The Kinsey Institute, for research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction
About the Institute Services and Events Library and Special Collections Research Program Graduate Education Publications Related Resources

[click to enlarge]
Research Program
Research Publications
Kinsey Report Selections
KI Data & Code Books

KI Home

Sexual Inhibition and Excitation
    = Dual control model of sexual response


The projects in this study have as their central theme the role of sexual inhibition and excitation in the control of sexual response. This theory, developed at The Kinsey Institute, states that sexual arousal and associated behavior depend on 'dual control' mechanisms in the brain involving the balance of excitatory and inhibitory systems.

This model may help to explain high-risk sexual behavior, sexual dysfunction, the relationship between mood and sexuality and sexual compulsivity. We are also interested in potential gender differences. Specific projects on women's sexual inhibition and excitation factors has also been studied.


We have developed a questionnaire that has been validated that measures individual's propensity for sexual inhibition and excitation. Samples tested include web samples, students, men, women, clinical populations, etc. The questionnaire is now being used by other researchers in the US and Europe and has been translated into German, French and Dutch.

If you would like fill out the questionnaire, and find out how easily you are turned on and turned off, click here.


Mark, K.P., Janssen, E., and Milhausen, R.R. (2011). Infidelity in Heterosexual Couples: Demographic, Interpersonal, and Personality-Related Predictors of Extradyadic Sex. Archives of Sexual Behavior. DOI 10.1007/s10508-011-9771-z. pdf
Bancroft, John, Graham, Cynthia A., Janssen, Erick, Sanders, Stephanie A. (2009). The Dual Control Model: Current Status and Future Directions. Journal of Sex Research, 46 (2 & 3): 121-142. pdf browser
Janssen, E., Vorst, H., Finn, P., & Bancroft, J. (2002a). The Sexual Inhibition (SIS) and Sexual Excitation (SES) Scales: I. Measuring sexual inhibition and excitation proneness in men. Journal of Sex Research, 39, 114-126. pdf
Janssen, E., Vorst, H., Finn, P., & Bancroft, J. (2002b). The Sexual Inhibition (SIS) and Sexual Excitation (SES) Scales: II. Predicting psychophysiological response patterns. Journal of Sex Research, 39, 127-132 pdf


John Bancroft, M.D., Erick Janssen, Ph.D., Stephanie Sanders, Ph.D., and Cynthia Graham, Ph.D.


"Know Thy [sexual] Self". Research & Creative Activity, Fall 2010.

"Sex: The Science of Sexual Arousal", from APA Monitor, April, 2003

Bancroft, J & Janssen, E. (2000) The dual control model of male sexual response: a theoretical approach to centrally mediated erectile dysfunction. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Review, Vol 24, No 5, pp. 571-579. pdf

Bancroft, J. (1999). Central inhibition of sexual response in the male: a theoretical perspective. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 23: 763-784

"Reconceptualizing Sexual Arousal", Research and Creative Activity, 1997.

Hear Dr. Erick Janssen discuss the dual-control model ("KI Presents" podcast).

BACK to Research Index

The Kinsey Institute is now on Facebook  Get KI News to your favorite news reader  Follow The Kinsey Institute on Twitter!  Watch Kinsey Institute videos on YouTube  Circle us on Google Plus for the latest news
KI News Library Catalog Support the KI Site Index Search
© 1996- , Kinsey Institute / Indiana University