Consensual but undesired sex: sexual arousal patterns in a sample of students from a sexually liberal, gender-equal culture
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- Institutt for psykologi 
Studies have shown that women engage in consensual undesired sex, but the reasons why is still unclear. The evolutionary theory of Sexual Strategies suggest that there may be underlying sex differences in sexual desire that accounts for engaging in consensual undesired sex, and not just culture. Furthermore, this gender gap in sexual desire may be due to different sexual arousal patterns. However, the research on consensual undesired sex has often taken for granted the framework of sexual coercion, rather than acknowledging that sexual desire and arousal is a result of complex interplay between partners in a relationship. Seven-hundred forty students (66% women) aged between 18 and 30 (Mean = 22.59, SD =2.97) completed questionnaires on sexual satisfaction and passion about their current or most recent relationship, sexual initiation and rejection, perceptions about their own and partners sexual desire and arousal, sexual awareness, and nonsexual reasons for engaging in sex. Results showed that, as predicted, women more than men reported having sex for reasons other than sexual desire, such as guilt, intimacy or material gains. In line with our predictions, our findings also suggest that men more than women experience sexual desire prior to arousal, while women more than men experience sexual desire subsequent to arousal. These findings are supportive of different sexual arousal patterns in men and women.