Walter Krug

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Katkovsky, Walter

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Sex (Psychology)


While defense mechanisms are usually conceptualized as generalized avoidance responses, the present study was designed to demonstrate that Ss who usually avoid sexual stimuli would approach the same stimuli if provided with social sanction for their approach. Sixty males were selected on the basis of their scores on the Denial of Sexuality subscale of the Denial Scale (Katkovsky, 1970). The 30 Ss who received scores one standard deviation above the mean were categorized as High Denial (HD) Ss and the 30 Ss receiving scores one standard deviation below the mean were categorized as Low Denial (LD) Ss. Ss were given a fictitious reason for being chosen to participate in the experiment, that they were needed to help select photographs to be used in a future study regarding pupillometrics. Ss were provided with opportunities to drop out of the experiment after the E informed them of the sexual nature of the pictures. Fifteen LD Ss and 15 HD Ss were assigned to each of the following two conditions: (1) the Arousal Condition in which Ss were told to rate the slides in terms of how arousing the slides were to them, and (2) the Censorship Condition in which Ss were instructed to rate the slides as to objectionability. It was hoped that the Arousal Condition would produce a personal involvement on the part of Ss regarding their own arousal, whereas the Censorship Condition would provide Ss with an impersonal, socially sanctioned reason for viewing the slides. The 37 slides used represented four levels of sexual stimuli, ranging from nudes from Playboy magazine to couples performing explicit sexual acts. Ss were left alone to view the slides but, unknown to Ss, the time spent on each slide was monitored by E from an adjoining room. After viewing all of the slides, Ss signaled E who administered a short questionnaire. The dependent measures of the study were the time spent viewing the slides, the Ss' ratings of the arousability or objectionability of the slides, and questionnaire responses indicating Ss' reactions to the slides and experiment. A 2 x 2 x 4 analysis of variance was computed on viewing time scores to test the first two hypotheses with levels of denial, conditions and types of slides as the factors. Hypothesis One, which predicted that LD Ss would spend more time viewing the slides in both conditions than HD Ss, was supported. The failure to find significant differences in viewing time between the Arousal and Censorship instructions, as predicted by Hypothesis Two, may have been due to demand characteristics of the Censorship Condition which provided cues that the Ss should rate the slides as objectionable.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [66]-76)


105 pages




Northern Illinois University

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