Boris B. Gorzalka

University of British Columbia - Vancouver, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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Publications (193)648.98 Total impact

  • Silvain S. Dang, Boris B. Gorzalka
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    ABSTRACT: IntroductionPast studies have shown an association between low sexual functioning and engaging in sexually coercive behaviors among men. The mechanism of this relationship is not well understood. Moreover, most studies in this area have been done in incarcerated sex offenders.AimsThe aim of the current study was to investigate the role of potential distal predictors of sexual coercion, including insecure attachment style and dysfunctional sexual beliefs, in mediating the relationship between sexual functioning and sexual coercion. The study also seeks to extend past findings to a novel non-forensic population.Methods Male university students (N = 367) anonymously completed online questionnaires.Main Outcome MeasuresParticipants completed the Sexual Experiences Survey, Improved Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale, Hostility Towards Women Scale, Likelihood of Rape Item, Experiences in Close Relationships Scale, Dysfunctional Sexual Beliefs Scale, and Brief Sexual Functioning Questionnaire.ResultsSexual functioning was not significantly associated with sexually coercive behaviors in our sample (r = 0.08, P = 0.247), though a significant correlation between sexual functioning and rape myth acceptance was found (r = 0.18, P = 0.007). Path analysis of all variables showed that the likelihood of rape item was the strongest correlate of sexually coercive behaviors (β = 0.34, P < 0.001), while dysfunctional sexual beliefs appeared to mediate the association between anxious attachment and likelihood of rape item score. Anxious (r = −0.27, P = 0.001) and avoidant (r = −0.19, P = 0.004) attachment also correlated significantly with lower sexual functioning.Conclusions These findings suggest the relationship between sexual functioning and sexual coercion may be less robust than previously reported, and may be due to a shared association with other factors. The results elaborate on the interrelation between attachment style and dysfunctional sexual beliefs as predictors of sexual coercion proclivity, suggesting avenues for further research. Dang SS and Gorzalka BB. Insecure attachment style and dysfunctional sexual beliefs predict sexual coercion proclivity in university men. Sex Med **;**:**–**.
    04/2015; DOI:10.1002/sm2.60
  • Lori A. Brotto, Morag A. Yule, Boris B. Gorzalka
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    ABSTRACT: IntroductionHuman asexuality is defined as a lack of sexual attraction to anyone or anything. Various theories have been proposed to explain how asexuality should best be classified, and some have maintained that asexuality is an extreme variant of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD)—a sexual dysfunction characterized by a lack of interest in sex and significant distress. To date, this has never been empirically examined.Aim and Method Using measures of sexual desire and behavior, sex-related distress, personality, and psychopathology, the aim of the current study was to compare individuals scoring above the cutoff for asexuality identification (AIS >40) (n = 192) to sexual individuals (n = 231). The sexual group was further divided into a control group (n = 122), a HSDD group (n = 50), and a group with symptoms of low desire that were nondistressing (n = 59).ResultsAnalyses were controlled for age. Individuals in the AIS >40 group had a greater likelihood of never previously engaging in sexual intercourse, fantasies, or kissing and petting than all other groups and a lower likelihood of experiencing sex-related distress than those with HSDD. For women, those in the HSDD and AIS >40 groups had significantly lower desire than the subclinical HSDD and control groups. Men in the AIS >40 group had significantly lower desire than the other three groups. Symptoms of depression were highest among those with subclinical HSDD and HSDD, whereas there were no group differences on alexithymia or desirable responding. A binary logistic regression indicated that relationship status (long-term dating/married), sexual desire, sex-related distress, and lower alexithymia scores were the best predictors of group membership (HSDD vs. AIS >40).Conclusion Taken together, these results challenge the speculation that asexuality should be classified as a sexual dysfunction of low desire. Brotto LA, Yule MA, and Gorzalka BB. Asexuality: An extreme variant of sexual desire disorder? J Sex Med **;**:**–**.
    Journal of Sexual Medicine 01/2015; DOI:10.1111/jsm.12806 · 3.15 Impact Factor
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    Morag A Yule, Lori A Brotto, Boris B Gorzalka
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    ABSTRACT: Human asexuality has been described as a lack of sexual attraction toward anyone or anything. One percent of the adult population is thought to be asexual, and research suggests that asexuality is best conceptualized as a sexual orientation. A serious limitation in past research on asexuality has been the complete lack of a validated tool to measure asexuality. Due to limitations in recruiting sufficiently powered local samples, most studies have relied on recruiting via online web-based asexual communities. This is problematic because it limits the sample to individuals who have been recruited through established asexuality networks/communities. The present study aimed to develop and validate a self-report questionnaire to assess asexuality. The questionnaire was intended to provide a valid measure independent of whether the individual self-identified as asexual and was developed in several stages, including: development and administration of open-ended questions (209 participants: 139 asexual and 70 sexual); administration and analysis of resulting 111 items (917 participants: 165 asexual and 752 sexual); administration and analysis of 37 retained items (1,242 participants: 316 asexual and 926 sexual); and validity analysis of the final items. The resulting Asexuality Identification Scale (AIS), a 12-item questionnaire, is a brief, valid, and reliable self-report instrument for assessing asexuality. It is psychometrically sound, easy to administer, and has demonstrated ability to discriminate between sexual and asexual individuals. It should prove useful to allow researchers to recruit more representative samples of the asexual population, permitting for an increased understanding of asexuality. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    Psychological Assessment 11/2014; DOI:10.1037/a0038196 · 2.99 Impact Factor
  • Heather Morton, Boris B Gorzalka
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract This review investigates whether sexual desire and arousal decline in response to partner familiarity, increase in response to partner novelty, and show differential responding in men and women. These questions were considered through the perspective of two leading evolutionary theories regarding human mating strategies: Sexual Strategies Theory and Attachment Fertility Theory. The hypotheses emerging from these theories were evaluated through a critical analysis of several areas of research including: habituation of arousal to erotic stimuli, preferences regarding number of sexual partners, the impact of long-term monogamous relationships on sexual arousal and desire, and prevalence and risk factors associated with extra-dyadic behavior. The current literature best supports the predictions made by Sexual Strategies Theory, in that sexual functioning has evolved to promote short-term mating. Sexual arousal and desire appear to decrease in response to partner familiarity and increase in response to partner novelty in both men and women. Evidence to date suggests this effect may be greater in men.
    Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 09/2014; DOI:10.1080/0092623X.2014.958788 · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    Ryan J. McLaughlin, Matthew N. Hill, Boris B. Gorzalka
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    ABSTRACT: The prefrontal cortex (PFC) provides executive control of the brain in humans and rodents, coordinating cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses to threatening stimuli and subsequent feedback inhibition of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The endocannabinoid system has emerged as a fundamental regulator of HPA axis feedback inhibition and an important modulator of emotional behavior. However, the precise role of endocannabinoid signaling within the PFC with respect to stress coping and emotionality has only recently been investigated. This review discusses the current state of knowledge regarding the localization and function of the endocannabinoid system in the PFC, its sensitivity to stress and its role in modulating the neuroendocrine and behavioral responses to aversive stimuli. We propose a model whereby steady-state endocannabinoid signaling in the medial PFC indirectly regulates the outflow of pyramidal neurons by fine-tuning GABAergic inhibition. Local activation of this population of CB1 receptors increases the downstream targets of medial PFC activation, which include inhibitory interneurons in the basolateral amygdala, inhibitory relay neurons in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and monoamine cell bodies such as the dorsal raphe nucleus. This ultimately produces beneficial effects on emotionality (active coping responses to stress and reduced anxiety) and assists in constraining activation of the HPA axis. Under conditions of chronic stress, or in individuals suffering from mood disorders, this system may be uniquely recruited to help maintain appropriate function in the face of adversity, while breakdown of the endocannabinoid system in the medial PFC may be, in and of itself, sufficient to produce neuropsychiatric illness. Thus, we suggest that endocannabinoid signaling in the medial PFC may represent an attractive target for the treatment of stress-related disorders.
    Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 05/2014; 42. DOI:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.02.006 · 10.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cannabinoid exposure during adolescence has adverse effects on neuroplasticity, emotional behaviour, cognition and reward sensitivity in adult rats. We investigated whether escalating doses of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1 R) agonist, HU-210, in adolescence would affect adult hippocampal neurogenesis and behavioural processes putatively modulated by hippocampal neurogenesis, in adult male and female Sprague-Dawley rats. Escalating doses of HU-210 (25, 50, and 100 µg/kg), or vehicle were administered from postnatal day (PND) 35 to 46. Animals were left undisturbed until PND 70, when they were treated with 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (BrdU; 200 mg/kg) and perfused 21 days later to examine density of BrdU-ir and BrdU/NeuN cells in the dentate gyrus. In another cohort, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity to an acute restraint stress (30 min; PND 75) and behavioural sensitization to d-amphetamine sulfate (1-2 mg/kg; PND 105-134) were assessed in adulthood. Adolescent HU-210 administration suppressed the density of BrdU-ir cells in the dentate gyrus in adult male, but not adult female rats. Adolescent HU-210 administration also induced significantly higher peak corticosterone levels and reminiscent of the changes in neurogenesis, this effect was more pronounced in adult males than females. However, adolescent cannabinoid treatment resulted in significantly higher stereotypy scores in adult female, but not male, rats. Thus, adolescent CB1 R activation suppressed hippocampal neurogenesis and increased stress responsivity in adult males, but not females, and enhanced amphetamine sensitization in adult female, but not male, rats. Taken together, increased CB1 R activation during adolescence results in sex-dependent, long-term, changes to hippocampal structure and function; an effect that may shed light on differing vulnerabilities to developing disorders following adolescent cannabinoid exposure, based on sex. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Hippocampus 03/2014; 24(3). DOI:10.1002/hipo.22221 · 4.30 Impact Factor
  • Heather Morton, Boris B Gorzalka
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate the sexual beliefs of female undergraduates, as well as the thoughts they experience during sexual experiences. The study aimed to determine potential differences in these variables between East Asian-Canadians and Euro-Canadians, as well as the influence of acculturation on these variables. In addition, the relationships between sexual beliefs, automatic thoughts, and specific aspects of sexual functioning were examined. Euro-Canadian (n = 77) and East Asian-Canadian (n = 123) undergraduate women completed the Sexual Dysfunctional Beliefs Questionnaire, the Sexual Modes Questionnaire, the Female Sexual Function Index, and the Vancouver Index of Acculturation. East Asian women endorsed almost all sexual beliefs assessed in this study more than did Euro-Canadian women, and endorsement of these beliefs was associated with acculturation. In addition, East Asian-Canadian and Euro-Canadian women differed in the frequency of experiencing negative automatic thoughts. Results also revealed associations between difficulties in sexual functioning, and both sexual beliefs and automatic thoughts. Together, these results provide preliminary support for the hypothesis that differences in cognitive aspects of sexuality may underlie the differences in sexual functioning previously observed between these two groups.
    Archives of Sexual Behavior 09/2013; 42(8). DOI:10.1007/s10508-013-0180-3 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    Morag A Yule, Lori A Brotto, Boris B Gorzalka
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    ABSTRACT: Human asexuality is defined as a lack of sexual attraction to anyone or anything and it has been suggested that it may be best conceptualized as a sexual orientation. Non-right-handedness, fraternal birth order, and finger length ratio (2D:4D) are early neurodevelopmental markers associated with sexual orientation. We conducted an Internet study investigating the relationship between self-identification as asexual, handedness, number of older siblings, and self-measured finger-lengths in comparison to individuals of other sexual orientation groups. A total of 325 asexuals (60 men and 265 women; M age, 24.8 years), 690 heterosexuals (190 men and 500 women; M age, 23.5 years), and 268 non-heterosexuals (homosexual and bisexual; 64 men and 204 women; M age, 29.0 years) completed online questionnaires. Asexual men and women were 2.4 and 2.5 times, respectively, more likely to be non-right-handed than their heterosexual counterparts and there were significant differences between sexual orientation groups in number of older brothers and older sisters, and this depended on handedness. Asexual and non-heterosexual men were more likely to be later-born than heterosexual men, and asexual women were more likely to be earlier-born than non-heterosexual women. We found no significant differences between sexual orientation groups on measurements of 2D:4D ratio. This is one of the first studies to test and provide preliminary empirical support for an underlying neurodevelopmental basis to account for the lack of sexual attraction characteristic of asexuality.
    Archives of Sexual Behavior 09/2013; 43(2). DOI:10.1007/s10508-013-0175-0 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Morag A. Yule, Lori A. Brotto, Boris B. Gorzalka
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    ABSTRACT: Human asexuality is defined as a lack of sexual attraction to anyone or anything, and preliminary evidence suggests that it may best be defined as a sexual orientation. As asexual individuals may face the same social stigma experienced by gay, lesbian and bisexual persons, it follows that asexual individuals may experience higher rates of psychiatric disturbance that have been observed among these non-heterosexual individuals. This study explored mental health correlates and interpersonal functioning and compared asexual, non-heterosexual and heterosexual individuals on these aspects of mental health. Analyses were limited to Caucasian participants only. There were significant differences among groups on several measures, including depression, anxiety, psychoticism, suicidality and interpersonal problems, and this study provided evidence that asexuality may be associated with higher prevalence of mental health and interpersonal problems. Clinical implications are indicated, in that asexual individuals should be adequately assessed for mental health difficulties and provided with appropriate interventions that are sensitive to their asexual identity.
    03/2013; 4(2):136-151. DOI:10.1080/19419899.2013.774162
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Despite extensive efforts to raise awareness, Papanicolaou (Pap) testing rates among Chinese women living in North America remain low compared with Euro-American women. Although the lower Pap testing rate and ensuing health repercussions among Chinese women are well characterized, mechanisms underlying such health disparities are not. The aim of this study was to use a qualitative approach to delineate such mechanisms. Qualitative approaches to understand constructs within the domain of sexual and reproductive health have been shown to be particularly appropriate, and offer a nuanced view of sexuality that is not afforded by traditional quantitative methods. Method: We carried out two focus groups aimed at exploring how Mandarin-speaking and English-speaking Chinese women experience Pap testing (N = 12). The women were invited to partake in the focus groups from having participated in a large-scale quantitative study. Participants were all first-generation immigrants and their average age was 53-years-old. We used content analyses to analyze transcripts and extract themes. Results and Discussion: The women heavily endorsed traditional Chinese medicine philosophy, conceptualizing physical health holistically, and valuing preventative measures over screening and interceptive measures. Pap testing was described as qualitatively different from other screening procedures, such that women assigned a sexually charged meaning to Pap testing, often discussing it in relation to sexual activity and promiscuity. Women expressed their preference for the compulsory and depersonalized manner that Pap tests are performed in their home country of China, as this lessens the embarrassment associated with undergoing Pap testing. Conclusion: Three mechanisms may contribute to lower Pap testing among middle-aged first-generation Chinese immigrants: preference for Chinese medicine philosophy, perceived sexualization of Pap testing, and the institutionalization of medical care. Implications for improving the reproductive health of Chinese women are discussed.
    Frontiers in Psychology 02/2013; 4:48. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00048 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) regulates tissue concentrations of N-acylethanolamines (NAEs), including the endocannabinoid, N-arachidonylethanolamide (anandamide, AEA). FAAH activity and NAEs are widely distributed throughout the brain and FAAH activity regulates an array of processes including emotion, cognition, inflammation, and feeding. However, there is relatively little research describing how this system develops throughout adolescence, particularly within limbic circuits regulating stress and reward processing. Thus, this study characterized temporal changes in NAE content (AEA, oleoylethanolamine [OEA], and palmitoylethanolamide [PEA]) and FAAH activity across the peri-adolescent period, in four corticolimbic structures (amygdala, hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and hypothalamus). Brain tissue of male Sprague-Dawley rats was collected on postnatal days (PND) 25, 35, 45, and 70, representing pre-adolescence, early- to mid-adolescence, late adolescence, and adulthood, respectively. Tissue was analyzed for AEA, OEA, and PEA content as well as FAAH activity at each time point. AEA, OEA, and PEA exhibited a similar temporal pattern in all four brain regions. NAE concentrations were lowest at PND 25 and highest at PND 35. NAE concentrations decreased between PNDs 35 and 45 and increased between PNDs 45 and 70. FAAH activity mirrored the pattern of NAE content in which it decreased between PNDs 25 and 35, increased between PNDs 35 and 45, and decreased between PNDs 45 and 70. These age-dependent patterns of NAE content and FAAH activity demonstrate temporal specificity to the development of this system and could contribute to alterations in stress sensitivity, emotionality, and executive function which also fluctuate during this developmental period. Synapse, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Synapse 01/2013; 67(1). DOI:10.1002/syn.21609 · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Accumulating evidence has revealed that dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system could contribute to the development of major depression. Studies carried out post-mortem in depressed suicide victims have revealed increased CB(1) receptor binding site density in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Accordingly, exposure of rodents to chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) results in phenotypic changes that mirror those of human depression, including increased CB(1) receptor binding site density in the PFC. Our goal in these studies was to examine the effects of CUS on the density of CB(1) receptor binding sites in the rodent medial PFC and to explore the role of this alteration in the behavioral changes invoked by CUS. Rodents exposed to CUS exhibited increased CB(1) receptor maximal binding site density (B(max)) within the ventromedial PFC, but not the dorsomedial PFC. To determine whether this change in the ventromedial PFC is an adaptive response, or alternatively, a consequence of chronic stress that contributes to the adoption of passive coping, we examined whether local CB(1) receptor blockade within the ventromedial PFC following CUS would significantly alter behaviors in the forced swim test (FST). CUS exposure significantly increased passive coping in the FST, and this was further augmented by discrete ventromedial PFC microinfusions of the CB(1) receptor antagonist AM251 prior to swim stress. Moreover, local CB(1) receptor blockade reduced active coping responses in CUS-exposed rats. These findings suggest that the increase in CB(1) receptor B(max) observed in the ventromedial PFC of rodents exposed to CUS maintains proactive coping strategies following chronic stress exposure.
    Behavioural brain research 10/2012; 237C:333-337. DOI:10.1016/j.bbr.2012.09.053 · 3.39 Impact Factor
  • Lindsey A Thomas, Boris B Gorzalka
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    ABSTRACT: Fifty-nine heterosexual university males were assessed for Sexual Coercion Proclivity (SCP) and randomly assigned to one of three conditions: Insult/nonsexually coercive fantasy material; no insult/sexually coercive fantasy material; or, insult/sexually coercive fantasy material. Although not differing in terms of anger or anxiety, the high SCP became more frustrated than the low group, particularly when exposed to both insult and sexually coercive (SC) fantasy material. Changes in negative affect predicted anticipated likelihood of engaging in SC among the low SCP group and anticipated enjoyment of SC in the high SCP group. Acculturation accounted for differences observed between Caucasian and Chinese men.
    Violence Against Women 08/2012; 18(8):973-95. DOI:10.1177/1077801212456529 · 1.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The chronic mild (or unpredictable/variable) stress (CMS) model was developed as an animal model of depression more than 20 years ago. The foundation of this model was that following long-term exposure to a series of mild, but unpredictable stressors, animals would develop a state of impaired reward salience that was akin to the anhedonia observed in major depressive disorder. In the time since its inception, this model has also been used for a variety of studies examining neurobiological variables that are associated with depression, despite the fact that this model has never been critically examined to validate that the neurobiological changes induced by CMS are parallel to those documented in depressive disorder. The aim of the current review is to summarize the current state of knowledge regarding the effects of chronic mild stress on neurobiological variables, such as neurochemistry, neurochemical receptor expression and functionality, neurotrophin expression and cellular plasticity. These findings are then compared to those of clinical research examining common variables in populations with depressive disorders to determine if the changes observed following chronic mild stress are in fact consistent with those observed in major depression. We conclude that the chronic mild stress paradigm: (1) evokes an array of neurobiological changes that mirror those seen in depressive disorders and (2) may be a suitable tool to investigate novel systems that could be disturbed in depression, and thus aid in the development of novel targets for the treatment of depression.
    Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 07/2012; 36(9):2085-117. DOI:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2012.07.001 · 10.28 Impact Factor
  • Sabrina C H Chang, Carolin Klein, Boris B Gorzalka
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    ABSTRACT: Evidence for the influence of sexual beliefs on sexual functioning and satisfaction has mainly emanated from clinical lore. Empirical investigations on this topic remain sparse. This study investigated whether beliefs regarding prevalence and definitions of male and female sexual dysfunctions predicted sexual function and satisfaction in a sample of 131 undergraduate students. Results indicated that higher perceived prevalence of male and female sexual dysfunctions was predictive of lower sexual functioning and poorer sexual satisfaction in women. For the male participants, none of the examined sexual beliefs emerged as significant predictors of their sexual functioning or satisfaction. Surprisingly, it was also found that participants estimated the prevalence of female sexual dysfunctions to be higher than male sexual dysfunctions, while defining male sexual dysfunctions more broadly than female sexual dysfunctions. Possible mechanisms for the findings are provided.
    The Journal of Sex Research 04/2012; DOI:10.1080/00224499.2012.661488 · 2.53 Impact Factor
  • Heather Morton, Carolin Klein, Boris B. Gorzalka
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    ABSTRACT: RésuméTechniquement, la prostitution n'est pas illégale au Canada. Toutefois, les lois actuelles rendent illégal le fait d'acheter ou de vendre du sexe dans la plupart des circonstances. La légalité de la prostitution a récemment été portée à l'attention du public après que trois de ces lois aient été jugées inconstitutionnelles par un juge de la Cour supérieure de l'Ontario. La présente étude a sélectionné 238 étudiants canadiens de premier cycle pour une enquête sur leurs connaissances des lois canadiennes sur la prostitution et leur attitude en la matière. En outre, la relation entre cette attitude, et les croyances en ce qui a trait à la prostitution de façon plus générale, a fait l'objet d'un examen. Les résultats indiquent que, bien que la majorité des étudiants comprennent bien la plupart des lois qui ont trait à la prostitution, ils ne sont pas au courant des situations où la prostitution pouvait avoir lieu sans violer la loi. De plus, les étudiants ne savent pas en général que la sollicitation à des fins de prostitution dans un endroit public et le fait de se trouver dans une maison de débauche sont des actes illégaux. Nous avons trouvé que le nombre d'années depuis l'arrivée des participants au Canada permettait de mieux prévoir le degré précis de connaissance des lois. Le genre, l'ethnicité, et les croyances en rapport avec divers aspects de la prostitution permettaient de beaucoup mieux prévoir les attitudes envers la loi. Les participants voyaient la prostitution des femmes et la prostitution de rue plus négativement que la prostitution des hommes et la prostitution en établissements. Les implications en ce qui a trait à l'éducation et aux modifications à la législation actuelle et aux politiques publiques font l'objet de discussion.
    Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice 04/2012; 54(2):229-244. DOI:10.3138/cjccj.2010.E.46
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    ABSTRACT: Several lines of evidence point to the potential role of the endocannabinoid system in female sexual functioning. These include results from studies describing the subjective effects of exogenous cannabinoids on sexual functioning in humans and the observable effects of exogenous cannabinoids on sexual functioning in other species, as well as results from studies investigating the location of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and periphery, and the effects of cannabinoid receptor activation on neurotransmitters implicated in sexual functioning. While these lines of research suggest a role for the endocannabinoid system in female sexual functioning, no studies investigating the relationship between concentrations of endogenous cannabinoids (i.e., arachidonoylethanolamide [AEA] and 2-arachidonoylglycerol [2-AG]) and sexual functioning have been conducted in any species. To measure circulating endocannabinoid concentrations in relation to subjective and physiological indices of sexual arousal in women (N = 21). Serum endocannabinoid (AEA and 2-AG) concentrations were measured immediately prior to, and immediately following, viewing of neutral (control) and erotic (experimental) film stimuli in a repeated measures design. Physiological sexual arousal was measured via vaginal photoplethysmography. Subjective sexual arousal was measured both continuously and noncontinuously. Pearson's correlations were used to investigate the relationships between endocannabinoid concentrations and sexual arousal. Changes in AEA and 2-AG concentrations from pre- to post-film and in relation to physiological and subjective indices of sexual arousal. Results revealed a significant relationship between endocannabinoid concentrations and female sexual arousal, whereby increases in both physiological and subjective indices of sexual arousal were significantly associated with decreases in AEA, and increases in subjective indices of sexual arousal were significantly associated with decreases in 2-AG. These findings support the hypothesis that the endocannabinoid system is involved in female sexual functioning, with implications for furthering understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying female sexual functioning.
    Journal of Sexual Medicine 03/2012; 9(6):1588-601. DOI:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02708.x · 3.15 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

5k Citations
648.98 Total Impact Points


  • 1979–2015
    • University of British Columbia - Vancouver
      • • Department of Psychology
      • • Brain Research Centre
      Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2014
    • Champalimaud Neuroscience Program
      Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2009
    • The Rockefeller University
      • Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology
      New York City, NY, United States
  • 2005
    • University of Texas at Austin
      • Department of Psychology
      Austin, Texas, United States
    • University of Nevada, Las Vegas
      • Department of Criminal Justice
      Las Vegas, NV, United States
  • 1996–2004
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
      Seattle, Washington, United States
  • 1986–1988
    • Government of British Columbia, Canada
      Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    • Kalamazoo College
      • Psychology Department
      Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States
  • 1981
    • McMaster University
      • Department of Biology
      Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • 1971–1977
    • University of California, Irvine
      Irvine, California, United States