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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.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Time taken to first fixate on female and male stimuli for women (a) and men (b).Error bars represent 95% CI.
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pone.0152785.g004: Time taken to first fixate on female and male stimuli for women (a) and men (b).Error bars represent 95% CI.

Mentions: We examined time to first fixation as another dependent measure assessing initial attentional processes, whereby shorter latencies are indicative of attentional bias. The interactions between Stimulus Gender and Trial Block, F(1.73, 126.48) = 6.12, p = .004, Trial Block and Participant Gender, F(1.70, 124.24) = 4.80, p = .01, and Stimulus Gender and Participant Gender, F(1, 73) = 40.42, p < .001 were all significant. To clarify these interactions, we examined the effects of Stimulus Gender for each of the blocks separately for men and women using Toothaker’s t-tests. For women, time to first fixation towards male or female targets was not significantly different, across any of the blocks (all ps >. 16, all ds < .31; see Fig 4a). Women did not exhibit a bias towards male or female targets with respect to time taken to first fixation. In contrast, men oriented significantly more quickly to female than male targets in each trial block, t(73) = 4.99, p < .001, d = 1.91, t(73) = 5.43, p < .001, d = 1.58, and t(73) = 7.14, p < .001, d = 1.70, for blocks 1, 2, and 3, respectively (see Fig 4b). Time to first fixation was therefore gender-nonspecific for women and gender-specific for men across all three trial blocks.


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

Dawson SJ, Chivers ML - PLoS ONE (2016)

Time taken to first fixate on 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.g004: Time taken to first fixate on female and male stimuli for women (a) and men (b).Error bars represent 95% CI.
Mentions: We examined time to first fixation as another dependent measure assessing initial attentional processes, whereby shorter latencies are indicative of attentional bias. The interactions between Stimulus Gender and Trial Block, F(1.73, 126.48) = 6.12, p = .004, Trial Block and Participant Gender, F(1.70, 124.24) = 4.80, p = .01, and Stimulus Gender and Participant Gender, F(1, 73) = 40.42, p < .001 were all significant. To clarify these interactions, we examined the effects of Stimulus Gender for each of the blocks separately for men and women using Toothaker’s t-tests. For women, time to first fixation towards male or female targets was not significantly different, across any of the blocks (all ps >. 16, all ds < .31; see Fig 4a). Women did not exhibit a bias towards male or female targets with respect to time taken to first fixation. In contrast, men oriented significantly more quickly to female than male targets in each trial block, t(73) = 4.99, p < .001, d = 1.91, t(73) = 5.43, p < .001, d = 1.58, and t(73) = 7.14, p < .001, d = 1.70, for blocks 1, 2, and 3, respectively (see Fig 4b). Time to first fixation was therefore gender-nonspecific for women and gender-specific for men across all three trial blocks.

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