• Female sexual arousal;
  • Response specificity;
  • Vaginal photoplethysmography;
  • Electrodermal activity;
  • Heart rate


Specificity of vaginal pulse amplitude and vaginal blood volume in reaction to visual sexual stimuli was investigated by comparing responses to sexual, anxiety-inducing, sexually threatening, and neutral film excerpts. Subjective sexual arousal, body sensations, emotional experience, skin conductance, and heart rate were monitored along with the genital measures. Self-report data confirmed the generation of affective states as intended. Results demonstrated response specificity of vaginal vasocongestion to sexual stimuli. In terms of both convergent and divergent validity, vaginal pulse amplitude was the superior genital measure. Skin conductance discriminated among stimuli only to a small degree, whereas heart rate failed to discriminate among stimuli altogether.