Interesting experiment (initial research)

Interesting read – a study looking at the different stimuli for sexual response in men and women

Arousal and desire are interwoven and expressed in different ways in men and women. Understanding human sexual responses and their basic mechanisms and abnormalities is essential for diagnosing and managing female sexual dysfunction.

Gender Difference in Brain Activation to Audio-Visual Sexual Stimulation

Do Women and Men Experience the Same Level of Arousal in Response to the Same Video Clip?

Factors related to sexual arousal are different in men and women. The conditions for women to become aroused are more complex. However, the conventional audio-visual stimulation (AVS) materials used to evaluate sexual arousal are universal. In the present study, we investigated sexual differences in the response to different types of AVS by studying activated areas of the brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). fMRI was performed during two types of AVS in 20 healthy heterosexual volunteers (aged 20–28 years, 10 men and 10 women). The two AVS types were: (1) mood type, erotic video clips with a concrete story and (2) physical type, directly exposing sexual intercourse and genitalia. fMRI images were analyzed and compared for each stimulation with a Mann–Whitney U test, with statistical significance set at P<0.05. Men preferred the physical type of AVS to the mood type (mean arousal score 2.14 vs 1.86 in females) and women preferred the mood type (mean arousal score 2.14 vs 1.86 in males) (P<0.05). Degrees of activation in brain areas differed between genders and types of AVS for each gender. This should be considered when applying the AVS method to evaluate and diagnose female sexual dysfunction.

Arousal and desire are interwoven and expressed in different ways in men and women. Understanding human sexual responses and their basic mechanisms and abnormalities is essential for diagnosing and managing female sexual dysfunction.

The human sexual response cycle, sexual desire, activities, satisfaction, and physical and mental responses in men and women are different. Men usually feel sexual satisfaction during sexual activity and are more prone to physical attraction, whereas women are more affected by the environment and emotions related to the sexual partner or sexual fantasy in terms of sexual satisfaction.

Men generally respond to visual sexual stimuli, such as attractive nude or erotic pictures, or erotic films. Women respond differently to the same sexual stimuli. Some women feel repulsed by muscular, erotic male photos, and some are sexually attracted by emotional or lingual stimulation. In other words, men are more sexually aroused by visual stimuli, but women are more sexually aroused by concrete, auditory, olfactory, touch and emotionally relevant sexual stimulation.

These may be referred to as ‘the gender differences of sexual response and sexual function.’ There appears to be a clear gender difference in sexual response and function. For optimal outcome, we should therefore consider the different preferences of the two genders when studying sexual function and dysfunction.

Results

The mean ages of male and female patients were 24.7 (20–28) and 23.6 (20––26) years, respectively. All 20 volunteers reported sexual arousal from visual stimulation, but the degree of arousal differed by the type of stimulation and gender. Mean arousal score to mood type (type 1) AVS was 1.86 in men and 2.14 in women (P<0.05), but the mean score to physical type (type 2) AVS was 2.14 in men and 1.86 in women (P<0.05). Men showed a preference and higher self-reported arousal for physical type (type 2) visual stimulation. However, women preferred erotic stimulation with a story line and erotic mood (type 1) (Figure 1).

808430-fig1Degree of activation in men and women in response to type 1 (mood preferable) and type 2 (direct physical contact preferable) sexual visual stimuli. The two genders show different preferences for two different types of stimulations (P<0.05 by Mann–Whitney U test). A higher score indicates greater sexual arousal.

 

 

 

 

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