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Models of sexual response. Stimuli for arousal Kaplan Masters and Johnson. Triggers of sexual response. Sensations Pheromones Drugs Brain centers Learning and socialization. Sensation triggers: Releasing cues?. “Men are turned on by sight, women by touch.” Is that true?

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models of sexual response

Models of sexual response

Stimuli for arousal


Masters and Johnson

triggers of sexual response
Triggers of sexual response
  • Sensations
  • Pheromones
  • Drugs
  • Brain centers
  • Learning and socialization
sensation triggers releasing cues
Sensation triggers: Releasing cues?
  • “Men are turned on by sight, women by touch.” Is that true?
  • Primary triggers: Touch
  • Are visual stimuli conditioned?
  • Sounds: A lover’s voice, poetry, music, seductive speech, sex sounds
  • Tastes and odors: food and drink, perfumes, body cues
pheromones and reproduction
Pheromones and reproduction
  • Lee-Boot effect: Slow and stop estrous
  • Whitten effect: Synchronize estrous
  • Vandenbergh effect: Early puberty
  • Bruce effect: Spontaneous abortion
  • Synchronized menstrual cycles in college women (McClintock, 1971)
  • Underarm sweat and menstrual synchrony (Stern & McClintock, 1998)
pheromones and attraction
Pheromones and attraction
  • Doty et al. (1975): Odors of vaginal secretions rated as unpleasant by bith men and women…but less so around ovulation
  • Androstenol necklaces increased women’s social interactions with men, but had no effect on men (Cowley & Brooksbank, 1991)
  • Human vomeronasal organs can respond to pheromones.
hormonal control of arousal
Hormonal control of arousal
  • Correlational research
  • Testosterone is the key circulating hormone
  • Estrogen is the key cellular hormone
  • Threshold levels of testosterone are necessary for sexual interest in both genders
  • But testosterone is not a sufficient cause for sexual activity.
  • Social factors are far more important.
ovarian hormones and arousal
Ovarian hormones and arousal
  • In primates, ovarian hormones do not control the ability to mate.
  • Most studies find little or no effect of circulating ovarian hormones on sexual behavior.
  • However, female monkeys who can control their sexual activity engage in sexual activity at peak estradiol times.
more on ovarian hormones
More on ovarian hormones
  • Human women studied are almost all married. In marriage, other factors than estradiol influence sexual behavior.
  • Women on the pill show less variation in sexual interest with the menstrual cycle (Alexander et al., 1990)
sex hormones
Sex hormones
  • Organizing effects: Species-typical mating postures and actions
  • Activating effects: motivating sexual behavior, and affecting its frequency and intensity
  • Loss of hormone production is followed by a slow lessening of sexual interest
  • Previous sexual experience mitigates the change, however.
kaplan s therapy based model
Kaplan’s therapy-based model
  • Desire phase
    • Psychological components
    • Physical sensations
  • Vasocongestive phase
    • Increased blood in genital region
    • Erectile responses and lubrication
    • Increased muscle tension
  • Orgasmic-release phase
    • Orgasm triggers changes
    • Reverse of vasocongestive phase
masters and johnson s physiological model
Masters and Johnson’s physiological model
  • Excitement phase
    • Increasing genital response
      • Erection and transudation
    • Sex flush
    • Increasing subjective excitement
  • Plateau phase
  • Orgasm or climax
  • Resolution
  • Are there differences between men and women in the experiencing of any of the phases of the sexual response cycle?
criticisms of models
Criticisms of models
  • Desire phase may be extremely short, or it may be chronic
  • Plateau experiences are not always found
    • Continual increase in tension is more often found
  • The model is biased to the experiences of one gender
  • Models impose a paradigm on sexual expression
variations from the pattern
Variations from the pattern
  • Multiple or absent orgasms
  • Variation in physical correlates of phases
  • Orgasm focus
  • Deception
  • Refractory period
    • Coolidge effect
aging and sexual response
Aging and sexual response
  • Reduced and delayed lubrication
  • Less vasocongestion
  • Changes dependent on inactivity
  • Increased likelihood of erectile failure
  • Delayed orgasm and erection
but the good news is
But the good news is:
  • Sexual frequency remains unchanged:
  • In the 20s: Tri-weekly
  • In the 40s: Try weekly
  • In the 60s: Try weakly