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The role of absorption in women's sexual response to erotica : a cognitive-affective investigation
journal contributionposted on 01.07.2009, 00:00 authored by Jade SheenJade Sheen, Eric KoukounasEric Koukounas
This study examined the effect of absorption on women's emotional and cognitive processing of erotic film. Absorption was experimentally manipulated using 2 different sets of test session instructions. The first, participant-oriented, instruction set directed participants to absorb themselves in the erotic film presentation, imagining that they were active participants in the sexual activities depicted. The second, spectator-oriented, instruction set directed participants to observe and assess the erotic film excerpt as impartial spectators. The participant-oriented instruction set was found to elicit greater subjective absorption in women than the spectator-oriented instruction set, and women reported greater subjective sexual arousal in the former set compared with the latter. Thus, it appears that the degree to which a woman becomes absorbed in an erotic stimulus may affect her subsequent subjective sexual arousal. Also, women reported greater degrees of positive affect when they took a participant-oriented perspective than when they viewed the erotic materials as impartial spectators. Thus, participants who were highly absorbed in the erotic film excerpt were more likely to view the stimulus favorably. By contrast, the degree to which women became absorbed in the stimulus had no effect on their reported negative affect. Future directions for examining female response patterns are suggested.