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

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Abstract

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.

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Notes

  1. While this implies a role for social and cultural factors (e.g., socialization), these findings can also be considered consistent with parental investment and evolutionary theory (e.g., Buss, 1994).

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Acknowledgments

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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Correspondence to Erick Janssen.

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Janssen, E., McBride, K.R., Yarber, W. et al. Factors that Influence Sexual Arousal in Men: A Focus Group Study. Arch Sex Behav 37, 252–265 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-007-9245-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-007-9245-5

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