The effect of emotional arousal on subsequent sexual arousal in men (1980)

Comments: Watching an erotic film after watching and anxiety/anger producing film lead to greater sexual arousal. We suspect this is related to elevated dopamine triggered by anxiety.

Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol 89(4), Aug 1980, 595-598.

By Wolchik, Sharlene A.; Beggs, Vicki E.; Wincze, John P.; Sakheim, David K.; Barlow, David H.; Mavissakalian, Matig


The effect of emotional arousal on subsequent sexual arousal was assessed in 14 18–34 yr old men. Ss initially viewed either 1 of 2 emotionally arousing videotapes (depression-and-anger or anxiety-and-anger producing) or a neutral videotape (a travelogue), each of which was followed by an erotic videotape.

Sexual arousal was measured physiologically with a penile strain gauge. Although there were no differences in the level of sexual arousal during the antecedent emotionally arousing or neutral videotapes, sexual arousal during the subsequent erotic videotapes was differentially affected by them. Sexual arousal following the anxiety-and-anger videotape was greater than that following either the depression-and-anger videotape or the travelogue. Prior exposure to the travelogue resulted in greater sexual arousal than did the videotape producing depression and anger. (10 ref) (PsycINFO

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