Applications of Pavlovian Conditioning to Sexual Behavior and Reproduction

Michael Domjan and Chana K. Akins

in Associative Learning and Conditioning Theory

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199735969
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894529 | DOI:
Applications of Pavlovian Conditioning to Sexual Behavior and Reproduction

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Pavlovian conditioning procedures can be readily adapted to the sexual behavior system. In reviewing studies of sexual conditioning, the chapter focuses on how conditioning modifies sexual behavior and how this contributes to reproductive success. It first considers how principles of learning that have been developed in conventional laboratory settings generalize to the sexual behavior system. The chapter then discusses how studies of sexual conditioning have contributed to the understanding of sexual functioning. Finally, it examines how the results of sexual conditioning studies with laboratory animals (mostly domesticated quail and rats) might be used in the design and interpretation of human studies of sexual conditioning. The chapter’s review focuses on studies with male participants because much more research has been conducted with males than with females. However, the chapter has included studies of female sexual conditioning in both human and non-human animals to the extent that they were available and relevant.

Keywords: sexual conditioning; sexual learning; sexual behavior; conditioned fertility; conditioned copulatory efficiency; learning; female sexual conditioning

Chapter.  14685 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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