The unmyelinated C-tactile afferents system holds a hedonic function in touch experiences, shaping social functioning in the so-called affective touch hypothesis. Despite the fact that females are recognized as more sensitive to discriminative aspects of touch and respond more positively to touch than men, sex differences in the perception of affective touch have not been extensively investigated. We aimed to fill this gap by meta-analyzing existing studies on this topic. Thirteen studies were eligible and pooled effect sizes (Hedges⿿ g) were compared. Random effect models were used. Results, which are not influenced by publication bias, show that there is a sex asymmetry in the pleasantness perceived during an affective tactile stimulation, with females showing higher pleasantness ratings than males. The size of the association does not vary as a function of sex distribution, age and methodological quality. Hormonal as well as evolutionary differences related to the caregiving and nurturing function of females may explain sex differences in affective touch. Results are limited by the small number of studies included in the meta-analysis.

The unmyelinated C-tactile afferents system holds a hedonic function in touch experiences, shaping social functioning in the so-called affective touch hypothesis. Despite the fact that females are recognized as more sensitive to discriminative aspects of touch and respond more positively to touch than men, sex differences in the perception of affective touch have not been extensively investigated. We aimed to fill this gap by meta-analyzing existing studies on this topic. Thirteen studies were eligible and pooled effect sizes (Hedges’ g) were compared. Random effect models were used. Results, which are not influenced by publication bias, show that there is a sex asymmetry in the pleasantness perceived during an affective tactile stimulation, with females showing higher pleasantness ratings than males. The size of the association does not vary as a function of sex distribution, age and methodological quality. Hormonal as well as evolutionary differences related to the caregiving and nurturing function of females may explain sex differences in affective touch. Results are limited by the small number of studies included in the meta-analysis.

Affective touch: a meta-analysis on sex differences / Russo, Valentina; Ottaviani, Cristina; Spitoni, Grazia Fernanda. - In: NEUROSCIENCE AND BIOBEHAVIORAL REVIEWS. - ISSN 0149-7634. - 108:(2020), pp. 445-452. [10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.09.037]

Affective touch: a meta-analysis on sex differences

Russo, Valentina
Primo
;
Ottaviani, Cristina
Secondo
;
Spitoni, Grazia Fernanda
Ultimo
2020

Abstract

The unmyelinated C-tactile afferents system holds a hedonic function in touch experiences, shaping social functioning in the so-called affective touch hypothesis. Despite the fact that females are recognized as more sensitive to discriminative aspects of touch and respond more positively to touch than men, sex differences in the perception of affective touch have not been extensively investigated. We aimed to fill this gap by meta-analyzing existing studies on this topic. Thirteen studies were eligible and pooled effect sizes (Hedges’ g) were compared. Random effect models were used. Results, which are not influenced by publication bias, show that there is a sex asymmetry in the pleasantness perceived during an affective tactile stimulation, with females showing higher pleasantness ratings than males. The size of the association does not vary as a function of sex distribution, age and methodological quality. Hormonal as well as evolutionary differences related to the caregiving and nurturing function of females may explain sex differences in affective touch. Results are limited by the small number of studies included in the meta-analysis.
2020
The unmyelinated C-tactile afferents system holds a hedonic function in touch experiences, shaping social functioning in the so-called affective touch hypothesis. Despite the fact that females are recognized as more sensitive to discriminative aspects of touch and respond more positively to touch than men, sex differences in the perception of affective touch have not been extensively investigated. We aimed to fill this gap by meta-analyzing existing studies on this topic. Thirteen studies were eligible and pooled effect sizes (Hedges⿿ g) were compared. Random effect models were used. Results, which are not influenced by publication bias, show that there is a sex asymmetry in the pleasantness perceived during an affective tactile stimulation, with females showing higher pleasantness ratings than males. The size of the association does not vary as a function of sex distribution, age and methodological quality. Hormonal as well as evolutionary differences related to the caregiving and nurturing function of females may explain sex differences in affective touch. Results are limited by the small number of studies included in the meta-analysis.
pleasant touch; gentle touch; c-tactile afferents; pleasantness
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01g Articolo di rassegna (Review)
Affective touch: a meta-analysis on sex differences / Russo, Valentina; Ottaviani, Cristina; Spitoni, Grazia Fernanda. - In: NEUROSCIENCE AND BIOBEHAVIORAL REVIEWS. - ISSN 0149-7634. - 108:(2020), pp. 445-452. [10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.09.037]
File allegati a questo prodotto
File Dimensione Formato  
Russo_Affective-touch_2019.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Versione editoriale (versione pubblicata con il layout dell'editore)
Licenza: Tutti i diritti riservati (All rights reserved)
Dimensione 486.66 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
486.66 kB Adobe PDF

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1415116
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 18
  • Scopus 54
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 49
social impact