Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
First Committee Member
Marta Meana, Chair
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Graduate Faculty Representative
Number of Pages
The present study investigated sex differences in visual attention to erotic stimuli by comparing three groups of individuals: heterosexual men, heterosexual women, and androphilic MtF transsexuals. Twenty men, 20 women and 13 MtF transsexuals were shown 10 split-screen slides, each featuring one nude erotic photo of a man shown on half of the screen and one nude erotic photo of a woman shown on the other half of the screen. Eye movements were tracked as participants viewed the slides. All participants were heterosexual (Kinsey 0-1) relative to gender identity, thus erotic targets for natal men were nude women in the photos, and erotic targets for women and MtF transsexuals were nude men. With regard to erotic targets, men and MtF transsexuals differed marginally from each other in how long they looked at them ( p = .050), but both groups looked longer at erotic targets than did women ( p < .001, p = .015, respectively). With regard to non-erotic targets, women looked longer at them than did men ( p < .001) or MtF transsexuals (p < .001), and men and MtF transsexuals did not differ in non-erotic target looking times (p = .084). Results replicated Lykins, Meana and Strauss (2008) in that heterosexual men evidenced a category-specific visual preference for their erotic targets whereas women did not. Moreover, androphilic MtF transsexuals, like men, were found to visually attend significantly more to their erotic targets (men) than to their non-erotic targets (women), revealing a category-specific visual attention pattern to sexual stimuli. This finding suggests that cognitive processing in response to sexual stimuli, at least at the level of visual attention, may be rooted in natal sex. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for different theories of MtF transsexuality.
Cognition; Cognitive psychology; Erotic stimuli; Eye tracking; Gender differences; Male-to-female transsexuals; Psychology; Sex differences (Psychology); Sexual excitement; Transsexualism; Visual attention; Visual evoked response
Cognition and Perception | Gender and Sexuality | Psychology
Akhter, Sarah A., "Visual attention to erotic stimuli in androphilic male-to-female transsexuals" (2011). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 1399.