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Sexual arousal across phases of the human menstrual cycle

Abstract

Three experiments assessing sexual arousal to erotic stimulation at several phases within the menstrual cycle are reported. Cross-sectional as well as longitudinal comparisons indicated that the subjective sexual arousal elicited during fantasy depicting specific themes was stable across the menstrual cycle. Measures of physiological sexual arousal recorded during film episodes and during fantasy demonstrated only minor variation over the course of the cycle. In addition, processes that are known to mediate sexual arousal (such as mood state, recent sexual experience, vividness of imagery during fantasy, distaste experienced during erotic stimulation) remained constant across the cycle. Results from the three experiments provide no support for the claim that female sexual response varies systematically across the menstrual cycle.

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Correspondence to Ray Over Ph.D..

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Meuwissen, I., Over, R. Sexual arousal across phases of the human menstrual cycle. Arch Sex Behav 21, 101–119 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01542588

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Key words

  • menstrual cycle
  • sexual arousal
  • psychophysiological
  • vaginal photoplethysmography
  • sexual fantasy