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

Number of first fixations towards 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.g003: Number of first fixations towards female and male stimuli for women (a) and men (b).Error bars represent 95% CI.

Mentions: Number of first fixations captures initial orienting biases, such that higher frequencies are suggestive of greater attentional capture. The results of the 2 X 2 X 3 ANOVA using the number of first fixations revealed a significant main effect of Stimulus Gender, F(1, 73) = 17.12, p < .001, ηp2 = .19. For both men and women, the mean number of first fixations on female stimuli was significantly greater than the mean number of first fixations on male stimuli. There was a significant interaction between Trial Block and Participant Gender for number of first fixations, F(1.75, 127.45) = 4.24, p = .02. This interaction was examined by looking at the Trial Block effect using Toothaker’s t-tests separately by Participant Gender. For women, there was no significant difference in number of first fixations across blocks (all ps > .33 and d’s < .15; see Fig 3a). For men, there was a significant difference in the number of first fixations between blocks 1 and 3, t(73) = 1.72, p = .009, d = .46, and blocks 2 and 3, t(73) = 2.28, p = .003, d = .63 (see Fig 3b), such that block 3 yielded significantly fewer first fixations, on average, than the other two blocks. In sum, the number of first fixations was gender-specific for men, and, counter to prediction, significantly greater to female versus male targets in women. Stimulus familiarity did not influence patterns of gender-specificity and nonspecificity, but rather fewer first fixations were observed in men in the third trial block, which also coincided with fewer valid trials being included from block 3 for men.


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

Dawson SJ, Chivers ML - PLoS ONE (2016)

Number of first fixations towards 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.g003: Number of first fixations towards female and male stimuli for women (a) and men (b).Error bars represent 95% CI.
Mentions: Number of first fixations captures initial orienting biases, such that higher frequencies are suggestive of greater attentional capture. The results of the 2 X 2 X 3 ANOVA using the number of first fixations revealed a significant main effect of Stimulus Gender, F(1, 73) = 17.12, p < .001, ηp2 = .19. For both men and women, the mean number of first fixations on female stimuli was significantly greater than the mean number of first fixations on male stimuli. There was a significant interaction between Trial Block and Participant Gender for number of first fixations, F(1.75, 127.45) = 4.24, p = .02. This interaction was examined by looking at the Trial Block effect using Toothaker’s t-tests separately by Participant Gender. For women, there was no significant difference in number of first fixations across blocks (all ps > .33 and d’s < .15; see Fig 3a). For men, there was a significant difference in the number of first fixations between blocks 1 and 3, t(73) = 1.72, p = .009, d = .46, and blocks 2 and 3, t(73) = 2.28, p = .003, d = .63 (see Fig 3b), such that block 3 yielded significantly fewer first fixations, on average, than the other two blocks. In sum, the number of first fixations was gender-specific for men, and, counter to prediction, significantly greater to female versus male targets in women. Stimulus familiarity did not influence patterns of gender-specificity and nonspecificity, but rather fewer first fixations were observed in men in the third trial block, which also coincided with fewer valid trials being included from block 3 for men.

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