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


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 


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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

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