Sexual cognition guides viewing strategies to human figures

Hall, Charlotte, Hogue, Todd and Guo, Kun (2014) Sexual cognition guides viewing strategies to human figures. Journal of Sex Research, 51 (2). pp. 184-196. ISSN 0022-4499

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Gaze patterns to figure images have been proposed to reflect the observer’s sexual interest, particularly for men. This eye-tracking study investigated how individual differences in sexual motivation tendencies are manifested in naturalistic gaze patterns. Heterosexual men and women (M=21.0 years, SD=2.1) free-viewed plain-clothed male and female figures, aged 10, 20, and 40 years old, while their eye movements were recorded. Questionnaires were used to measure sexual cognitions, including sensation seeking and sexual compulsivity, sexual inhibition and excitation, and approach and avoidance responses to sexual stimuli. Our analysis showed a clear role of sexual cognitions in influencing gaze strategies for men. Specifically, men who scored higher on sexual compulsivity dedicated more gaze to the waist–hip region when viewing figures of their preferred sexual partners than men who scored lower on sexual compulsivity. Women’s sexual cognitions showed no clear effect on the gaze pattern in viewing figures of their preferred age and gender of sexual partners, suggesting women’s gaze is unlikely to be a straightforward reflection of their sexual preferences. The findings further suggest that men’s gaze allocation is driven by sexual preferences and supports the utility of eye tracking in the assessment of male sexual interest.

Keywords:Sexual cogntion, Gaze pattern, Eye movement, oaclosed, NotOAChecked
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C841 Health Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:7096
Deposited On:14 Dec 2012 09:01

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