Nudity as a Disinhibiting Cue in a Date Rape Analogue

Abstract

Situational factors likely play a role in date rape. The sexual inhibition hypothesis suggests that men are typically sexually inhibited by violence and non-consent, but that inhibition can also be disrupted. We attempted to determine if female nudity reduces inhibition of sexual arousal to non-consensual cues in sexually non-aggressive men. In two studies, heterosexual men (aged 18–25) were presented with six 2-min audiotaped narratives depicting consensual sexual interactions, non-consensual sexual interactions (rape), and non-sexual interactions (neutral) involving a man and a woman. In the first study, 20 participants saw pictures depicting nude or clothed women while listening to the stories. In the second study, 20 other participants saw videos depicting nude or clothed women exercising, also while listening to the stories. Genital responses and subjective sexual arousal were measured. Results suggested that nudity may have a disinhibitory effect on sexual arousal to non-consensual cues, but only when presented in the form of moving images.

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Acknowledgments

We wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the helpful suggestions provided by Michael Seto.

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Correspondence to Martin L. Lalumière.

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Fairweather, A., Kingston, D.A. & Lalumière, M.L. Nudity as a Disinhibiting Cue in a Date Rape Analogue. Arch Sex Behav 45, 821–828 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-015-0633-y

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Keywords

  • Sexual aggression
  • Date rape
  • Sexual arousal
  • Plethysmography
  • Disinhibition
  • Nudity