Two methods of measuring penile response

Gene G. Abel, Judith V. Becker, Edward B. Blanchard, William D. Murphy, Armen Djenderedjian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Two studies, one involving 21 normal volunteers and the other involving 13 sexual deviates, were performed in which subjects' penile and verbal response to various sexual cues were measured. Penile responses were measured by the maximum amplitude of the response to each stimulus and the total response to each stimulus (area under response curve). The two methods of quantifying the penile response were compared in terms of predicting a subject's self-report of sexual arousal, both for individual subjects and for the two populations as a whole. These comparisons revealed that both methods yield strong relationships between penile response and self-report of sexual arousal and no consistent advantage was shown for the maximum amplitude or total response method of measuring penile response. Since the maximum amplitude measure is easier and cheaper to obtain, we recommend its use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-328
Number of pages9
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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