The Impact of Sexual Arousal on Women’s Risk Taking and Sexual Health Intentions

Thank you, good morning. So, condoms are recognized
as an important way to curb the spread of sexually transmitted infections and yet, their use is still inconsistent and STI’s are still a significant and increasing health concern among women where untreated infections
can lead to further health complications like infertility. So to, um, have a look at why this might be happening I wanted to focus on sexual arousal. Sexual arousal has been linked in the literature with inconsistent condom use But research into the effects of sexual arousal on cognition particularly among women has been very
limited so to get a better understanding of the scope of the effects of sexual arousal I designed two experiments, in experiment one I was interested in looking at how sexual arousal impacted women’s
intentions to engage in risky sexual behavior so I had women view either sexually
arousing or non sexual video clips and then I had them respond to a variety of
risk-taking scenarios In experiment two I was interested in looking at how sexual arousal impacted women’s risk taking in general; so in this study
I had women view either the sexual or non sexual video clips and I had them play a few rounds of a
rigged game of blackjack against the computer and this, um, so sometimes it was obvious whether they should hit or stay and sometimes it was purposely made ambiguous and these ambiguous hands were taken as our implicit measure of risk taking. So accorss both studies I found that
sexual arousal influenced women’s responses. In
experiment two, women who are experiencing higher levels of sexual arousal showed
greater intentions for risky sexual behavior And in experiement, oh experiment one…and in experiment two I had, I found that participants who were more sexually aroused showed more impulsivity and more risk-taking in the
game of blackjack so these findings suggest that sexual
arousal is definitely an important factor to consider when
looking at women’s risky sexual behavior and it also suggests that sexual arousal might generate
a form of myopia similar to alcohol that where people who are sexually as
may have difficulty recognizing and responding correctly to the risks
associated with unprotected sex with a partner

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