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Comparative Study
. 2012 Feb;41(1):13-29.
doi: 10.1007/s10508-010-9675-3. Epub 2010 Sep 17.

Sexual Attraction to Others: A Comparison of Two Models of Alloerotic Responding in Men

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Free PMC article
Comparative Study

Sexual Attraction to Others: A Comparison of Two Models of Alloerotic Responding in Men

Ray Blanchard et al. Arch Sex Behav. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

The penile response profiles of homosexual and heterosexual pedophiles, hebephiles, and teleiophiles to laboratory stimuli depicting male and female children and adults may be conceptualized as a series of overlapping stimulus generalization gradients. This study used such profile data to compare two models of alloerotic responding (sexual responding to other people) in men. The first model was based on the notion that men respond to a potential sexual object as a compound stimulus made up of an age component and a gender component. The second model was based on the notion that men respond to a potential sexual object as a gestalt, which they evaluate in terms of global similarity to other potential sexual objects. The analytic strategy was to compare the accuracy of these models in predicting a man's penile response to each of his less arousing (nonpreferred) stimulus categories from his response to his most arousing (preferred) stimulus category. Both models based their predictions on the degree of dissimilarity between the preferred stimulus category and a given nonpreferred stimulus category, but each model used its own measure of dissimilarity. According to the first model ("summation model"), penile response should vary inversely as the sum of stimulus differences on separate dimensions of age and gender. According to the second model ("bipolar model"), penile response should vary inversely as the distance between stimulus categories on a single, bipolar dimension of morphological similarity-a dimension on which children are located near the middle, and adult men and women are located at opposite ends. The subjects were 2,278 male patients referred to a specialty clinic for phallometric assessment of their erotic preferences. Comparisons of goodness of fit to the observed data favored the unidimensional bipolar model.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Phallometric response profiles of the six groups. Each group is shown in a separate panel. Abbreviations for stimulus categories: AW adult women, PG pubescent girls, PPG prepubescent girls, PPB prepubescent boys, PB pubescent boys, AM adult men
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Observed phallometric profiles and profiles predicted by the summation model. Abbreviations for stimulus categories: AW adult women, PG pubescent girls, PPG prepubescent girls, PPB prepubescent boys, PB pubescent boys, AM adult men
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Observed phallometric profiles and profiles predicted by the bipolar model. Abbreviations for stimulus categories: AW adult women, PG pubescent girls, PPG prepubescent girls, PPB prepubescent boys, PB pubescent boys, AM adult men
Fig. 4
Fig. 4
Observed phallometric profiles and profiles predicted by the revised bipolar model. Abbreviations for stimulus categories: AW adult women, PG pubescent girls, PPG prepubescent girls, PPB prepubescent boys, PB pubescent boys, AM adult men
Fig. 5
Fig. 5
Average of observed responses to the five nonpreferred stimulus categories. Abbreviations for groups: Het heterosexual, Hom homosexual, Teleios teleiophiles, Hebes hebephiles, Pedos pedophiles
Fig. 6
Fig. 6
Average of the observed responses to the five nonpreferred stimulus categories, average of the five responses predicted by the summation model, and the average of the five responses predicted by the revised bipolar model. Abbreviations for groups: Het heterosexual, Hom homosexual, Teleios teleiophiles, Hebes hebephiles, Pedos pedophiles
Fig. 7
Fig. 7
Phallometric profiles predicted by the revised bipolar model for heterosexual and homosexual pedophiles, hebephiles, and teleiophiles. All profiles were calculated assuming a penile response of 10 cc to the preferred stimulus category. Abbreviations for groups: Het heterosexual, Hom homosexual, Teleios teleiophiles, Hebes hebephiles, Pedos pedophiles. Abbreviations for stimulus categories: Pubes pubescent, Prepub prepubescent

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References

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