Effects of distraction on sexual responding in functional and dysfunctional men


The effects of a nonsexual cognitive distractor and level of film explicitness (high vs. low arousal film) on sexual responding, both objectively and subjectively measured, were examined with sexually functional (N=10) and sexually dysfunctional (N=10) men. Both groups achieved adequate and equivalent levels of penile responding under the no-distraction condition and the sexually functional subjects evidenced significantly less (clinically and statistically) responding during distraction. But, dysfunctional subjects were not affected by distraction and attained a level of penile tumescence equivalent to the no-distraction condition. A corresponding difference was not found on the continuous subjective measure of arousal, although functional subjects rated the high arousal films as more arousing than did the sexually dysfunctional subjects. The results are discussed in terms of qualitative differences between these groups regarding the cognitive processing of sexual and nonsexual stimuli. © 1985 Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy.

Publication Title

Behavior Therapy