Advertisement

Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 191–201 | Cite as

Pupillometric assessment of arousal to sexual stimuli: Novelty effects or preference?

  • James C. Garrett
  • David W. Harrison
  • Patti L. Kelly
Article

Abstract

The pupillary response of male and female subjects to various sexual stimuli was examined. Change in pupil size was compared using light and dark control slides and nude male and female, heterosexual, and homosexual stimulus slides. Attempts were made to control for the many confounds inherent in pupillometric research. Pupil size was measured using video-recording techniques that magnified pupils to an easily measured size. Greater pupil change was found when the stimulus slide was preceded by a relatively lighter control slide. In addition, pupil change was related to familiarity with the stimulus slide and the relative pupil response changed as subjects gained experience with the stimulus material. Explanations and implications for further research are discussed.

Key words

pupil response pupillometry sexual preference sexual arousal habituation 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Barlow, J. D. (1970). Pupillary size as an index of preference.Percept. Mot. Skills 31: 331–336.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bernick, N., Kling, A., and Borowitz, G. (1971). Physiologic differentiation of sexual arousal and anxiety.Psychosom. Med. 33: 341–352.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Birren, J. E., Casperson, R. C., and Botwinick, J. (1951). Pain measurement by the radiant heat method: Individual differences in pain sensitivity, the affects of skin temperature, and stimulus duration.J. Exp. Psychol. 4: 419–424.Google Scholar
  4. Gambill, H. D., Ogle, K. N., and Kearns, T. P. (1967). Mydriatic effect of four drugs determined with pupillography.Arch. Opthalmol. 77: 740–746.Google Scholar
  5. Goldwater, B. C. (1972). Psychological significance of pupillary movements.Psychol. Bull. 77: 340–355.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Good, L. R., and Levine, R. H. (1970). Pupillary responses of repressors and sensitizers to sexual and adversive stimuli.Percept. Mot. Skills 30: 631–634.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Hamel, R. F. (1974). Female subjective and pupillary reaction to nude male and female figures.J. Psychol. 87: 171–175.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Hess, E. H. (1975). The role of pupil size in communication.Sci. Am. 233: 46–54.Google Scholar
  9. Hess, E. H. (1965). Attitude and pupil size.Sci. Am. 212: 46–54.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Hess, E. H., and Polt, J. M. (1960). Pupil size as related to the interest value of visual stimuli.Science 132: 349–350.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Hess, E. H., Seltzer, A., and Shlien, J. M. (1965). Pupil responses of hetero- and homo-sexual males to pictures of men and women: A pilot study.J. Abn. Psychol. 70: 165–168.Google Scholar
  12. Janisse, M. P. (1973). Pupil size and affect: A critical review of the literature since 1960.Can. Psychol. 14: 311–329.Google Scholar
  13. Janisse, M. P. (1977).Pupillometry: The Psychology of the Pupillary Response Hemisphere, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  14. Lawless, J. C., and Wake, F. R. (1968). Sex differences in pupillary response to visual stimuli.Psychophysiology 5: 568–569.Google Scholar
  15. Metalis, S. A., and Hess, E. H. (1982). Pupillary response/semantic differential scale relationships.J. Res. Pers. 16: 201–216.Google Scholar
  16. Nunally, J. C., Knott, P. D., Duchnowski, A., and Parker, R. (1967). Pupillary response as a general measure of activiation.Percept. Psychophys. 2: 149–155.Google Scholar
  17. Peavler, W. S., and Mclaughlin, J. P. (1967). The question of stimulus content and pupil size.Psychonom. Sci. 8: 505–506.Google Scholar
  18. Scott, T. R., Wells, W. H., Wood, D. Z., and Morgan, D. I. (1967). Pupil response and sexual interest re-examined.J. Clin. Psychol. 23: 433–438.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Simms, T. M. (1967). Pupillary response of male and female subjects to pupillary difference in male and female picture stimuli.Percept. Psychophys. 2: 533–555.Google Scholar
  20. Winer, B. J. (1971).Statistical Principles in Experimental Design McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  21. Woodmansee, J. (1966). Methodological problems in pupillographic experiments. Proceedings of the 74th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Vol. 1, pp. 133–134.Google Scholar
  22. Zuckerman, M. (1971). Physiological measures of sexual arousal in the human.Psychol. Bull. 75: 297–329.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • James C. Garrett
    • 1
  • David W. Harrison
    • 2
  • Patti L. Kelly
    • 2
  1. 1.Veterans Administration Medical CenterAlbanyUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA

Personalised recommendations