The Behavior Analyst

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 37–52 | Cite as

The Experimental Analysis of Human Sexual Arousal: Some Recent Developments

  • Bryan Roche
  • Dermot Barnes


Experimental analyses of human sexual arousal have been decidedly sparse. Recent developments in the analysis of derived relational responding, however, have opened the way for a modern behavior-analytic treatment of complex or “novel” human behavior, including specific instances of human sexual arousal. The current article examines some of these developments and their relevance to the analysis of emotional behavior, with a focus on sexual arousal. Recent research that has examined the acquisition of sexual stimulus functions within a relational frame paradigm is then outlined. Finally, a series of relational frame interpretations of a variety of human sexual arousal phenomena is offered.

Key words

human sexuality sexual arousal relational frame theory stimulus equivalence derived transfer respondent operant 


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bryan Roche
    • 1
  • Dermot Barnes
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University CollegeCorkIreland
  2. 2.Behavior Analysis and Cognitive Science Unit, Department of Applied PsychologyNational University of IrelandCorkIreland

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