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Measurement of Sexual Interests with Pupillary Responses: A Meta-analysis.

Attard-Johnson, J., Vasilev, M. R., Ó Ciardha, C., Bindemann, M. and Babchishin, K., 2021. Measurement of Sexual Interests with Pupillary Responses: A Meta-analysis. Archives of Sexual Behavior: an interdisciplinary research journal, 50, 3385-3411.

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Attard-Johnson2021_Article_MeasurementOfSexualInterestsWi (1).pdf - Published Version
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DOI: 10.1007/s10508-021-02137-y


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 final 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 effect was small and non-significant. Finally, lesbian women displayed greater pupil dilation to male stimuli. Three methodological moderators were identified— 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
Additional Information:Supplementary Information The online version contains supplementary material available at s10508-021-02137-y
Uncontrolled Keywords:sexual interest; sexual arousal; sexual orientation; meta-analysis; pupil dilation
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:36048
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:24 Sep 2021 16:28
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:29


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