Stimulus Control of Sexual Arousal

Its Role in Sexual Assault
  • H. E. Barbaree
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series (NSSB)

Abstract

Current thinking concerning sexual assault includes two extreme and opposing views (Malamuth, Check, & Briere, 1986). On the one hand, there is a widely held belief that men who sexually assault women and children are best characterized as sexual deviates. According to a prominent version of this view, these men are motivated by a “sexual preference” for children, as in the case of the pedophile, or for violent or aggressive interactions, as in the case of the rapist (Abel, Barlow, Blanchard, & Guild, 1977; Freund & Blanchard, 1981). On the other hand, feminist writers (Brownmiller, 1975; Burt, 1980; Clark & Lewis, 1977; Russell, 1975, 1988) argue that sexual assault is primarily aggressive in nature and represents a specific instance of a male-centered society’s more general hostility toward women and children. While both groups can point to empirical support for their views, it is becoming increasingly apparent that sexual assault is the product of many interacting variables, and no single variable can account for all aspects of the phenomenon (Barbaree & Marshall, 1988; Finklehor, 1986; Malamuth, 1986). It seems clear that sexual and aggressive processes interact in sexual assault, but it is not at all clear what form this interaction takes.

Keywords

Sexual Preference Sexual Arousal Sexual Offender Stimulus Control Sexual Aggression 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abel, G. G., Barlow, D. H., Blanchard, E. B., and Mavissakalian, M. (1975). Measurement of sexual arousal in male homosexuals: The effects of instructions and stimulus modality. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 4, 623–629.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abel, G. G., Barlow, D. H., Blanchard, E. B., and Guild, D. (1977). The components of rapist’s sexual arousal. Archives of General Psychiatry, 34, 895–903.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Abel, G. G., Blanchard, E. B., Becker, J. V., and Djenderedjian, A. (1978). Differentiating sexual aggressives with penile measures. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 5, 315–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. American Psychiatric Association. (1987). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed., revised). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  5. American Psychological Association. (1985). Standards of educational and psychological testing. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  6. Barbaree, H. E., and Marshall, W. L. (1988). Deviant sexual arousal, offense history, and demographic variables as predictors of reoffense among child molesters. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 6, 267280.Google Scholar
  7. Barbaree, H. E., and Mewhort, D. J. K. (1989). The effects of Z-score transformations of erectile responses in studies of stimulus control of sexual arousal. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  8. Barbaree, H. E., and Marshall, W. L. (in press). Treatment of the sex offender. In R. M. Wettstein (Ed.), Treatment of the mentally disordered offender. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  9. Barbaree, H. E., and Marshall, W. L. (1989). Erectile responses amongst heterosexual child molesters, father-daughter incest offenders and matched non-offenders: Five distinct age preference profiles. Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science, 21, 70–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Barbaree, H. E., Marshall, W. L., and Lanthier, R. D. (1979). Deviant sexual arousal in rapists. Behavior Research and Therapy, 17, 215–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Barbaree, H. E., Marshall, W. L., Yates, E., and Lightfoot, L. O. (1983). Alcohol intoxication and deviant sexual arousal in male social drinkers. Behavior Research and Therapy, 21, 365–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Baxter, D. J., Marshall, W. L., Barbaree, H. E., Davidson, P. R., and Malcolm, P. B. (1984). Deviant sexual behavior: Differentiating sex offenders by criminal and personal history, psychometric measures and sexual response. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 11, 477–501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Baxter, D. J., Barbaree, H. E., Marshall, W. L. (1986). Sexual responses to consenting and forced sex in a large sample of rapists and nonrapists. Behavior Research and Therapy, 24, 513–520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Briddell, D. W., Rimm, D. C., Caddy, G. R., Krawitz, G., Sholis, D., and Wunderlin, R. J. (1978). Effects of alcohol and cognitive set on sexual arousal to deviant stimuli. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 87, 418–430.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Brownmiller, S. (1975). Against our will: Men, women and rape. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  16. Burt, M. R. (1980). Cultural myths and supports for rape. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 38, 217–230.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Christie, M. M., Marshall, W. L., and Lanthier, R. D. (1979). A descriptive study of incarcerated rapists and pedophiles. Report to the Solicitor General of Canada, Ottawa.Google Scholar
  18. Clark, L., and Lewis, D. (1977). Rape: The price of coercive sexuality. Toronto: The Women’s Press.Google Scholar
  19. Davidson, P. R., and Malcolm, P. B. (1985). The reliability of the rape index: A rapist sample. Behavioral Assessment, 7, 283–292.Google Scholar
  20. Earls, C. M., and Marshall, W. L. (1983). The current state of technology in the laboratory assessment of sexual arousal patterns. In J. G. Geer and I. R. Stuart (Eds.), Sexual aggression: Current perspectives on treatment (pp. 336–362 ). New York: Von Nostrand Reinhold.Google Scholar
  21. Earls, C. M., and Prouix, J. (1987). The differentiation of Francophone rapists and nonrapists using penile circumferential measures. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 13, 419–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Earls, C. M., Quinsey, V. L., and Castonguay, L. G. (1987). A comparison of scoring methods in the measurement of penile circumference changes. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 6, 493–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Farkas, G. M. (1979). Trait and state determinants of male sexual arousal to descriptions of coercive sexuality. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Hawaii.Google Scholar
  24. Farkas, G. M., Evans, I. M., Sine, L. F., Eifert, G., Wittlieb, E., and Vogelmann-Sine, S. (1979). Reliability and validity of the mercury-in-rubber strain gauge measure of penile circumference. Behavior Therapy, 10, 555–561.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Finkelhor, D. (1986). Sexual abuse: Beyond the family systems approach. Journal of Psychotherapy and the Family, 2, 53–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Freund, K. (1963). A laboratory method of diagnosing predominance of homo-and hetero-erotic interest in the male. Behavior Research and Therapy, 1, 85–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Freund, K. (1967a). Diagnosing homo-or heterosexuality and erotic age-preference by means of a psychophysiological test. Behavior Research and Therapy, 5, 209–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Freund, K. (1967b). Erotic preference in pedophilia. Behavior Research and Therapy, 5, 339–348. Freund, K. (1981). Assessment of pedophilia. In M. Cook and K. Howells, (Eds.), Adult sexual interest in children (pp. 139–179 ). London, England: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  29. Freund, K., and Blanchard, R. (1981). Assessment of sexual dysfunction and deviation. In M. Hersen and A. S. Bellack (Eds.), Behavioral assessment: A practical handbook (2nd ed.) pp. 427–455 ). New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  30. Freund, K., McKnight, C. K., and Langevin, R. (1972). The female child as a surrogate object. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2, 119–133.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Freund, K., Scher, H., Racansky, I. G., Campbell, K., and Heasman, G. (1986). Males disposed to commit rape. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 15, 23–35.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Gebhard, P., Gagnon, J., Pomeroy, W., and Christenson, C. (1965). Sex Offenders. New York: Harper and Row. Geer, J. H., and Fuhr, R. (1976). Cognitive factors in sexual arousal: The role of distraction. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 44, 238–243.Google Scholar
  33. Knight, R. A., Rosenberg, R., and Schneider, B. A. (1985). Classification of sexual offenders: Perspectives, methods and validation. In A. W. Burgess (Ed.), Rape and Sexual Assault (pp. 222–293 ). New York: Garland Publishing.Google Scholar
  34. Knight, L. J., Barbaree, H. E., and Boland, F. J. (1986). Alcohol and the balanced-placebo design: The role of experimenter demands in expectancy. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 95, 335–340.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Langevin, R., Ben-Aron, M. H., Coulthard, R., Heasman, R., Purins, J. E., Handy, L., Hucker, S. J., Russon, A. R., Day, D., Roper, V., Bain, J., Wortzman, G., and Webster, C. D. (1985). Sexual aggression: Constructing a predictive equation; A controlled pilot study. In R. Langevin (Ed.), Erotic preference, gender identity, and aggression in men: New research studies (pp. 39–76 ). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  36. Lansky, D., and Wilson, G. T. (1981). Alcohol, expectations, and sexual arousal in males: An information processing analysis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 90, 35–45.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Laws, D. R., and Holmen, M. L. (1978). Sexual response faking by pedophiles. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 5, 343–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Laws, D. R., and Osborne, C. A. (1983). How to build and operate a behavioral laboratory to evaluate and treat sexual deviance. In J. G. Geer and I. R. Stuart (Eds.), Sexual aggression: Current perspectives on treatment (pp. 293–335 ). New York: Von Nostrand Reinhold.Google Scholar
  39. Laws, D. R., and Rubin, H. B. (1969). Instructional control of an autonomic response. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 2, 93–99.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Malamuth, N. M. (1981a). Rape proclivity among males. Journal of Social Issues, 37, 138–156. Malamuth, N. M. (1981b). Rape fantasies as a function of exposure to violent sexual stimuli. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 10, 33–47.Google Scholar
  41. Malamuth, N. M. (1983). Factors associated with rape as predictors of laboratory aggression against women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45, 432–442.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Malamuth, N. M. (1986). Predictors of naturalistic sexual aggression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 953–962.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Malamuth, N. M., and Check, J. V. P. (1980). Penile tumescence and perceptual responses to rape as a function of victim’s perceived reactions. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 10, 528–547.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Malamuth, N. M., and Check, J. V. P. (1981). The effects of media exposure on acceptance of violence against women: A field experiment. Journal of Research in Personality, 15, 436–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Malamuth, N. M., and Check, J. V. P. (1983). Sexual arousal to rape depictions: Individual differences. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 92, 55–67.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Malamuth, N. M., and Check, J. V. P. (1985). The effects of aggressive pornography on beliefs in rape myths: Individual differences. Journal of Research in Personality, 19, 299–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Malamuth, N. M., Haber, S., and Feshbach, S. (1980). Testing hypotheses regarding rape: Exposure to sexual violence, sex differences, and the “normality” of rapists. Journal of Research in Personality, 14, 121–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Malamuth, N. M., Heim, M., and Feshbach, S. (1980). Sexual responsiveness of college students to rape depictions: Inhibitory and disinhibitory effects. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 38, 399–408.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Malamuth, N. M., Check, J. V. P., and Briere, J. (1986). Sexual arousal in response to aggression: Ideological, aggressive, and sexual correlates. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 330340.Google Scholar
  50. Malcolm, P. B., Davidson, P. R., and Marshall, W. L. (1985). Control of penile tumescence: The effects of arousal level and stimulus content. Behavior Research and Therapy, 23, 273–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Marshall, W. L., and Barbaree, H. E. (1984). A behavioral view of rape. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 7, 51–77.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Marshall, W. L., Barbaree, H. E., and Christophe, D. (1986). Sexual preferences for age of victims and type of behaviour. Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science, 18, 424–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Marshall, W. L., Barbaree, H. E., and Butt, J. (1988). Sexual offenders against male children: Sexual preferences for gender, age of victim and type of behavior. Behavior Research and Therapy, 26, 383–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Murphy, W. D., and Barbaree, H. E. (1988). Assessments of sexual offenders by measures of erectile response: An examination of their psychometric properties. Washington, DC: National Institute of Mental Health, Antisocial and Violent Behavior Program Branch.Google Scholar
  55. Murphy, W. D., Krisak, J., Stalgaitis, S., and Anderson, K. (1984). The use of penile tumescence measures with incarcerated rapists: Further validity issues. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 13, 545554.Google Scholar
  56. Murphy, W. D., Haynes, M. R., Stalgaitis, S. J., and Flanagan, B. (1986). Differential sexual responding among four groups of sexual offenders against children. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 8, 339–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Pavlov, I. P. (1927). Conditioned reflexes: An investigation of the physiological activity of the cerebral cortex. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  58. Quinsey, V. L., and Bergersen, S. G. (1976). Instructional control of penile circumference in assessments of sexual preference. Behavior Therapy, 7, 489–493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Quinsey, V. L., and Chaplin, T. C. (1982). Penile responses to nonsexual violence among rapists. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 9, 372–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Quinsey, V. L., and Chaplin, T. C. (1984). Stimulus control of rapists’ and non-sex offenders’ sexual arousal. Behavioral Assessment, 6, 169–176.Google Scholar
  61. Quinsey, V. L., and Chaplin, T. C. (1988). Preventing faking in phallometric assessments of sexual preference. In R. Prentky and V. L. Quinsey (Eds.), Human sexual aggression: Current perspectives (pp. 49–58). Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.Google Scholar
  62. Quinsey, V. L., and Harris, G. (1976). A comparison of two methods of scoring the penile circumference response: Magnitude and area. Behavior Therapy, 7, 702–704.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Quinsey, V. L., and Marshall, W. L. (1983). Procedures for reducing inappropriate sexual arousal: An evaluative review. In J. G. Greer and I. R. Stuart (Eds.), The sexual aggressor: Current perspectives on treatment (pp. 267–289 ). New York: Von Nostrand Reinhold.Google Scholar
  64. Quinsey, V. L., Steinman, C. M., Bergersen, S. G., and Holmes, T. F. (1975). Penile circumference, skin conductance, and ranking responses of child molesters and “normals” to sexual and nonsexual visual stimuli. Behavior Therapy, 6, 213–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Quinsey, V. L., Chaplin, T. C., and Carrigan, W. F. (1979). Sexual preferences among incestuous and nonincestuous child molesters. Behavior Therapy, 10, 562–565.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Quinsey, V. L., Chaplin, T. C., and Varney, G. (1981). A comparison of rapists’ and non-sex offenders’ sexual preferences for mutually consenting sex, rape, and physical abuse of women. Behavioral Assessment, 3, 127–135.Google Scholar
  67. Quinsey, V. L., Chaplin, T. C., and Upfold, D. (1984). Sexual arousal to nonsexual violence and sadomasochistic themes among rapists and non-sex offenders. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 52, 651–657.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Russell, D. E. H. (1975). The politics of rape: The victims perspective. New York: Stein and Day.Google Scholar
  69. Russell, D. E. H. (1982). The prevalence and incidence of forcible rape and attempted rape of females. Victimology: An International Journal, 7, (1–4), 81–93.Google Scholar
  70. Russell, D. E. H. (1983). Incidence and prevalence of intrafamilial and extrafamilial sexual abuse of female children. Child Abuse and Neglect, 7, 133–146.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Russell, D. E. H. (1984). Sexual exploitation. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  72. Russell, D. E. H. (1988). Pornography and rape: A causal model. Political Psychology, 9, 41–73. Seidman, B. T., Marshall, W. L., and Barbaree, H. E. (1989). Male sexual arousal to rape depictions following exposure to forced and consenting sexual stimuli. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  73. Sommers, E. K., and Check, J. V. P. (1987). An empirical investigation of the role of pornography in the verbal and physical abuse of women. Violence and Victims, 2, 189–209.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  74. Sundberg, S., Barbaree, H. E., and Marshall, W. L. (1989). Disinhibition of sexual arousal to rape cues as a function of victim blame. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  75. Tinbergen, N. (1951). The study of instinct. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  76. Wilson, G. T., and Lawson, D. M. (1976). Expectancies, alcohol and sexual arousal in male social drinkers. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 85, 587–594.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Wydra, A., Marshall, W. L., Earls, C. M., and Barbaree, H. E. (1983). Identification of cues and control of sexual arousal by rapists. Behavior Research and Therapy, 21, 469–476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Yates, E., Barbaree, H. E., and Marshall, W. L. (1984). Anger and deviant sexual arousal. Behavior Therapy, 15, 287–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Zuckerman, M. (1972). Physiological measures of sexual arousal in the human. In N. S. Greenfield and R. A. Sternbach (Eds.), Handbook of Psychophysiology (pp. 709–740 ). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. E. Barbaree
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

Personalised recommendations