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Title: Visual Attention to Erotic Images in Women Reporting Pain with Intercourse
Contributor(s): Lykins, Amy  (author)orcid ; Meana, Marta (author); Minimi, Jillian (author)
Publication Date: 2009
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Abstract: The coupling of sex and pain that characterizes dyspareunia creates an interesting theoretical conundrum of clinical significance: Are women with dyspareunia distracted from sexual stimuli (as the sexual dysfunction literature would suggest), or are they hypervigilant to sexual stimuli because they elicit thoughts and expectations of pain (as the literature would suggest)? The current study measured attention to sexual stimuli in 20 women reporting persistent pain with intercourse, 14 women reporting hypoactive sexual desire, and 20 no-dysfunction control women. Participants viewed a series of erotic images, each containing a semantically-inconsistent object, while an eye-tracker measured and recorded their eye movements. Women with pain looked less and fewer times at the sexual scene regions of the images than did both women with low sexual desire (p = .024, and p = .018, respectively) and the no-dysfunction control group (p < .001, and p = .003, respectively). Women with dyspareunia also looked at the context scene region significantly more times and for longer periods than did the no-dysfunction control women (p = .013, and p = .042, respectively). Results are interpreted to be potentially supportive of the cognitive distraction hypothesis associated with sexual dysfunction, with an additional component of cognitive avoidance of sexual stimuli for the women reporting sexual pain.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Name: 35th Annual Meeting of the International Academy of Sex Research (IASR), San Juan, Puerto Rico, 19th - 22nd August, 2009
Conference Details: 35th Annual Meeting of the International Academy of Sex Research (IASR), San Juan, Puerto Rico, 19th - 22nd August, 2009
Source of Publication: 35th Annual Meeting of the International Academy of Sex Research Book of Abstracts
Publisher: International Academy of Sex Research (IASR)
Place of Publication: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Field of Research (FOR): 170201 Computer Perception, Memory and Attention
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 920410 Mental Health
HERDC Category Description: E3 Extract of Scholarly Conference Publication
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School of Psychology

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