Advanced search

The origins of the dual control model unraveled: explaining individual variability in the propensity for sexual excitation and inhibition

Wouter Pinxten (UGent) and John Lievens (UGent)
Author
Organization
Project
SEXPERT
Abstract
Researchers of the Kinsey Institute have developed the dual control model to study individual variability in excitation and inhibition in a systematic way. In line with this model, the balance between excitation and inhibition is of crucial importance to determine an individual’s sexual response to a stimulus. Since its introduction it is used extensively to study both functional and dysfunctional sexual behaviour. Despite the existing literature, we identify some elements of the dual control mechanism that deserve further clarification. First, very little is known about the factors that determine individuals’ propensity for excitation and inhibition. The small amount of literature that does exists, suggests that genetic differences are far less important compared to environmental factors and that socialization processes impact on individuals propensity for inhibition and excitation. Second, although the dual control mechanism is an example of a state-trait model only the trait dimension is used in research. There, however, are indications that the state aspect of the dual control model might be important as well. To get an insight into these issues, we conduct an explorative study to examine the impact of factors that potentially influence individual variability in excitation and inhibition. To study this question we use date from a large-scale, representative survey (N = 1825) on the sexual health in Flanders (the northern part of Belgium). We use the short form sexual excitation and inhibition scales to measure individual proneness to excitation and inhibition. The results indicate that age, sex, physical and mental health perception, education level and attitudes towards sex are all to some degree associated with differences in sexual inhibition and/or excitation. However, our model explains far more variance in sexual excitation compared to inhibition. Our findings indicate that education as an indicator of socialization impacts on the individual variability in excitation and inhibition. The results, furthermore, suggest that the state dimension of the dual control mechanism as a state-trait model deserves more attention in future research. After all, an individual’s level of inhibition and excitation seems to be partly dependent on his/her health status. Finally, the low explained variance for both inhibition scales might suggests that innate differences are more important in explaining variability in propensity for sexual inhibition.
Keywords
socialisation, Sexual excitation & inhibition, individual variability, dual control model of sexual response

Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Pinxten, Wouter, and John Lievens. 2013. “The Origins of the Dual Control Model Unraveled: Explaining Individual Variability in the Propensity for Sexual Excitation and Inhibition.” In 39th Annual Meeting of the International Academy of Sex Research, Abstracts.
APA
Pinxten, W., & Lievens, J. (2013). The origins of the dual control model unraveled: explaining individual variability in the propensity for sexual excitation and inhibition. 39th Annual Meeting of the International Academy of Sex Research, Abstracts. Presented at the 39th Annual Meeting of the International Academy of Sex Research.
Vancouver
1.
Pinxten W, Lievens J. The origins of the dual control model unraveled: explaining individual variability in the propensity for sexual excitation and inhibition. 39th Annual Meeting of the International Academy of Sex Research, Abstracts. 2013.
MLA
Pinxten, Wouter, and John Lievens. “The Origins of the Dual Control Model Unraveled: Explaining Individual Variability in the Propensity for Sexual Excitation and Inhibition.” 39th Annual Meeting of the International Academy of Sex Research, Abstracts. 2013. Print.
@inproceedings{4159655,
  abstract     = {Researchers of the Kinsey Institute have developed the dual control model to study individual variability in excitation and inhibition in a systematic way. In line with this model, the balance between excitation and inhibition is of crucial importance to determine an individual{\textquoteright}s sexual response to a stimulus. Since its introduction it is used extensively to study both functional and dysfunctional sexual behaviour. Despite the existing literature, we identify some elements of the dual control mechanism that deserve further clarification. First, very little is known about the factors that determine individuals{\textquoteright} propensity for excitation and inhibition. The small amount of literature that does exists, suggests that genetic differences are far less important compared to environmental factors and that socialization processes impact on individuals propensity for inhibition and excitation. Second, although the dual control mechanism is an example of a state-trait model only the trait dimension is used in research. There, however, are indications that the state aspect of the dual control model might be important as well. To get an insight into these issues, we conduct an explorative study to examine the impact of factors that potentially influence individual variability in excitation and inhibition. To study this question we use date from a large-scale, representative survey (N = 1825) on the sexual health in Flanders (the northern part of Belgium). We use the short form sexual excitation and inhibition scales to measure individual proneness to excitation and inhibition. The results indicate that age, sex, physical and mental health perception, education level and attitudes towards sex are all to some degree associated with differences in sexual inhibition and/or excitation. However, our model explains far more variance in sexual excitation compared to inhibition. Our findings indicate that education as an indicator of socialization impacts on the individual variability in excitation and inhibition. The results, furthermore, suggest that the state dimension of the dual control mechanism as a state-trait model deserves more attention in future research. After all, an individual{\textquoteright}s level of inhibition and excitation seems to be partly dependent on his/her health status. Finally, the low explained variance for both inhibition scales might suggests that innate differences are more important in explaining variability in propensity for sexual inhibition.},
  author       = {Pinxten, Wouter and Lievens, John},
  booktitle    = {39th Annual Meeting of the International Academy of Sex Research, Abstracts},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Chicago},
  title        = {The origins of the dual control model unraveled: explaining individual variability in the propensity for sexual excitation and inhibition},
  year         = {2013},
}