Sexual vs. Nonsexual Currently Most Upsetting Trauma

A Fresh Look at Attenuation of Sexual Response, Alcohol Intoxication, and Post-Traumatic Stress

Elizabeth R. Bird, Martin Seehuus, Julia R. Heiman, Kelly Davis, Jeanette Norris, William H. George

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examined the dependence of sexual response (vaginal pulse amplitude [VPA] and subjective sexual arousal) on alcohol intoxication (.10% breath alcohol concentration [BrAC] versus no alcohol) and the nature of a woman’s currently most upsetting traumatic event (C-MUTE), whether it was sexual (e.g., rape) or nonsexual (e.g., combat). Self-reported sexual outcomes were also compared by C-MUTE type. A total of 117 women completed background measures and either drank alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverages. They were shown erotic films and their VPA was assessed. A two (sexual versus nonsexual C-MUTE) by two (.10% BrAC versus no alcohol) analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that, controlling for post-traumatic stress (PTS) symptoms, women with a sexual C-MUTE showed lower percent VPA change than women with a nonsexual C-MUTE. No significant effects were found for subjective sexual arousal. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) showed that women with a sexual C-MUTE reported more frequent anxiety and inhibition during partnered sex and more frequent lack of vaginal lubrication versus women with a nonsexual C-MUTE. There was no significant interaction between C-MUTE and alcohol intoxication. Whether a woman is currently upset by past sexual victimization may influence current sexual difficulties. Attenuated VPA may be attributable to the sexual nature of a C-MUTE as opposed to general trauma exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)915-926
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Volume55
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2 2018
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Alcoholic Intoxication
intoxication
trauma
alcohol
event
Wounds and Injuries
Alcohols
Arousal
Analysis of Variance
analysis of variance
Lubrication
Crime Victims
Beverages
Motion Pictures
Trauma
Alcohol
Intoxication
Attenuation
Sexual
Multivariate Analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

Cite this

Sexual vs. Nonsexual Currently Most Upsetting Trauma : A Fresh Look at Attenuation of Sexual Response, Alcohol Intoxication, and Post-Traumatic Stress. / Bird, Elizabeth R.; Seehuus, Martin; Heiman, Julia R.; Davis, Kelly; Norris, Jeanette; George, William H.

In: Journal of Sex Research, Vol. 55, No. 7, 02.09.2018, p. 915-926.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bird, Elizabeth R. ; Seehuus, Martin ; Heiman, Julia R. ; Davis, Kelly ; Norris, Jeanette ; George, William H. / Sexual vs. Nonsexual Currently Most Upsetting Trauma : A Fresh Look at Attenuation of Sexual Response, Alcohol Intoxication, and Post-Traumatic Stress. In: Journal of Sex Research. 2018 ; Vol. 55, No. 7. pp. 915-926.
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