ORIGINAL RESEARCH—PHYSIOLOGY: The Labial Photoplethysmograph: A New Instrument for Assessing Genital Hemodynamic Changes in Women


Nicole Prause, BA, The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA. Tel: (812)855-7686; Fax: (812)855-8277; E-mail: nprause@indiana.edu


Aim.  The labial photoplethysmograph (LP), a new measure for assessing genital responses in women, was compared to the vaginal photoplethysmograph (VP).

Methods.  Fifteen women wore both devices simultaneously while viewing neutral, sexual, sexually-threatening, and threatening film clips.

Results.  The LP and VP exhibited comparable specificity to sexual stimuli. Additionally, the LP demonstrated greater resistance to movement artifacts and a slightly higher correspondence with subjective measures of sexual arousal.

Conclusion.  The LP, while somewhat more difficult to place and less comfortable than the VP, is a promising new measure of genital response in women that warrants further development.