How words can trigger attention in your brain
Posted On August 5, 2021
New Scientist article A new study has found that people who are given a text that shows a man with an erection is looking at them are more likely to click on it than those who are not given a similar image.
The study found that participants were more likely than others to click when the words ‘man with an erect penis’ appeared in the text.
The authors suggest that people with erect penises may have a lower-than-average sensitivity to visual stimuli.
The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, was carried out by the researchers from the University of Nottingham and the University College London.
The researchers suggest that the low-level activation seen in the participants might be an indicator that the person is seeing a sexually arousing image.
“We know that men are more aroused by sexual imagery than women, but we didn’t know how much,” lead author Dr Anna Coyle told New Scientist.
“So the idea was to ask how many times the participants were looking at a picture of a penis, and then they were asked to rate how often they thought it was sexual.”
When you think about it, this suggests that the images are more arousing to men because they’re more sexual.
So it could be that the stimulation of these images could make them more aroused.
“Dr Coyle said she wanted to investigate whether sexual arousal in men and women was linked.”
People are sexually aroused by things like pornography and they don’t just respond to sexual images, but they react to the erotic images as well.
“I wanted to try to find out if that was the case with erect men and erect women, to see if they were responding to the same images.”
Researchers found that the more sexual images people were given, the more likely they were to click and click more often.
“The more sexual imagery we give people, the less likely they are to respond to it,” Dr Coyle explained.
The results of the study, which was published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, suggest that sexual arousal may be linked to the amount of sexual attention we get.
“There are lots of studies that show people respond more to sexual attention when there’s a lot of sexual arousal,” Dr Llewellyn said.
“In fact, when you give people a sexually explicit image, the arousal levels rise, so they’re getting a lot more sexual attention.”
This could be the case because we’re all exposed to sexual imagery in the same way.
“Dr Llewelyn said the results could have implications for people who struggle with sexual anxiety, like those who suffer from panic disorder.”
If people get a lot too much sexual attention, they’re going to be more likely (to become) anxious.””
It can make people feel very anxious and it can also make them very aroused.”
If people get a lot too much sexual attention, they’re going to be more likely (to become) anxious.
“The study, entitled “Sexual arousal during sexual attention”, was led by Dr Anna Llewyn from the Department of Psychology at the University at Nottingham.
Follow Rebecca on Twitter: @RebeccaLampard