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Title: Arousal, Working Memory Capacity, and Sexual Decision-Making in Men
Contributor(s): Spokes, Tara (author); Hine, Don W (author); Marks, Anthony (author); Quain, Peter (author); Lykins, Amy (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2014
DOI: 10.1007/s10508-014-0277-3
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Abstract: This study investigated whether working memory capacity (WMC) moderated the relationship between physiological arousal and sexual decision making. A total of 59 men viewed 20 consensual and 20 non-consensual images of heterosexual interaction while their physiological arousal levels were recorded using skin conductance response. Participants also completed an assessment of WMC and a date-rape analogue task for which they had to identify the point at which an average Australian male would cease all sexual advances in response to verbal and/or physical resistance from a female partner. Participants who were more physiologically aroused by and spent more time viewing the non-consensual sexual imagery nominated significantly later stopping points on the date-rape analogue task. Consistent with our predictions, the relationship between physiological arousal and nominated stopping point was strongest for participants with lower levels of WMC. For participants with high WMC, physiological arousal was unrelated to nominated stopping point. Thus, executive functioning ability (and WMC in particular) appears to play an important role in moderating men's decision making with regard to sexually aggressive behavior.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Archives of Sexual Behavior, 43(6), p. 1137-1148
Publisher: Springer New York LLC
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 0004-0002
Field of Research (FOR): 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
170113 Social and Community Psychology
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Psychology and Behavioural Science

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