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How Ego Depletion Affects Sexual Self-Regulation: Is It More Than Resource Depletion?

Abstract : Rational thinking and decision making are impacted when in a state of sexual arousal. The inability to self-regulate arousal can be linked to numerous problems, like sexual risk taking, infidelity, and sexual coercion. Studies have shown that most men are able to exert voluntary control over their sexual excitation with various levels of success. Both situational and dispositional factors can influence self-regulation achievement. The goal of this research was to investigate how ego depletion, a state of low self-control capacity, interacts with personality traits—propensities for sexual excitation and inhibition—and cognitive absorption, to cause sexual self-regulation failure. The sexual responses of 36 heterosexual males were assessed using penile plethysmography. They were asked to control their sexual arousal in two conditions, with and without ego depletion. Results suggest that ego depletion has opposite effects based on the trait sexual inhibition, as individuals moderately inhibited showed an increase in performance while highly inhibited ones showed a decrease. These results challenge the limited resource model of self-regulation and point to the importance of considering how people adapt to acute and high challenging conditions.
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https://hal.univ-rennes2.fr/hal-01765726
Contributor : Laurence Leroux <>
Submitted on : Friday, April 13, 2018 - 9:23:40 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, February 9, 2020 - 2:52:01 PM

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Kevin Nolet, Joanne-Lucine Rouleau, Massil Benbouriche, Fannie Carrier Emond, Patrice Renaud. How Ego Depletion Affects Sexual Self-Regulation: Is It More Than Resource Depletion?. Journal of Sex Research, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2015, 53 (8), pp.994 - 1007. ⟨10.1080/00224499.2015.1096887⟩. ⟨hal-01765726⟩

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