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Research Request: SPACE study

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Hi all, 


We received the following from Natalie from UBC:



My name is Natalie Brown and I am a Master's student in the clinical psychology program at UBC, conducting research in Toronto and Vancouver under the supervision of Dr. Lori Brotto. I am currently conducting the study "Seeking to Understand the Cognitive Processing of Sexual Cues in Asexual Individuals and Heterosexual Women with Desire/Arousal Difficulties" (SPACE). 


Asexuality is defined as a lack of sexual attraction to others, with data supporting its conceptualization as a sexual orientation. Some clinicians challenge this viewpoint, positing that asexual people suffer from a sexual desire disorder. Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder (SIAD) is characterized by absent/reduced sexual interest/arousal paired with personal distress. Although at the surface level asexuality and SIAD may appear to be the same entity, these are separate categories given that asexual individuals do not endorse the distress that is the hallmark of sexual desire disorders, and describe their sexual disinterest as longstanding. Findings from studies of visual attention to and appraisals of sexual cues suggest that this methodology might be useful in differentiating these two groups on the basis of their neural mechanisms. However, no study has compared these groups’ cognitive processing of sexual words/images. 


This study will improve our understanding of differences between asexuality and SIAD through an examination of these groups’ cognitive processing of sexual words/images. Asexual individuals (any gender identity) and heterosexual women with desire and/or arousal difficulties will complete a battery of demographic and sexuality-related questionnaires, an eye-tracking task, a sex-related implicit association task (SC-IAT), and a self-report measure of attitudes towards sex (SSDS). 


If you meet the above criteria and are able to travel to the University of Toronto (Mississauga campus) or Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, please contact me at natalie.bellmanbrown@psych.ubc.ca for further information.


As always, when participating in research that requires you to travel or meet the researcher face-to-face please consider your own safety and well-being first. 


This study has been approved by the Research Approval Board. 

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