Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 252–265 | Cite as

Factors that Influence Sexual Arousal in Men: A Focus Group Study

  • Erick JanssenEmail author
  • Kimberly R. McBride
  • William Yarber
  • Brandon J. Hill
  • Scott M. Butler
Original Paper


The goal of this study was to improve our understanding of men’s sexual response and its components as well as the factors or types of situations that men describe as facilitating or interfering with sexual arousal. Six focus groups, involving 50 mostly white, heterosexual men (M age = 35.2 years; range, 18–70), were conducted. As it was previously found in women (Graham, Sanders, Milhausen, & McBride, Archives of Sexual Behavior, 33, 527–538, 2004), men described a wide range of physical (genital as well as nongenital) and cognitive/affective cues for sexual arousal. Also, men described the relationship between sexual desire and arousal as being variable and complex, presented a wide range of factors that increased or decreased sexual arousal, and showed substantial variability in both the importance and direction of their effects. The findings may help further development of models of sexual response and inform discussions about gender differences in sexual desire and arousal.


Sexual arousal Sexual desire Sexual response models Gender Men 



This study was supported by the Office of the Associate Dean for Research of the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, Indiana University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erick Janssen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kimberly R. McBride
    • 2
  • William Yarber
    • 3
  • Brandon J. Hill
    • 4
  • Scott M. Butler
    • 5
  1. 1.The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and ReproductionIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics, Section of Adolescent MedicineIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  3. 3.Department of Applied Health ScienceIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Gender StudiesIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  5. 5.Department of KinesiologyGeorgia College and State UniversityMilledgevilleUSA

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