Science

Men's bodies, minds often agree on what's sexy

A Canadian-led study has found that men's minds and bodies are more in sync than women's when it comes to sexual arousal.

A Canadian-led study has found that men's minds and bodies are more in sync than women's when it comes to sexual arousal.

The analysis of previous research on human sexuality found that men's feelings of arousal tend to match their physiological responses, while women's mind and body responses were more often inconsistent.

Psychology professor Meredith Chivers of Queen's University led the study, which included researchers from the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group, the University of Lethbridge, the University of Amsterdam and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.

"We wanted to discover how closely people's subjective experience of sexual arousal mirrors their physiological genital response — and whether this differs between men and women," Chivers said in a statement.

The researchers analyzed the results from 134 previous studies, conducted between 1967 and 2007, collectively involving more than 2,500 women and 1,900 men.

Participants in the studies were asked how aroused they felt while watching or listening to sexually explicit content, and sometimes after the exposure to the sexual stimulus.

The researchers then compared these descriptions of the participants' feelings with their physiological responses: changes in erection for men and in genital blood flow in women.

The men's subjective ratings of their state of arousal more closely matched their bodies' responses than the women's. The analysis of the women's responses suggested a split between their bodies and minds.

"Our results have implications for the assessment of sexual arousal, the nature of gender differences in sexual arousal, and models of sexual response," the researchers wrote in their study, published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.

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