Boris B. Gorzalka

Boris B. Gorzalka
University of British Columbia - Vancouver | UBC ·  Department of Psychology

PhD

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217
Publications
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (217)
Article
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Chinese women in Western nations frequently report less engagement with sexuality, such as lower sexual response and behaviors, and more restrictive sexual attitudes, than their Euro-Caucasian peers. This difference is likely related to sexual conservatism within traditional Chinese culture, though the mechanisms underlying how culture influences s...
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Previous research has demonstrated the association between sexual functioning and attachment orientation in women. However, the mechanisms of this relation are not yet well understood, and this effect has not been substantially investigated in men. The current study examines the role of sexual anxiety and dysfunctional beliefs about sexuality as me...
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The often narrow representations of sexual performance and physical attractiveness in pornography may be linked to sexual concerns and sexual expectations among young men and women (e.g., body- and performance-related sexual distractions, negative genital self-image, expectations of one's partner). Investigation of the relations between these const...
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Purpose of Review This paper reviews the recent literature on human asexuality, which is generally defined as an absence of sexual attraction. Recent Findings Recent work has focused on exploring whether asexuality is best conceptualized as a mental health difficulty, a sexual dysfunction, a paraphilia, a sexual orientation, or as an identity/comm...
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Human asexuality is generally defined as a lack of sexual attraction. We used online questionnaires to investigate reasons for masturbation, and explored and compared the contents of sexual fantasies of asexual individuals (identified using the Asexual Identification Scale) with those of sexual individuals. A total of 351 asexual participants (292...
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Extant research connecting borderline personality disorder (BPD) to sexuality is sparse. The current study aimed to expand the limited body of research on borderline personality traits and human sexuality, and to shed light on the personality features that contribute specifically to sexual sensation seeking, sexual compulsivity, and sexual risk-tak...
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There has long been a proposed clinical link between sexuality and eating disorders; however, little empirical evidence exists regarding this relationship. The limited body of research on sexuality in eating disorders supports the occurrence of considerable sexual concerns. The aim of the present study was to expand on the dearth of empirical liter...
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Attachment theories have recently been applied to adult romantic relationships, and more specifically, sexuality within these relationships. However, few studies have examined the influence of attachment-related avoidance and anxiety on sexual communication, gender role ideology, sexual satisfaction or the relations between these constructs. Men (n...
Article
Adolescence is a period characterized by many distinct physical, behavioral, and neural changes during the transition from child- to adulthood. In particular, adolescent neural changes often confer greater plasticity and flexibility, yet with this comes the potential for heightened vulnerability to external perturbations such as stress exposure or...
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Previous research has identified the detrimental effects of sexual insecurities on various sexual outcomes. However, few studies have investigated factors that may protect against the development and maintenance of these insecurities. Mindfulness has shown promise in promoting sexual well-being in several recent investigations, and may play a role...
Article
The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is known to regulate neural, endocrine and behavioral responses to stress in adults; however there is little knowledge regarding how this system governs the development and maturation of these responses. Previous work has reported dynamic and time-specific changes in CB1 receptor expression, N-arachidonylethanolamin...
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Prior research has documented various ways in which adult attachment styles are characteristic of differential behavioral and cognitive patterns within romantic relationships and sexuality. However, few studies have examined the direct influence of anxious or avoidant attachment orientation on sexual function. The aim of the present study was to as...
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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...
Article
Introduction: Human 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...
Article
Full-text available
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 measur...
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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...
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Human asexuality is defined as a lack of sexual attraction, and research suggests that it may be best conceptualized as a sexual orientation. Sexual fantasies are thought to be universally experienced and are often understood to represent true sexual desire more accurately than sexual behaviour. We investigated the relationship between asexuality,...
Article
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 inhi...
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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...
Article
Female rats locomoted more, were less thigmotactic, and defecated less than males during open-field tests. These sex differences were observed several days before the occurrence of puberty in the females. Thus, sex differences in open-field locomotion follow a different developmental pattern than do sex differences in activity wheel locomotion, whi...
Article
Depression is a common and potentially debilitating psychiatric disorder, and is twice as prevalent in women as in men. The traditional monoamine hypothesis of depression provides one perspective into the biological basis of depression, but it is unable to explain all facets of this disease. The reason for the sex difference is currently unclear. T...
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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,...
Article
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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 in...
Article
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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 psychiatr...
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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. T...
Article
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. How...
Article
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 unpredictabl...
Article
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 bec...
Article
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...
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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 o...
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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 u...
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Introduction: 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, a...
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Research has examined the relationship between religiosity and sexuality but few studies have explored the mechanisms by which sexual variables are influenced by religiosity. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the role of sex guilt in the relationship between religiosity and sexual desire in women. Euro-Canadian (n = 178) and East...
Article
Growing evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system is vital to ensuring normative maturation of the brain into adulthood. Endocannabinoid signaling contributes to guiding pro-neurogenic processes in early life and the development of neurotransmitter systems. Moreover, there is extensive evidence that recruitment of the endocannabinoid system...
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Depression is known to be a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Since recent preclinical evidence suggests that endogenous agonists of cannabinoid receptors (endocannabinoids) are involved in both cardiovascular function and depression, we asked whether endocannabinoids correlated with either in hum...
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The endocannabinoid system has recently emerged as a vital component of the stress response and is an appealing target for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. Additionally, corticolimbic endocannabinoid signaling is important for stress-induced regulation of emotional behavior. However, the mechanism by which this occurs remains elusive. C...
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Endocannabinoids act as a major neuromodulatory system in a variety of physiological and behavioral functions. Three major lines of evidence suggest that the endocannabinoid system interacts with gonadal hormones. First, the endocannabinoid system is implicated in behaviors and physiological functions that are known to be regulated in part by gonad...
Article
This research follows from the "rape proclivity" literature to evaluate whether proclivity actually predicts sexual coercion. One hundred forty-two heterosexual males attending a Canadian university participated. Participants completed the sexual coercion proclivity questionnaire packet to determine high or low sexual coercion proclivity, and were...
Article
Full-text available
Differences in sexual desire between individuals of East Asian and European descent are well-documented, with East Asian individuals reporting lower sexual desire. The mechanisms that underlie this disparity have received little empirical attention. Recent research has found that sex guilt, “a generalized expectancy for self-mediated punishment for...
Article
Exposure to behavioural stress normally triggers a complex, multilevel response of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis that helps maintain homeostatic balance. Although the endocannabinoid (eCB) system (ECS) is sensitive to chronic stress, few studies have directly addressed its response to acute stress. Here we show that acute restraint...
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The mechanisms subserving the ability of glucocorticoid signaling within the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) to terminate stress-induced activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis are not well understood. We report that antagonism of the cannabinoid CB(1) receptor locally within the mPFC prolonged corticosterone secretion following...
Article
Many studies have documented significant differences in sexual desire between individuals of European and Chinese descent, but few have examined the mechanisms that underlie these differences. A recent study of university students found that sex guilt is one mechanism by which culture influences sexual desire among Chinese and Euro-Canadian women....
Article
In the last few years, there have been several advances in the determination of the role of the endocannabinoid system in the etiology of depression and the functional actions of antidepressant drugs. Specifically, a deficiency in endocannabinoid signaling is sufficient to produce a "depressive-like" phenotype at the preclinical level (including ch...
Article
Parental divorce generally results in reduced paternal involvement (i.e., decreased availability of a male model). The consequences are severe given the father's role in shaping children's intimate relationship beliefs and behaviors. Yet, after divorce, other sources of modeled behaviors might be available (e.g., stepfathers or grandfathers). To da...
Article
This study explored the role of sex guilt in the relationship between culture and testicular self-examination (TSE) and physician testicular examination (PTE) in Euro-Canadian and Chinese men. Euro-Canadian (n = 42) and Chinese (n = 77) male university students completed online questionnaires. Euro-Canadian men were more likely to have had TSE and...
Article
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Secretion of glucocorticoid hormones during stress produces an array of physiological changes that are adaptive and beneficial in the short term. In the face of repeated stress exposure, however, habituation of the glucocorticoid response is essential as prolonged glucocorticoid secretion can produce deleterious effects on metabolic, immune, cardio...
Article
Sex differences have been identified in many of the behavioral and physiological effects of cannabinoids. While estrogen has been linked to some of these variations, the effects of estrogen on cannabinoid receptor binding have not been characterized within regions of the brain specifically implicated in stress responsivity and emotional behavior. T...
Article
Full-text available
A large body of literature demonstrates that East Asian women report lower sexual desire than Caucasian women. Although most studies have explained these differences by referring to general culture-linked differences in sexual conservatism, none have examined the potential role of specific constructs such as sex guilt. The goals of the current stud...
Article
Papanicolaou (Pap) testing rates among Chinese women remain low compared with their Caucasian counterparts despite extensive efforts to raise awareness of the importance of regular screening. We examined three potential predictors of Pap testing behaviour in Chinese women: acculturation, cervical cancer screening belief accuracy, and intergeneratio...
Article
In the present study, sexual behavior of male rats was assessed following prolonged treatment with the CB(1) receptor agonist, HU-210 (0.1mg/mg/day for 10 days) under conditions of drug maintenance, spontaneous withdrawal and precipitated withdrawal (induced via administration of the CB(1) receptor antagonist AM251; 1mg/kg). Following subchronic ca...
Article
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The literature on dysregulated sexuality, whether theoretical, clinical or empirical, has failed to differentiate the construct from high sexual desire. In this study, we tested three hypotheses which addressed this issue. A sample of 6458 men and 7938 women, some of whom had sought treatment for sexual compulsivity, addiction or impulsivity, compl...
Article
Voluntary exercise and endogenous cannabinoid activity have independently been shown to regulate hippocampal plasticity. The aim of the current study was to determine whether the endocannabinoid system is regulated by voluntary exercise and if these changes contribute to exercise-induced enhancement of cell proliferation. In Experiment 1, 8 days of...
Article
Introduction. Sexual function following genital sexual reassignment surgery (SRS) is an important outcome for many transsexuals, affecting the choice of surgical technique, satisfaction with surgery, and quality of life. However, compared to other outcome measures, little clinical and research attention has been given to sexual functioning followin...
Article
Full-text available
The endocannabinoid system is a neuromodulatory system which is known to regulate emotional, cognitive, neurovegetative and motivational processes. Substantial evidence has accumulated implicating a deficit in endocannabinoid in the etiology of depression; accordingly, pharmacological augmentation of endocannabinoid signaling could be a novel targe...
Article
The putative role of the endocannabinoid system and the effects of cannabis use in male and female sexual functioning are summarized. The influence of cannabis intake on sexual behavior and arousability appear to be dose-dependent in both men and women, although women are far more consistent in reporting facilitatory effects. Furthermore, evidence...
Article
Administration of high doses of cannabinoid CB(1) receptor agonists activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis; however, the mechanism by which this occurs has not been well characterized. Both monoaminergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission are known to activate the HPA axis and cannabinoids have been found to modify levels of these...
Article
The central endocannabinoid system is a neuroactive lipid signalling system in the brain which acts to control neurotransmitter release. The expression patterns of this system throughout limbic regions of the brain ideally situate it to exert regulatory control over emotional behaviour, mood and stress responsivity. A growing body of evidence unequ...
Article
Endocannabinoids inhibit hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity; however, the neural substrates and pathways subserving this effect are not well characterized. The amygdala is a forebrain structure that provides excitatory drive to the HPA axis under conditions of stress. The aim of this study was to determine the contribution of endoca...
Article
Full-text available
Chinese women have significantly lower rates of Papanicolaou (Pap) testing than Euro-Canadian women despite efforts to promote testing. Evidence suggests that Chinese women's reluctance to undergo Pap testing may be related to culture-linked discomfort with sexuality. The purpose of this study was to explore the role of sexuality in the interaction...
Article
The evidence that has been gathered to date strongly argues for an inhibitory role of endocannabinoid (ECB) signaling in regulating HPA axis activity. Under basal conditions, ECB signaling appears to be a driving force in the maintenance of low HPA axis activity, as disruption of CB1 receptor activity results in basal hyperactivity of the HPA axis....
Article
Research has shown that enhancement of cannabinoid CB(1) receptor activity elicits an antidepressant-like response in the forced swim test (FST); however, the effects of chronic administration of cannabinoid agents in the FST are not well characterized. In Experiment 1, the CB(1) receptor agonist HU-210 (0.1 mg/kg) was administered for 10 days to m...
Article
Central endocannabinoid signaling is known to be responsive to stressful stimuli; however, there is no research to date characterizing the effects of stress on peripheral endocannabinoid content. The current study examined serum content of the endocannabinoid ligands N-arachidonylethanolamide (anandamide; AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), and...
Article
A recent release from the European Medicines Agency has recommended the suspension of the weight-reducing drug rimonabant (which was also in trials for the treatment of nicotine dependence) from the market due to the development of undesirable psychiatric side effects, particularly symptoms of depression.¹ This decision follows a similar one regard...
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The goals of this study were to examine the effectiveness of emotional reappraisal in regulating male sexual arousal and to investigate a set of variables theoretically linked to sexual arousal regulation success. Participants first completed a series of online sexuality questionnaires. Subsequently, they were assessed for their success in regulati...
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The goal of this study was to determine whether the endocannabinoid system is altered by chronic antidepressant treatment. The effects of 3-week administration of the monoamine oxidase inhibitor, tranylcypromine (10 mg/kg) and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, fluoxetine (5 mg/kg) on cannabinoid CB1 receptor densities and endocannabinoid...
Article
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The goal of this study was to determine whether the endocannabinoid system is altered by chronic antidepressant treatment. The effects of 3-week administration of the monoamine oxidase inhibitor, tranylcypromine (10mg/kg) and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, fluoxetine (5mg/kg) on cannabinoid CB1 receptor densities and endocannabinoid co...
Article
An organism's ability to adapt successfully to stress reflects an equilibrium that requires not only an appropriate response, but also an ability to control that response. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis contributes to these homeostatic actions. Previous research implicates involvement of the serotonergic 5-HT(2A) receptors of the hyp...
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It has been suggested that disturbances in endocannabinoid signaling contribute to the development of depressive illness; however, at present there is insufficient evidence to allow for a full understanding of this role. To further this understanding, we performed an analysis of the endocannabinoid system in an animal model of depression. Male rats...