Limits...
Gender-Specificity of Initial and Controlled Visual Attention to Sexual Stimuli in Androphilic Women and Gynephilic Men.

Dawson SJ, Chivers ML - PLoS ONE (2016)

Bottom Line: In contrast, both men and women exhibited gender-specific patterns of controlled attention, although this effect was stronger among men.Finally, measures of attention and self-reported attraction were positively related in both men and women.These findings are discussed in the context of the information-processing model and evolutionary mechanisms that may have evolved to promote gendered attentional systems.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Research across groups and methods consistently finds a gender difference in patterns of specificity of genital response; however, empirically supported mechanisms to explain this difference are lacking. The information-processing model of sexual arousal posits that automatic and controlled cognitive processes are requisite for the generation of sexual responses. Androphilic women's gender-nonspecific response patterns may be the result of sexually-relevant cues that are common to both preferred and nonpreferred genders capturing attention and initiating an automatic sexual response, whereas men's attentional system may be biased towards the detection and response to sexually-preferred cues only. In the present study, we used eye tracking to assess visual attention to sexually-preferred and nonpreferred cues in a sample of androphilic women and gynephilic men. Results support predictions from the information-processing model regarding gendered processing of sexual stimuli in men and women. Men's initial attention patterns were gender-specific, whereas women's were nonspecific. In contrast, both men and women exhibited gender-specific patterns of controlled attention, although this effect was stronger among men. Finally, measures of attention and self-reported attraction were positively related in both men and women. These findings are discussed in the context of the information-processing model and evolutionary mechanisms that may have evolved to promote gendered attentional systems.

Show MeSH

Related in: MedlinePlus

Self-reported sexual attraction ratings for female and male stimuli for women (a) and men (b).Error bars represent 95% CI.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4835092&req=5

pone.0152785.g002: Self-reported sexual attraction ratings for female and male stimuli for women (a) and men (b).Error bars represent 95% CI.

Mentions: Given that the purpose of the study was to examine attentional biases to preferred and nonpreferred stimuli, it was first important to examine whether participants did indeed report a preference for one target over another. Self-reported sexual attraction ratings for the experimental stimuli were subject to the 2 X 2 X 3 ANOVA described above. The means and standard deviations of the sexual attraction ratings as a function of ROI and Block are presented in Table 2. The ANOVA revealed a significant interaction between Stimulus Gender and Participant Gender, F(1, 73) = 542.85, p < .001, which was followed up using Toothaker’s t-tests for women and men separately (see Fig 2a and 2b). Women reported significantly greater sexual attraction to the male versus female targets, t(73) = 5.60, p < .001, d = 1.41. Men reported significantly greater sexual attraction to the female versus male targets t(73) = 7.77, p < .001, d = 3.53. As expected, our participants reported that they were significantly more sexually attracted to targets corresponding with their stated sexual orientation. Of note, mean attraction scores to preferred stimuli approached or fell within the “moderately sexually attracted” range, meaning that neither men nor women reported a high degree of sexual attraction towards the images presented.


Gender-Specificity of Initial and Controlled Visual Attention to Sexual Stimuli in Androphilic Women and Gynephilic Men.

Dawson SJ, Chivers ML - PLoS ONE (2016)

Self-reported sexual attraction ratings for female and male stimuli for women (a) and men (b).Error bars represent 95% CI.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4835092&req=5

pone.0152785.g002: Self-reported sexual attraction ratings for female and male stimuli for women (a) and men (b).Error bars represent 95% CI.
Mentions: Given that the purpose of the study was to examine attentional biases to preferred and nonpreferred stimuli, it was first important to examine whether participants did indeed report a preference for one target over another. Self-reported sexual attraction ratings for the experimental stimuli were subject to the 2 X 2 X 3 ANOVA described above. The means and standard deviations of the sexual attraction ratings as a function of ROI and Block are presented in Table 2. The ANOVA revealed a significant interaction between Stimulus Gender and Participant Gender, F(1, 73) = 542.85, p < .001, which was followed up using Toothaker’s t-tests for women and men separately (see Fig 2a and 2b). Women reported significantly greater sexual attraction to the male versus female targets, t(73) = 5.60, p < .001, d = 1.41. Men reported significantly greater sexual attraction to the female versus male targets t(73) = 7.77, p < .001, d = 3.53. As expected, our participants reported that they were significantly more sexually attracted to targets corresponding with their stated sexual orientation. Of note, mean attraction scores to preferred stimuli approached or fell within the “moderately sexually attracted” range, meaning that neither men nor women reported a high degree of sexual attraction towards the images presented.

Bottom Line: In contrast, both men and women exhibited gender-specific patterns of controlled attention, although this effect was stronger among men.Finally, measures of attention and self-reported attraction were positively related in both men and women.These findings are discussed in the context of the information-processing model and evolutionary mechanisms that may have evolved to promote gendered attentional systems.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Research across groups and methods consistently finds a gender difference in patterns of specificity of genital response; however, empirically supported mechanisms to explain this difference are lacking. The information-processing model of sexual arousal posits that automatic and controlled cognitive processes are requisite for the generation of sexual responses. Androphilic women's gender-nonspecific response patterns may be the result of sexually-relevant cues that are common to both preferred and nonpreferred genders capturing attention and initiating an automatic sexual response, whereas men's attentional system may be biased towards the detection and response to sexually-preferred cues only. In the present study, we used eye tracking to assess visual attention to sexually-preferred and nonpreferred cues in a sample of androphilic women and gynephilic men. Results support predictions from the information-processing model regarding gendered processing of sexual stimuli in men and women. Men's initial attention patterns were gender-specific, whereas women's were nonspecific. In contrast, both men and women exhibited gender-specific patterns of controlled attention, although this effect was stronger among men. Finally, measures of attention and self-reported attraction were positively related in both men and women. These findings are discussed in the context of the information-processing model and evolutionary mechanisms that may have evolved to promote gendered attentional systems.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus