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Habituation and dishabituation of male sexual arousal
journal contributionposted on 01.07.1993, 00:00 authored by Eric KoukounasEric Koukounas, R Over
Sixteen men were tested under conditions where they viewed the same segment of erotic film on many occasions or engaged repeatedly in the same erotic fantasy. Decrements in penile tumescence and subjective sexual arousal over trials were accompanied by reports from Ss that they felt less absorbed in the events depicted in film or fantasy (and in the case of fantasy, that the images they formed became less vivid). Analysis of covariance showed that habituation (reduction in physiological and subjective measures of sexual arousal over trials) was less when allowance was made for the manner in which absorption (and in vividness of imagery in the case of fantasy) changed during erotic stimulation. Increases in sexual arousal when novel erotic stimulation was introduced following habituation, as well as the dishabituation found when the original stimulus was reinstated, also correlated with the extent absorption and vividness of imagery shifted under these conditions. The results are discussed with reference to whether habituation of male sexual arousal is mediated by changes that occur in absorption and other aspects of information processing during repeated erotic stimulation.