Date of Award

2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.Sc.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Cramer, Ken (Psychology)

Keywords

Psychology.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

The effects of sexual arousal on men and women are emerging as an important contextual feature that can impact safer-sex decision-making. The current study investigated the effects of sexual arousal on risk-taking in general (using a modified version of Blackjack) and on decision-making related to sexual situations among both male and female participants (using hypothetical scenarios). It was found that men and women experiencing higher levels of sexual arousal displayed a greater willingness to engage in risky behaviour in the modified game of Blackjack. Sexual arousal also had an effect on sexual decision-making in the hypothetical scenarios among female participants. These findings suggest that in situations where there are strong sexually visceral cues, both men and women may have lower inhibitions and may experience impaired decision-making. This phenomenon may have serious consequences during sexual encounters, resulting in a failure to use appropriate prophylactics with casual or new sexual partners.

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