Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 1033–1041 | Cite as

Exploring the Automatic Undercurrents of Sexual Narcissism: Individual Differences in the Sex-Aggression Link

  • Roland ImhoffEmail author
  • Xenia Bergmann
  • Rainer Banse
  • Alexander F. Schmidt
Original Paper


Sexual narcissism (SN) has recently been proposed to be a specific risk factor for the perpetration of sexual coercion based on both self-reports of previous behavior and self-estimated likelihood of engaging in acts of sexual violence. To explore one of the potential underlying mechanisms of SN, we tested whether for highly sexually narcissistic males (measured with the German language version of the Sexual Narcissism Scale) the subtle priming of sexual concepts would evoke aggressive behavior in a standard measure of aggressive behavior, the Taylor Aggression Paradigm. Results showed that only for sexually narcissistic men did a subtle priming with mildly erotic words lead to an increase in shock volumes administered to the alleged competitor on this task. For women, it was postulated that physical force would not be represented as a functional behavioral script for sexually narcissistic females and, in line with this hypothesis, no effects were found for women. The results were discussed with regard to the underlying processes of SN and the importance of an individual difference perspective in sex-aggression links.


Sexual narcissism Sexual aggression Taylor Aggression Paradigm Sex priming Behavior priming 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roland Imhoff
    • 1
    Email author
  • Xenia Bergmann
    • 2
  • Rainer Banse
    • 2
  • Alexander F. Schmidt
    • 2
  1. 1.Department PsychologieGermany Sozialpsychologie: Social CognitionCologneGermany
  2. 2.Social and Legal Psychology, Department of PsychologyUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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