The effects of anxiety and attentional focus on sexual responding-I. Physiological patterns in erectile dysfunction


The present investigation explored the interactive effects of an anxiety-producing demand for performance and two forms of attentional focus on men with secondary erectile dysfunction. Penile tumescence and subjective arousal were monitored continuously. The results indicate that threat of electrical shock significantly diminished tumescence for sexually functional Ss, relative to no threat under these instructional sets. Dysfunctional Ss showed a trend towards elevated responding during shock threat under spectator focus instructions, but no other significant effects were observed. Correlations between tumescence values and ratings of subjective arousal indicated a trend towards lower concordance during shock threat under spectator focus instructions. The results are discussed in the context of previous research and clinical formulations concerning maintaining factors in erectile dysfunction. © 1986.

Publication Title

Behaviour Research and Therapy