The Dual Control model: Current status and future directions

The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Indiana University, USA.
The Journal of Sex Research (Impact Factor: 2.53). 04/2009; 46(2-3):121-42. DOI: 10.1080/00224490902747222
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The Dual Control Model proposes that sexual responses involve an interaction between sexual excitatory and sexual inhibitory processes. The model further postulates that individuals vary in their propensity for both sexual excitation and sexual inhibition, and that such variations help us to understand much of the variability in human sexuality. The development of psychometrically validated instruments for measuring such propensities for men (Sexual Inhibition/Sexual Excitation Scales) and for women (Sexual Excitation/Sexual Inhibition Inventory for Women) is described. These measures show close to normal variability in both men and women, supporting the concept that "normal" levels of inhibition proneness are adaptive. The relevance of the model to sexual development, sexual desire, the effects of aging, sexual identity, and the relation between mood and sexuality are discussed, and the available evidence is reviewed. Particular attention is paid to gender differences and similarities in propensities for sexual excitation and inhibition. Research findings related to sexual problems, high-risk sexual behavior, and the relevance of this model to clinical management of such problems are also summarized. Last, ideas for future use and further development of the Dual Control Model are considered.

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    • "research has indicated that compared to men, women focus more on inhibitory processes while men focus on excitatory processes (Bancroft, Graham, Janssen, & Sanders, 2009). The dual control model posits that sexual behavior reflects a balance between sexual excitatory and inhibitory processes (Bancroft et al., 2009). Emotions are likely candidates that could exert excitatory or inhibitory influences on human sexual arousal, depending on emotional valence. "
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    ABSTRACT: Disgust, a negative emotion which evokes strong behavioral avoidance tendencies, has been associated with sexual dysfunction. Recently, it was postulated that healthy sexual functioning requires a balance between excitatory (increased sexual arousal) and inhibitory processes (lowered disgust levels). This suggests that amplification of excitatory processes (like sexual arousal) could be a valuable addition to treatments for affect-based sexual dysfunctions. The major aim of the present study was to establish whether up-regulation could effectively enhance arousal levels during sexual stimuli, and whether such a training would simultaneously reduce disgust. Students (N = 163, mean age = 20.73 years, SD = 2.35) were trained in up-regulation of affect using either a sexual arousal film (i.e., female-friendly erotic movie) or a threat arousal film clip (i.e., horror movie), while control groups viewed the films without training instructions. Following this, participants viewed and rated state emotions during a series of pictures (sexual, disgusting, or neutral). Up-regulation of mood successfully enhanced general arousal in both groups, yet these arousal levels were not paralleled by reductions in disgust. Overall, the findings indicate that emotion regulation training by maximizing positive affect and general arousal could be an effective instrument to facilitate affect-related disturbances in sexual dysfunctions.
    The Journal of Sex Research 09/2014; DOI:10.1080/00224499.2014.948111 · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    • "An experimenter explained the procedures and showed the measurement devices. After the participant read and signed the informed consent form, the experimenter left the room and the participant put, after lowering his pants, the RigiScan in place and a disposable sheet and towel on his lap, a procedure commonly used in studies of this kind (Janssen, Goodrich, Petrocelli, & Bancroft, 2009). After the device was put in place, the experimenter reentered the room and attached the EMG electrodes. "
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    ABSTRACT: Affective and cognitive factors play an important role in the activation and regulation of men's sexual arousal. Barlow (1986) argued that initial affective reactions determine the allocation of attention to sexual stimuli. We applied Barlow's model to our understanding of the role of sexual arousal in sexual orientation, where sexual arousal patterns have consistently been found to be congruent with self-reported orientation in men, but not in women. Visual attention of 28 heterosexual and 22 homosexual men to same- and opposite-sex erotic stimuli was assessed and experimentally-directed by means of a newly developed software application, while genital (penile rigidity) and affective responses (self-reported and physiological) were measured. In line with previous research, we found "category specificity" in men's sexual arousal, in that sexual responses were strongest to orientation-congruent stimuli. Also, both homosexual and heterosexual men experienced stronger sexual responses to conditions in which their attention was directed to sexual versus nonsexual content of orientation-congruent stimuli. Only homosexual men manifested higher sexual responses when their visual attention was directed towards the sexual content of orientation-incongruent stimuli. Heterosexual men experienced weaker positive and stronger negative affective responses to orientation-incongruent content, suggestive of potential avoidance or inhibitory mechanisms.
    Archives of Sexual Behavior 01/2014; 43(5):917–930. DOI:10.1007/s10508-013-0221-y · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    • "In Basson's model, emotional intimacy with a partner may render women sexually aroused through specific stimuli, of which physical contact (the tactile sense) is pre-eminent (Basson, 2001). Bancroft et al. developed the dual-control (excitation/inhibition ) model of the sexual response and emphasized its neurophysiologic substrate (Bancroft et al., 2009). In their model, tactile stimuli give excitatory (or inhibitory) input to the spinal cord, thereby mediating the genital arousal response. "
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    ABSTRACT: Pheromones are substances which are secreted to the outside by an individual and received by a second individual of the same species. Many examples exist in animals but their role in humans remains uncertain since adults have no functioning vomeronasal organ, which processes pheromone signals in animals. Yet pheromones can be detected by the olfactory system although humans under develop and underrate their smelling sense. Pheromones may be present in all bodily secretions but most attention has been geared toward axillary sweat which contains the odorous 16-androstenes. One of these steroidal compounds, androstadienone, is present at much higher concentrations in male sweat and can be detected by women, albeit with wide variation in sensitivity. Upper-lip application of a pharmacological dose of androstadienonein women results in improved mood and heightened focus - particularly to capture emotional information. A positive mood is known to facilitate women's sexual response, and -increased focus improves sexual satisfaction. Indeed, some studies showed a beneficial effect of androstadienone on sexual desire and arousal. However, these effects were dependent on the context of the experiment, for example, on the presence of a male attendant. Pheromones may also play a role in mate selection which is "disassortative" regarding the human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-genotype. Preliminary evidence suggests that exposure to androstadienone in women promotes attractiveness ratings of potential mates. In conclusion, some data indicate that 16-androstene pheromones, in particular androstadienone, play a beneficial role in women's mood, focus and sexual response, and perhaps also in mate selection.
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