What Is Physiological Arousal?

According to the American Psychological Association, physiological arousal in sexuality simply refers to the genital arousal experienced physically in reaction to stimuli. Physiological arousal is distinguished from the subjective experience of sexual arousal.

The American Psychological Association states that the science of sexual arousal is concerned with, among other matters, the relationship between physiological arousal and subjective experience. Research has shown that physiological arousal in males strongly corresponds with subjective statements about sexual arousal, while physiological arousal in females has much lower rates of correspondence with their subjective experience. This area of study has important implications for clinical treatment of female sexual dysfunction.