Singlet molecular oxygen, O2(a1Deltag), can be produced upon resonant two-photon excitation of a photosensitizer. In the present study, two molecules that have received recent attention in studies of nonlinear organic materials were characterized for use as standard two-photon sensitizers: 2,5-dicyano-1,4-bis(2-(4-diphenylaminophenyl)vinyl)-benzene, CNPhVB, and 2,5-dibromo-1,4-bis(2-(4-diphenylaminophenyl)vinyl)-benzene, BrPhVB. Absolute two-photon absorption cross sections, delta, were independently determined for these molecules using two techniques that have heretofore not been applied to this problem: an optical technique (time-resolved detection of O2(a1Deltag) phosphorescence) and a nonoptical technique (a time-resolved laser-induced optoacoustic experiment). For experiments performed in toluene, a solvent commonly used for such nonlinear optical studies, appreciable absorption by the solvent itself complicates the measurements. In cyclohexane, however, delta values could be obtained without the interfering effects of solvent absorption. On the basis of these results, we discuss key aspects of the respective techniques used to quantify values of delta. The information reported herein provides some explanation for the lack of consensus that is routinely observed in published values of delta, certainly for experiments performed in aromatic solvents such as toluene and benzene.