Elucidating women's (hetero)sexual desire: definitional challenges and content expansion.

Department of Psychology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV 89154-5030, USA.
The Journal of Sex Research (Impact Factor: 2.53). 03/2010; 47(2):104-22. DOI: 10.1080/00224490903402546
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The literature on women's sexual desire is reviewed with an emphasis on definitional challenges, an assessment of the empirical basis for the distinction between spontaneous and responsive desire, a reconsideration of the extent to which women's sexual desire is relational in nature, and an exploration of the incentive value of sex for women as a factor partially independent from the experience of sexual desire. Nine recommendations are made regarding research and diagnostic directions. The article concludes with an appeal for the inclusion of eroticism in research and clinical work on sexual desire.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In a recent review article, Bogaert and Brotto (2014) discussed "object of desire self-consciousness," a perception that one is romantically and sexually desirable in another's eyes. They argued that this perception is more relevant to women's sociosexual functioning than it is to men's. In the present study, we attempted to find direct evidence that object of desire themes are linked more to women's sexual desire and arousal than they are to men's by examining the differences in content between men's and women's sexual fantasies. A total of 198 men and women reported on arousing themes in sexual fantasies using three methodologies: endorsement of items on a sexual fantasy questionnaire, sentence completion of sexually-charged scenarios, and open-ended sexual fantasies. The men and women also rated their attractiveness and were rated for attractiveness by two female experimenters. On all three fantasy composites, women endorsed more object of desire themes than did men, and these effects occurred independent of the subjective and observer-rated attractiveness measures. The results were discussed in relation to theorizing that object of desire self-consciousness can function as part of many women's self-schemata or scripts related to romance and sexuality.
    Archives of Sexual Behavior 01/2015; · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The present study investigated the specificity of sexual appraisal processes by making a distinction between implicit and explicit appraisals and between the affective (liking) and motivational (wanting) valence of sexual stimuli. These appraisals are assumed to diverge between men and women, depending on the context in which the sexual stimulus is encountered. Using an Implicit Association Test, explicit ratings, and film clips to prime a sexual, romantic or neutral motivational context, we investigated whether liking and wanting of sexual stimuli differed at the implicit and explicit level, differed between men and women, and were differentially sensitive to context manipulations. Results showed that, at the implicit level, women wanted more sex after being primed with romantic mood whereas men showed the least wanting of sex in the romantic condition. At the explicit level, men reported greater liking and wanting of sex than women, independently of context. We also found that women's (self-reported) sexual behavior was best predicted by the incentive salience of sexual stimuli whereas men's sexual behavior was more closely related to the hedonic qualities of sexual stimuli. Results were discussed in relation to an emotion-motivational account of sexual functioning.
    Archives of Sexual Behavior 11/2014; · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to explore the frequency of sexual cognitions in Spanish men and women, distinguishing between positive sexual cognitions (PSC) and negative sexual cognitions (NSC), and various subtypes of such cognitions based on their content (intimate, exploratory, dominance, submission, and impersonal). We also examined the relationship between both age and education level and Christian religion/religiosity and the frequency of all subtypes of sexual cognitions. The sample was composed of 1332 participants aged between 18 and 45 years. Results showed that the most and least frequent sexual cognitions were intimate and sadomasochistic cognitions, respectively. Overall, men reported a higher frequency of PSC than did women, except for cognitions involving submission. In addition, undergraduate students reported a higher frequency of dominant PSC than older individuals. Regarding NSC, men reported a higher frequency of dominance themes, while women reported more frequent cognitions involving submission. In addition, intimate, exploratory, and impersonal NSC were more frequently reported in the younger sample. Religion was associated with the frequency of most PSC but not with NSC. We discuss the implications of assessing both the affect and content of sexual cognitions for their training in sex therapy.
    Sexual and Relationship Therapy 10/2014; 29(4). · 0.51 Impact Factor