Assessment of sexual preference using a choice reaction time task

  • Lester W. WrightJr.
  • Henry E. Adams


The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of a choice reaction time task, during which slides of sexually explicit and neutral stimuli were used as an interference task, to differentiate between groups of individuals on the basis of their sexual preference. Twenty subjects, in each of the four groups (heterosexual males, heterosexual females, homosexual males, and homosexual females), participated in this study. Sexual orientation was determined by self-report. Subjects were given a choice reaction time with interference task, followed by a recall incidental learning task. A significant higher-order interaction was found among gender, orientation, and stimulus type for all four groups. This interaction indicated a longer reaction time to slides depicting preferred sexual partners than to nonpreferred sexual partners or neutral scenes. These results indicate that sexual arousal does interfere with cognitive processing. A main effect for gender was found for the incidental learning task, with males having the fewest errors.

Key words

sexual preference sexual arousal sexual assessment 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lester W. WrightJr.
    • 1
  • Henry E. Adams
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthens

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