Gender differences in sexual desire: The effects of anger and anxiety


The effects of anxiety and anger on subjective sexual desire in men and women, following Kaplan's model of hypoactive desire disorders, were examined. Gender-appropriate erotic audiotapes containing statements designed to elicit anxiety, anger, or situationally appropriate feelings (control condition) were presented to 24 men and 24 women. Dependent measures included subjective anxiety and time to expressed desire to terminate the sexual encounter. Results indicated that, for women, both anger and anxiety significantly reduced desire relative to the control condition, with anger showing a more marked effect. For men, similar results were noted, although fewer differences were observed between the anxiety and anger conditions. Significantly more women (79%) than men (21%) indicated that they would have terminated the encounter during the anger condition. Results are discussed in light of potential gender differences in factors that influence sexual desire, with directions for future research highlighted. © 1995 Plenum Publishing Corporation.

Publication Title

Archives of Sexual Behavior