Effects of sex guilt and sexual arousal on the retention of birth control information

S. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As a test of the notion that high sex guilt individuals have difficulty retaining sex related information, 28 male and 28 female university students were assigned in equal numbers to a high and a low sex guilt group. Within each sex guilt group, half of the subjects (Ss) were sexually stimulated by reading erotic passages, while half read neutral passages. All Ss then listened to a lecture on birth control and took an exam based on the lecture. The results indicated that high sex guilt Ss retained less lecture information than low guilt Ss. In addition, sexually stimulated Ss displayed poorer lecture retention than nonstimulated Ss. Across all conditions, females retained more lecture information than males. These results were interpreted as supporting the hypothesis that guilt generated anxiety raises arousal past the optimum level necessary for efficient recall performance. Moreover, females were considered to have a greater interest in learning about birth control than males.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-64
Number of pages4
JournalJ.CONSULT.CLIN.PSYCHOL.
Volume41
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1973
Externally publishedYes

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