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: 2.7). 04/2009; 46(2-3):121-42. DOI: 10.1080/00224490902747222
Source: PubMed


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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Available from: Erick Janssen, Apr 30, 2014
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    • "For instance, understanding that neural responses to sexual images are reduced in women can help dispel the myth that gender differences in sexual responding are driven solely by women's underreporting of sexual arousal and stimulation. Finally, our results suggest that sensation seeking is more highly linked to sexual responding in men due to gender differences in excitatory and approach motivations for sexual responses, as suggested by the dual control model (e.g., Bancroft et al., 2009). Perhaps, as sensation seeking increases, there is increased likelihood for men to approach sexual experiences and to potentially engage in more risky sexual behaviors. "
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    ABSTRACT: Although sexual cues produce stronger neural activation in men than in women, mechanisms underlying this differential response are unclear. We examined the relationship of sensation seeking and the brain’s response to sexual stimuli across gender in 27 subjects (14 men, M = 25.2 years, SD = 3.6, 85.2% Caucasian) who underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while viewing sexual and nonsexual images. Whole-brain corrected significant clusters of regional activation were extracted and associated with gender, sensation seeking, and sexual behaviors. Men responded more to sexual than nonsexual images in the anterior cingulate/medial prefrontal cortex (ACC/mPFC), anterior insula/lateral orbitofrontal cortex, bilateral amygdala, and occipital regions. Sensation seeking related positively to ACC/mPFC (r = 0.65, p = 0.01) and left amygdala (r = 0.66, p = 0.01) response in men alone, with both of these correlations being significantly larger in men than in women (ps < 0.03). The relationship between brain responses and self-reported high-risk and low-risk sexual behaviors showed interesting, albeit nonsignificant, gender-specific trends. These findings suggest the relationship between sexual responsivity, sensation seeking, and sexual behavior is gender specific. This study indicates a need to identify the gender-specific mechanisms that underlie sexual responsivity and behaviors. In addition, it demonstrates that the nature of stimuli used to induce positive mood in imaging and other studies should be carefully considered.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · The Journal of Sex Research
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    • "SEXUAL FUNCTION AND THE DUAL CONTROL MODEL 4 behavior or function, but high levels of SI are associated with increased vulnerability for sexual dysfunctions and high SE, especially when combined with low SI, is associated with out-ofcontrol or high-risk sexual behaviors (Bancroft, Graham, Janssen, & Sanders, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: To date no longitudinal studies have evaluated the predictive value of the two factors of the Dual Control Model—sexual excitation (SE) and sexual inhibition (SI)—for future sexual function. The aims of the present study were to investigate the associations between SE/SI and sexual function and estimate their predictive value for future sexual function in a sample of women. Overall, 2,214 women participated in a web-based survey that assessed SE, SI, and sexual function as well as symptoms of depression. The one and two-year follow-up surveys included 396 and 380 participants, respectively. Correlational analyses and hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to analyze the relationships between predictor and outcome variables. Four factors of SE (Arousability, Partner Characteristics, Sexual Power Dynamics, and Setting) and two factors of SI (Concerns about Sexual Function and Arousal Contingency), as well as symptoms of depression and partnership status were significant predictors of concurrent and future sexual function. Several subscales of SE and SI contributed to the prediction of future sexual function above and beyond prior sexual function levels. Our study provides the first supportive evidence for the assumptions of the Dual Control Model that propensities for low SE and high SI influence future sexual function.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy
    • "According to Janssen et al. (2000), studying unconscious processes is also important because aspects of the response to sexual cues take place at an automatic unconscious level. Scholars (e.g., Bancroft et al., 2009; Toates, 2009) have worked toward creating integrative models to account for the diverse findings related to the processing of sexual information. "
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    ABSTRACT: Sexual arousal is thought to be the result of the processing of sexual cues at two levels: conscious and unconscious. Whereas numerous studies have examined the affective and motivational responses to supraliminal (consciously processed) sexual cues, much less is known regarding the responses to subliminal (processed outside of one's awareness) sexual cues. Five studies examined responses to subliminal sexual cues. Studies 1-3 demonstrated increases in adult's positive affect following exposure to subliminal sexual cues compared to control cues. Study 4 demonstrated that the positive affect resulting from exposure to subliminal sexual cues increased motivation to further engage in a neutral task. Study 5 provided evidence suggesting that the affect and motivation found in Studies 1-4 were associated with motivation to engage in sex specifically, rather than a general approach motivation. The implications of these findings for the processing of subliminal sexual cues and for human sexuality are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Archives of Sexual Behavior
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