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Forget that old stereotype that men get more easily excited when it comes to sex.
A new study has found that it's women who have higher rates of activity in their brain when they experience sexual arousal than men.
Published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the study showed 20 women and 20 men a combination of both erotic and humorous video clips.
It measured subjective arousal (in other words, your cognitive sexual engagement, such as when watching an erotic video) and genital arousal.
Their subjective arousal was measured by the answers they gave to questions about liking the clips and wanting sexual activity.
Infrared thermal imaging was used to measure genital temperature, and brain activity was measured using an MRI scan.
In other words, women who were turned on had more brain activity.
Writers of the study suggested:
Perhaps women’s rating of their sexual arousal responses might be more influenced by the visual features of erotic stimuli than their peripheral physiologic responses.There were no brain regions in men with stronger brain-genital correlations than in women.
Perhaps women’s rating of their sexual arousal responses might be more influenced by the visual features of erotic stimuli than their peripheral physiologic responses.
There were no brain regions in men with stronger brain-genital correlations than in women.
The researchers found the result surprising, as it contradicts existing bodies of work that suggest men experience higher rates of arousal than their female counterparts.
However, the researchers admit that the study does have some "common limitations" such as sampling bias and neuroimaging issues.
Of the results, King’s College London psychology lecturer Qazi Rahman told the Times:
I think it’s a case of wait and see if these findings are replicated before any further conclusions can be drawn.
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