Sexual Fantasies of Females as a Function of Sex Guilt and Experimental Response Cues

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Publication Date


Interdisciplinary Center or Institute

Center for Research on Violence Against Women


College of Medicine; Interdisciplinary Centers and Institutes




Investigated the effects of response cues (erotic, romantic, or neutral) and level of sex guilt on the self-reported sexual fantasies of 90 undergraduate females. Ss completed a sex guilt inventory (Masher Forced-Choice Guilt Inventory—Female Form), the Nowlis Mood Adjective Check List, the Fantasy Theme Checklist, and ratings of their affective responses and physiological arousal associated with the writing of the fantasies. High sex guilt Ss preferred fantasy themes indicating a lack of responsibility for engaging in sexual interaction. Ss in the erotic fantasy condition wrote more explicit fantasies and described more varied content. Arousal seemed to be affected by the response cuing in the predicted direction but not by the Ss' guilt levels. Sex guilt level seemed to be a better predictor of affective responses, such as guilt and embarrassment, than the response cuing. Results suggest that sexual fantasy behavior may be part of a cluster of sexual behaviors governed by an individual's level of sex guilt. It is suggested that the demonstration that fantasy production seemed to be influenced by situational demands has implications for collection and use of fantasy information by both clinicians and researchers.


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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Moreault, D. and D. R. Follingstad (1978). "Sexual Fantasies of Females as a Function of Sex Guilt and Experimental Response Cues." Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 46(6): 1385-1393.