An integrative theoretical framework for understanding sexual motivation, arousal, and behavior

Toates, Frederick (2009). An integrative theoretical framework for understanding sexual motivation, arousal, and behavior. Journal of Sex Research, 46(2-3) pp. 168–193.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00224490902747768

Abstract

An integrative theoretical framework and model for understanding sexual motivation, arousal, and behavior is presented, combining the principles of incentive motivation theory and the hierarchical control of behavior. It is intended to stimulate discussion. The framework can serve as a ‘‘route map’’ in understanding the links between different component processes and their interactions, as well as the relations between different academic perspectives on understanding sexuality. It is suggested that both excitation and inhibition of sexual motivation, arousal, and behavior act at various levels in a hierarchical structure, and much confusion can be avoided by distinguishing these levels. The model integrates information from different branches of psychology: biological, evolutionary, clinical, cognitive,
developmental, and social. It describes interactions between sexual behavior and anxiety, attachment, aggression, and drug taking; and it is applied to gender differences, evolutionary psychology, sexual deviancy, sexual addiction, and the biological bases of sexuality.

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