Applications of Pavlovian Conditioning to Sexual Behavior and Reproduction

Michael Domjan, Chana K. Akins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Pavlovian conditioning procedures can be readily adapted to the sexual behavior system. In reviewing studies of sexual conditioning, the chapter focuses on how conditioning modifies sexual behavior and how this contributes to reproductive success. It first considers how principles of learning that have been developed in conventional laboratory settings generalize to the sexual behavior system. The chapter then discusses how studies of sexual conditioning have contributed to the understanding of sexual functioning. Finally, it examines how the results of sexual conditioning studies with laboratory animals (mostly domesticated quail and rats) might be used in the design and interpretation of human studies of sexual conditioning. The chapter's review focuses on studies with male participants because much more research has been conducted with males than with females. However, the chapter has included studies of female sexual conditioning in both human and non-human animals to the extent that they were available and relevant.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssociative Learning and Conditioning Theory
Subtitle of host publicationHuman and Non-Human Applications
ISBN (Electronic)9780199894529
StatePublished - May 1 2011

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011 Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


  • Conditioned copulatory efficiency
  • Conditioned fertility
  • Female sexual conditioning
  • Learning
  • Sexual behavior
  • Sexual conditioning
  • Sexual learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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