Effects of alcohol on sexual arousal in male alcoholics

G. Terence Wilson, David M. Lawson, David B. Abrams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During successive daily sessions, each of 8 29-44 yr old chronic male alcoholics received, in counterbalanced order, doses of beverage alcohol (.08, .4, .8, and 1.2 g/kg) prior to viewing nonerotic and erotic films. Measures of penile tumescence obtained by means of a penile plethysmograph showed a significant negative linear effect of increasing alcohol doses during the heterosexual and homosexual films. Ss' expectations about the effect of alcohol on sexual arousal and behavior were discrepant with these physiological findings. Consistently, Ss reported that alcohol would have no effect on their sexual arousal or would increase it. Results are discussed with reference to other studies, and it is concluded that penile tumescence is a convenient, reliable, and discriminating measure of male sexual arousal. (27 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-616
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1978


  • alcohol beverage dosage & viewing erotic vs nonerotic film, sexual arousal, 29-44 yr old chronic male alcoholics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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