchard, E. B., Abel, G. G., and Barlow, D. H. (1975). Responses to complex erotic stimuli in homosexual and heterosexual males.Br. J. Psychiat. 126: 252–257.Google Scholar
  18. Mosher, D. L., and White, B. B. (1980). Effects of committed or casual erotic guided imagery on females' subjective sexual arousal and emotional response.J. Sex Res. 16: 273–299.Google Scholar
  19. Myers, L. S., and Morokoff, P. J. (1986). Physiological and subjective sexual arousal in pre-and postmenopausal women taking replacement therapy.Psychophysiology 23: 283–292.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Osborn, C. A., and Pollack, R. H. (1977). The effects of two types of erotic literature on physiological and verbal measures of female sexual arousal.J. Sex Res. 13: 250–256.Google Scholar
  21. Rosen, R. C., and Beck, J. G. (1988).Patterns of Sexual Arousal, Guilford, New York.Google Scholar
  22. Rothenberg, G., and Geer, J. H. (1980). Mood and sexual arousal. Paper presented at the Eastern Psychological Association Meetings, Hartford, CT.Google Scholar
  23. Shaw, R. (1978). Neuroendocrinology of the menstrual cycle in humans.Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 7: 531–559.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Sintchak, G., and Geer, J. H. (1975). A vaginal photoplethysmograph system.Psychophysiology 12: 113–115.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Steinman, D. L., Wincze, J. P., Sakheim, D. H., Barlow, D. H., and Mavissakalian, M. (1981). A comparison of male and female patterns of sexual arousal.Arch. Sex. Behav. 10: 529–547.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Stemmler, G., and Fahrenberg, J. (1989). Psychophysiological assessment: Conceptual, psychometric, and statistical issues. In Turpin, G. (ed.),Handbook of Clinical Psychophysiology Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  27. Stock, W. S., and Geer, J. H. (1982). A study of fantasy-based sexual arousal in women.Arch. Sex. Behav. 11: 33–47.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Wincze, J. P., Hoon, P. W., and Hoon, E. F. (1977). Sexual arousal in women: A comparison of cognitive and physiological responses by continuous measurement.Arch. Sex. Behav. 6: 121–133.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Wit, B. de (1987). Candida Royalle.Playgirl (Dutch), 1: 102–105.Google Scholar
  30. Wolchik, S. A., Spencer, S. L., and Lisi, I. S. (1983). Volunteer bias in research employing vaginal measures of sexual arousal.Arch. Sex. Behav. 12: 399–408.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Wolchik, S. A., Braver, S. L., and Jensen, K. (1985). Volunteer bias in erotica research: Effects of intrusiveness of measure and sexual background.Arch. Sex. Behav. 14: 93–107.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen Laan
    • 1
  • Walter Everaerd
    • 1
  • Gerdy van Bellen
    • 1
  • Gerrit Hanewald
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations