Repression of sexual associations: Cognitive inhibition, familiarity, or social distribution

Howard Dickman1, Donald Elman1, Michael Hirt1
1Kent State University, United States
Cite this article:  Dickman, H., Elman, D., & Hirt, M. (1976). Repression of sexual associations: Cognitive inhibition, familiarity, or social distribution. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 4, 283-288.

Volume 4 Issue 2 | e138 | Published: August 1976 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1976.4.2.283

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In previous research on the Repression-Sensitization (R-S) Scale it has been found that repressors gave fewer sexual associations than sensitizers on a double entendre word association task. That difference, however, may have been due either to differential familiarity, or external social inhibition, rather than to internal, cognitive defense processes. In the present experiment, male sensitizers, neutrals, and repressors performed an identification task and an association task with word lists containing double entendres. They received 1 of 3 instruction sets, designed either to facilitate, inhibit, or disregard the possible sexual associations. The identification task results failed to support the familiarity hypothesis. The association task results suggested that repressors are more responsive to external, social inhibition cues than are either sensitizers or neutrals.
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