INTRODUCTION: Although conceptual models of sexual functioning have suggested a major role for implicit cognitive processing in sexual functioning, this has thus far, only been investigated in women.
AIM: The aim of this study was to investigate the role of implicit cognition in sexual functioning in men.
METHODS: Men with (N = 29) and without sexual dysfunction (N = 31) were compared.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Participants performed two single-target implicit association tests (ST-IAT), measuring the implicit association of visual erotic stimuli with attributes representing, respectively, valence ('liking') and motivation ('wanting'). Participants also rated the erotic pictures that were shown in the ST-IAT on the dimensions of valence, attractiveness, and sexual excitement to assess their explicit associations with these erotic stimuli. Participants completed the International Index of Erectile Functioning for a continuous measure of sexual functioning.
RESULTS: Unexpectedly, compared with sexually functional men, sexually dysfunctional men were found to show stronger implicit associations of erotic stimuli with positive valence than with negative valence. Level of sexual functioning, however, was not predicted by explicit nor implicit associations. Level of sexual distress was predicted by explicit valence ratings, with positive ratings predicting higher levels of sexual distress.
CONCLUSIONS: Men with and without sexual dysfunction differed significantly with regard to implicit liking. Research recommendations and implications are discussed.
- Penile Erection/physiology
- Psychological Tests
- Reproducibility of Results
- Sexual Behavior/physiology
- Young Adult