Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Marta Meana

Second Committee Member

David Copeland

Third Committee Member

Michelle Paul

Fourth Committee Member

Jennifer Keene

Number of Pages



While the literature highlights the significance of relationship factors in the subjective sexual arousal/desire of women, other research indicates that individual factors may be just as, if not more, important to women's sexual desire and arousal. Research on the influence of intrapersonal factors in sexuality, sexual fantasy, erotica consumption and paraphilic tendencies in a subset of MtoF transsexuals suggests that self-directed attention may play a key role in women's sexual arousal/desire. Some theorists have gone so far as to suggest that women are, to some extent, their own erotic objects. The present study explored the extent to which sexual arousal/desire is associated with self-focused attention in women, particularly compared with men. One-hundred ninety-six men and 193 women were recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk website in exchange for nominal compensation. Participants completed measures of erotic self-focus designed specifically for this study, as well as measures of body esteem, self-esteem and sexual function. Results confirmed the existence of greater erotic self focus tendencies in women relative to men. Further, participants perceived women as more inclined toward erotic self-focus compared with men.


Eroticism; Sexual Arousal; Sexual Behavior; Sexual Desire; Sexual excitement; Sexual Fantasy; Sexuality; Women-Sexual behavior


Clinical Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences