Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Paper Session #40
Discounting Sexual Arousal
Saturday, May 25, 2019
11:00 AM–11:20 AM
Swissôtel, Concourse Level, Zurich BC
Area: EAB
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Val Wongsomboon (University of Florida)
Sexual “Arousal” Discounting: Devaluation of Condom-Protected Sex as a Function of Reduced Arousal
Domain: Basic Research
VAL WONGSOMBOON (University of Florida), David J. Cox (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Reduced pleasure from condom use is a commonly reported reason for unsafe sex. Our studies are the first to examine how individuals discount unsafe sex as their own (Study 2) or their partner’s (Study 1 & 2) arousal decreased from condom use. College students selected potential sexual partners and indicated their likelihood of condom use with each partner. Sexual arousal decreased with condom use (from 100% to 10%) but remained at 100% without condoms. In study 1 (N=273), potential sexual partners differed in desirability (most vs. least) and chance of sexually transmitted infection (STI; more vs. less). Only partner arousal varied with condom use. In study 2, (N=266), partners were selected based on desirability (most vs. least), and participants were randomized into the (1) self-group, where their arousal varied, and the (2) partner-group, where the partner’s arousal varied with condom use. We found that arousal level for the most (but not least) desirable partner influenced condom use (Study 1 & 2). In addition, self- and partner-arousal influenced condom use similarly with the most-desirable partner; but self-arousal decreased condom use more than partner-arousal with the least-desirable partner (Study 2). The findings suggest that sexual arousal can impact condom use.



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