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Measurement of Sexual Interests with Pupillary Responses: A Meta‑Analysis

Attard-Johnson, Janice, Vasilev, Martin R., Ó Ciardha, Caoilte, Bindemann, Markus, Babchishin, Kelly M. (2021) Measurement of Sexual Interests with Pupillary Responses: A Meta‑Analysis. Archives of Sexual Behavior, . ISSN 0004-0002. E-ISSN 1573-2800. (doi:10.1007/s10508-021-02137-y) (KAR id:90326)

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https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-021-02137-y

Abstract

Objective measures of sexual interest are important for research on human sexuality. There has been a resurgence in research examining pupil dilation as a potential index of sexual orientation. We carried out a meta-analytic review of studies published between 1965 and 2020 (Mdn year=2016) measuring pupil responses to visual stimuli of adult men and women to assess sexual interest. Separate meta-analyses were performed for six sexual orientation categories. In the fnal analysis, 15 studies were included for heterosexual men (N=550), 5 studies for gay men (N=65), 4 studies for bisexual men (N=124), 13 studies for heterosexual women (N=403), and 3 studies for lesbian women (N=132). Only heterosexual and gay men demonstrated discrimination in pupillary responses that was clearly in line with their sexual orientation, with greater pupil dilation to female and male stimuli, respectively. Bisexual men showed greater pupil dilation to male stimuli. Although heterosexual women exhibited larger pupils to male stimuli compared to female stimuli, the magnitude of the efect was small and non-signifcant. Finally, lesbian women displayed greater pupil dilation to male stimuli. Three methodological moderators were identifed—the sexual explicitness of stimulus materials, the measurement technique of pupillary response, and inclusion of self-report measures of sexual interest. These meta-analyses are based on a limited number of studies and are therefore preliminary. However, the results suggest that pupillary measurement of sexual interest is promising for men and that standardization is essential to gain a better understanding of the validity of this measurement technique for sexual interest.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s10508-021-02137-y
Uncontrolled keywords: Sexual interest; Sexual arousal; Sexual orientation; Meta-analysis; Pupil dilation
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Caoilte O Ciardha
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2021 08:34 UTC
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2021 23:10 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/90326 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Ó Ciardha, Caoilte: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5383-8403
Bindemann, Markus: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9608-4186
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