The effect of emotional arousal on subsequent sexual arousal in men

J Abnorm Psychol. 1980 Aug;89(4):595-8. doi: 10.1037//0021-843x.89.4.595.


The effect of emotional arousal on subsequent sexual arousal was assessed in 14 men 18 to 34 years of age. Subjects initially viewed either one of two emotionally arousing videotapes (depression-and-anger- or anxiety-and-anger-producing) or a neutral videotape (a neutral travelogue), each of which was followed by an erotic videotape. Sexual arousal was measured physiologically with a penile strain gauge. Although there were no differences in the level of sexual arousal during the antecedent emotionally arousing or neutral video-tapes, sexual arousal during the subsequent erotic videotapes was differentially affected by them. Sexual arousal following the anxiety-and-anger videotape was greater than that following either the depression-and-anger videotape or the neutral travelogue. Also, prior exposure to the neutral travelogue resulted in greater sexual arousal than did the videotape producing depression and anger.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Arousal*
  • Emotions*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sexual Behavior*