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Women show higher levels of neural activity when sexually aroused

A new study has found that women experience higher levels of brain activity during sexual arousal than men do.

Researchers from McGill University in Montreal set out to examine the differences in neurological processing between men and women when sexually aroused.

Their results were published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

The study included 20 men and 20 women ages 18-31, all of whom were heterosexual, able to become aroused by heterosexual porn, and had previously engaged in sex at least once.

The participants were shown both adult films and clips of the popular TV show Modern Family while undergoing MRI scans. The Modern Family clips were used to show the differences between neural responses to humor and arousal.

Thermal imaging cameras were placed near the subjects’ genitals which gave the researchers a way to monitor arousal and sexual stimulation.

While watching both the adult film and TV show, each participant had to press a button on a fiber optic response box that indicated an increase or decrease in sexual arousal.

After analyzing the MRI scans the researchers found that genital arousal was linked to more changes in brain activity, indicated by blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) responses.

“There were no brain regions in men with stronger brain-genital correlations than in women,” the researchers said. “Specific visual features of erotic stimuli could play a stronger role in female sexual arousal responses compared with male responses.”

By Kay Vandette, Staff Writer

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