Women's Well-Being & Sexuality Study: Factors Affecting Sexual Arousal in Women
This project uses a women-centered approach to explore sexual arousal
and the concepts of sexual excitation/inhibition in women. Data from nine
focus groups held with women from diverse backgrounds were used to develop
a questionnaire to assess a woman's tendency to
respond with sexual inhibition and sexual excitation in a variety of situations.
Womens Survey - 700 women of varying ages and backgrounds have completed
the questionnaire, developed from what we learned from the focus groups,
and a number of other standardized questionnaires. Data analysis is looking
at the relationship between scores on this questionnaire and measures
of sexual risk-taking and sexual problems.
Findings from our qualitative focus group data suggest that the nature
of "cues" to sexual arousal and the factors affecting sexual
excitation and sexual inhibition may be different for women and men. Factors
such as concern about reputation, unwanted pregnancy, and hormonal changes
may be particularly salient for women. Our data also suggest that there
may be a different time relationship between inhibition and sexual activity
in men and women, with inhibition occurring earlier in women. We are also
finding differences between women of different age groups in factors affecting
Sanders, S.A., Graham, C.A., Milhausen, R.R. (2007). Predicting Sexual Problems in Women: The Relevance of Sexual Excitation and Inhibition. Archives of Sexual Behavior, DOI 10.1007/s10508-007-9235-7. pdf
Graham, C. A., Sanders, S., Millhausen, R. R., McBride, K. R. (2004). Turning On and Turning Off: A Focus Group Study of the Factors That Affect Women's Sexual Arousal. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 33 (6), 527-538. pdf
Stephanie Sanders, Ph.D., Cynthia
Graham, Ph.D, and Erick Janssen,
Co-investigators: Robin Milhausen and Kim McBride.
FUNDED BY :
The Lilly Center for Women's Health.
Read Kinsey Today (2004) newsletter article here
For a description of the broader research agenda and theory, see Sexual
Inhibition and Excitation.
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