New Directions in the Psychology of Human Sexuality:
Research and Theory

Chapter 3:
Reliability and Validity of the Sexuality Scale:
A Measure of Sexual-Esteem, Sexual-Depression,
and Sexual-Preoccupation

William E. Snell, Jr.  
Southeast Missouri State University
Terri D. Fisher  
The Ohio State University-Mansfield
Toni Schuh  
Southeast Missouri State University

        Acknowledgments.  Portions of these data were presented at the 36th annual meeting of the Southwestern Psychological Association, Dallas, Texas. The material in this chapter was originally published in the Journal of Sex Research; gratitude is extended to the Journal of Sex Research Editor (xxx) and two anonymous reviewers for their peer-review commentary on an earlier draft of this material.

        Proper citation:  Snell, W. E., Jr., Fisher, T. D., & Schuh, T.  (2001).  Chapter 3:  Reliability and validity of the Sexuality Scale: A measure of sexual-esteem, sexual-depression, and sexual-preoccupation.  In W. E. Snell, Jr. (Ed.), New directions in the psychology of human sexuality:  Research and theory. Cape Girardeau, MO: Snell Publications. WEB: http://cstl-cla.semo.edu/snell/books/sexuality/sexuality.htm.

      
     

Abstract

The Sexuality Scale (SS; Snell & Papini, 1989) was designed to measure sexual-esteem, the dispositional tendency to positively evaluate one's capacity to relate sexually to others, sexual-depression, the chronic tendency to feel depressed about the sexual aspects of one's life, and sexual-preoccupation, the persistent tendency to be absorbed with and obsessed with sexual matters.  The purpose of the research described in Chapter 3 was to provide evidence from two separate studies for the reliability and validity of the Sexuality Scale.  The results indicated that all three SS subscales had high reliability (both test-retest and internal consistency).  Other findings indicated that the dispositional sexual tendencies measured by the Sexuality Scale were related in predictable ways to men's and women's reports of their sexual behaviors and attitudes .  

               

Chapter 3:
Reliability and Validity of the Sexuality Scale:
A Measure of Sexual-Esteem, Sexual-Depression,
and Sexual-Preoccupation
 

      The literature on human sexuality includes a focus on individual tendencies associated with sexual behaviors, thoughts, and affects (Allgeier & Allgeier, 1988).  Snell and Papini (1989) have pursued a similar line of research with a focus on "positive, desirable" psychological tendencies associated with human sexuality.  For this purpose, they developed the Sexuality Scale, an objective self-report instrument designed to measure sexual-esteem, the dispositional tendency to positively evaluate one's capacity to sexually relate to another individual, sexual-preoccupation, the tendency to be obsessed with sexual matters, and sexual-depression, the tendency to feel sad and depressed about the sexual aspects of one's life.  The results from Snell and Papini's (1989) initial investigation revealed considerable similarity between men's and women's sexual-esteem tendencies, while also indicating that among both males and females sexual-esteem was negatively related to the tendency to feel depressed about the sexual aspects of life.

      The present investigation was conducted in order to provide additional evidence for the reliability and validity of Snell and Papini's measure of sexual-esteem, sexual-depression, and sexual-preoccupation.  This was accomplished by examining the relationship between the Sexuality Scale and people's sexual attitudes (Hendrick & Hendrick, 1987; Hendrick, Hendrick, Slapion-Foote, & Foote, 1985), their communal and exchange approaches to sexual relations (Hughes & Snell, 1990), their chronic empathy toward AIDS victims (Snell & Finney, 1990), and their use of AIDS discussion strategies (Snell & Finney, in press).  In addition, the test-retest and internal reliability of the Sexuality Scale were evaluated in the present investigation.

      Several types of convergent validity information were expected for Sexuality Scale.  First, it was anticipated that people with greater sexual-esteem would be less likely to endorse manipulative attitudes toward sex and more likely to believe in idealized sex, as measured by Hendrick and Hendrick's (1987) measure of sexual attitudes.  In addition, the relationship between the Sexuality Scale and people's approach to their sexual relations was investigated.  Hughes and Snell (1990) have argued that people may approach sex from either a communal orientation, which emphasizes interpersonal concern and mutual caring, or an exchange orientation, where sex is treated as a commodity to be traded and monitored.  It was anticipated that people with greater sexual-esteem would approach their sexual relations from a communal rather than an exchange perspective.  Discriminant validity for the measure of sexual-esteem would be established at least partially by demonstrating the independence of sexual-esteem scores from a measure of empathy for AIDS-afflicted individuals.

      The convergent validity of the sexual-depression subscale was also examined by studying the relationship between this subscale and a measure of AIDS discussion strategies.  Snell and Finney (in press) found that people use a variety of interpersonal techniques to persuade an intimate partner to discuss AIDS.  These included rational (e.g., using reason), manipulative (e.g., doing some fast talking), withdrawal (e.g., refraining from sexual contact), charm (e.g., being especially sweet, charming and pleasant), subtlety (e.g., dropping subtle hints), and persistence (e.g., continuing to try to discuss AIDS) strategies.  Because sexual-depression is concerned with the tendency to feel negative, sad, and depressed about the sexual aspects of oneself, it was expected that people with greater sexual-depression would be more likely to use manipulative, withdrawal, and charm types of strategies to persuade their partners to discuss sex.  In addition, it was anticipated that sexual-depression would be associated with a less interpersonal and a more indirect approach to sexual relations (i.e., with an exchange approach).  Evidence for the discriminant validity of the sexual-depression subscale, by contrast, should be demonstrated by showing that it is independent of people's sexual attitudes about responsible as well as casual, guilt-free sex (cf. Fisher & Hall, 1988).

      Preliminary evidence for the validity of the measure of sexual-preoccupation was also examined in the present investigation.  Since individuals who are preoccupied with sex should have a less than realistic attitude toward sexual relations in which they fantasize about care-free, casual, and highly interpersonal sex, it was anticipated that the sexual-preoccupation subscale would be positively correlated with attitudinal measures reflecting a belief in idealized and casual guilt-free sex, as well as with scores reflecting a communal approach to sexual relations.  By comparison, the discriminant validity of this subscale would be partially established by showing that sexual-preoccupation is independent of scores on a measure of empathy for AIDS victims (Snell & Finney, 1990), since this SS subscale was designed to measure obsessive cognitive tendencies associated with sex, not empathy for those afflicted with AIDS.

Method

Participants

         Undergraduate males and females at a small Missouri university were asked to volunteer to participate in a survey project concerned with human sexuality (117 males; 265 females; 4 gender-unspecified). The number of subjects occasionally varies in the following analyses due to missing data on a few items.

Procedure and Measures

         All subjects initially completed an informed consent sheet and then after responding to the Sexuality Scale completed the instruments described below.  Approximately four weeks later the subjects completed an abbreviated version of the measures of sexual-esteem, sexual depression, and sexual-preoccupation.  At the end of second testing all subjects were completely debriefed about the purpose of the investigation.

         1.  The Sexual Relationship Scale (SRS; Hughes & Snell, 1990) was designed to measure a communal approach to sexual relations, defined as being concerned with relating sexually to another person based on mutual caring and concern for the other's sexual satisfaction and based on a concern for that person's sexual needs and desires; and an exchange approach to sex, defined as one that involves a quid pro quo approach to sex where sexual partners keep "tabs" on the sexual activities and favors they do for their partner, expecting to be repaid in an exchange fashion at some future time in the relationship.  Higher scores corresponded to greater communal and exchange approaches, respectively, toward sex.

         2.  The Sexual Attitudes Scale (Hendrick & Hendrick, 1987) is a new multidimensional measure of the following sexual attitudes (Bailey, Hendrick, & Hendrick, 1987):  permissiveness, defined as a belief in casual, guilt-free sex (e.g., casual sex is acceptable); sexual practices, defined as a belief in responsible but nonjudgmental sex (e.g., birth control is part of responsible sexuality); communion, defined as a belief in idealized sex (e.g., at its best, sex seems to be the merging of two souls); and instrumentality, defined as a belief in manipulative sex (e.g., the main purpose of sex is to enjoy oneself).  Higher scores indicated greater agreement with each attitude.

         3.  The AIDS Discussion Strategy Scale (ADSS; Snell & Finney, in press) was designed to measure six specific types of discussion tactics that people can use to persuade a partner to discuss AIDS:  rational strategies, defined as straightforward, reasonable attempts to discuss AIDS in a forthright manner; manipulative strategies, defined as deceptive and indirect efforts to persuade an intimate partner to engage in conversation about AIDS; withdrawal strategies, defined as attempts to actually avoid any extended interpersonal contact with an intimate partner until this individual agrees to a discussion about AIDS; charm strategies, defined as acting in pleasant and charming ways toward an intimate partner in order to promote a discussion about AIDS; subtlety strategies, defined as involving the use of hinting and subtle suggestions in order to elicit a conversation about AIDS; and persistence strategies, defined as persistent and continuous attempts to try to influence an intimate partner to discuss AIDS.  Higher scores indicated greater potential use of the particular types of AIDS discussion strategies.

         4.  The AIDS Empathy Scale (AES; Snell & Finney, 1990) was designed to measure the extent to which people report feeling empathy for those afflicted with AIDS.  Higher scores correspond to AIDS empathy, the tendency to adopt the perspective of those with AIDS, to feel sympathetic with their plight, and to feel concern and compassion for their affliction.

Results and Discussion

      Correlational analyses were conducted to determine whether men's and women's scores on the Sexuality Scale would be related in predictable ways to the measures of sexual attitudes, AIDS discussion strategies, communal and exchange approaches to sex, and AIDS empathy.  Since a large number of correlation coefficients were computed, a conservative error rate was chosen for use in the present investigation; correlations were interpreted only if the probability level was less than .01 (p < .01).

      Cronbach Reliability.  The Cronbach alpha coefficients are presented in Table 1 for males and females separately and combined.  An inspection of this table indicates clear evidence for the reliability for the sexual-esteem (range = .91 to .92), sexual-depression (range = .85 to .93), and sexual-preoccupation (range = .87 to .91) subscales.
 

Table   1

Correlations, Reliabilities, and Means for the Sexuality Scale among Males and Females in Samples I and II


Sexuality Scale         Sexual-                  Sexual-                 Sexual-

                                  Esteem                 Depression            Preoccupation

Sample                     I             II              I           II               I        II


SUBSCALE CORRELATIONS AND RELIABILITIES:

Sexual-Esteem:

      Males               [.91]         [.91]

      Females           [.92]          [.91]

           Both            [.92]          [.91]

Sexual-Depression:

      Males               -.77d        -.60d         [.85]       [.93]

      Females           -.67d         -.71d        [.88]       [.93]

           Both            -.69a         -.68d        [.87]       [.93]

Sexual-Preoccupation:

         Males            .19a          .24+      -.05           .05         [.91]    [.91]

      Females            .01            .31d       .16c        -.07        [.87]    [.91]

           Both            .08+          .32d       .09a        -.05         [.89]    [.91]

MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS:

      Males              7.21      8.00         -7.40      -7.37            1.54    0.67

                           (7.77)     (7.17)       (7.45)      (6.01)         (8.35)    (8.16)

      Females          5.52       4.39        -7.22       -6.48          -4.36     -4.01

                           (8.68)       (8.21)     (8.62)      (6.91)          (8.89)    (7.51)

                F          3.23        6.87b      < 1             < 1        36.83d   12.32d


Note.    For the rs and alphas in Sample I (II), the combined n = 376-380 (167-170); n for women = 260-264 (120-123); and n for men = 115-116 (46).  Reliability coefficients from Sample I and II are enclosed in brackets. For the ANOVAs in Sample I (II), n for males = 116 (46); n for females = 263 (120).   Standard deviations are enclosed in parentheses.  Higher positive (negative) scores correspond to greater (less) sexual-esteem, sexual-depression, and sexual-preoccupation.  Subscale ranges:  sexual-esteem = -20 to 20; sexual-depression = -16 to 16; and sexual-preoccupation = -20 to 20.

+ p < .10.      a p < .05.        b p < .01.       c p < .005.         d p < .001.

 

      Test-Retest Reliability.  Test-retest correlations were also computed for all three SS subscales.  The results provided clear preliminary evidence of the stability for the sexual-esteem (range = .69 to .74), sexual-depression (range = .67 to .76), and sexual-preoccupation (range = .70 to .76) subscales (all ps < .001).

      Subscale Intercorrelations.  Table 1 also presents the subscale correlations for the Sexuality Scale.  This table shows that sexual-esteem was strongly correlated in a negative direction with sexual-depression among both women and men.  Two other gender-specific correlations were also statistically significant.  Among women, sexual-preoccupation was positively correlated with sexual-depression, whereas among men sexual-preoccupation was positively correlated with sexual-esteem.  No other significant correlations were found.

      Gender Effects.  A two-group (females and males) MANOVA was conducted on the three SS subscales to determine whether women and men would report different levels of sexual-esteem, sexual-depression, or sexual-preoccupation (see Table 1).  The overall gender effect was highly significant, Wilks' lambda = .91, F(3, 375) = 12.96, p < .001.  Univariate analyses revealed a significant gender effect for only the sexual-preoccupation subscale, with males reporting higher levels of sexual-preoccupation than females.This table also shows that males and females were quite similar in sexual-depression, and that there was a tendency for males to report greater sexual-esteem than females (p < .10).

      Sexual Attitude Correlates.  The correlations between the Sexuality Scale and the Sexual Attitudes Scale are presented in Table 2.  The results indicated that, as predicted, males with greater sexual-esteem agreed with attitudes concerned with sexual sharing-involvement (communion) and expressed disagreement with a manipulative, self-centered view about sex (instrumentality).  Sexually-depressed males, by contrast, held more manipulative, self-interested (instrumental) attitudes about sex.  In addition, an inspection of Table 2 indicates that males who reported being preoccupied with sex agreed with a sharing (communion) and casual (permissive) perspective on sexual relations.

      Table 2 also reveals that, as predicted, females with higher levels of sexual-esteem expressed greater agreement with communal attitudes about sexual relations (i.e., a sharing and involved perspective).  In addition, females who reported feeling depressed about the sexual aspects of their lives were more likely to hold manipulative (instrumentality) attitudes about sexual relations.  Lastly, it can be seen in this table that women's sexual-preoccupation tendencies were positively correlated with all four attitudinal measures:  permissiveness (casual, guilt-free sex), sexual practices (responsible but nonjudgmental sex), communion (sharing, idealized sex), and instrumentality (manipulative, biological sex).
 

Table   2

Correlations between the Sexuality Scale and Several Validity Measures


                                                               Sexuality Scale

Validity                                    ___________________________

                                              Sexual-          Sexual-            Sexual-

Measures                                Esteem         Depression       Preoccupation

                                              M               M          F          M         F


SEXUAL ATTITUDES SCALE:

   Instrumentality                       -.22b  -.04      .24c    .17c      .14+    .27d

   Permissiveness                       .03     .04     -.03      .14a      .26c    .21d

   Communion                           .23b   .17c   -.16a   -.12a      .39d    .21d

   Sexual Practices                    .20a   .03     -.21a   -.00        .10      .20d

AIDS DISCUSSION SCALE:

   Rational Strategies                  .01     .14a    .03     -.09       -.06     .02

   Manipulative Strategies          -.12    -.12a    .25c    .11a      .17a   .15b

   Withdrawal Strategies              .02    -.14a    .14+    .15b     -.12     .01

   Charm Strategies                   -.16a  -.01      .24c    .07        .07      .17c

   Subtlety Strategies                -.01    -.07      .14+    .16b      .00     .11a

   Persistence Strategies             .08     .02      .10      .05       -.03     .04

AIDS EMPATHY SCALE: -.04    -.01      .11      .00       -.07      .00

SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP SCALE:

   Communal Approach               .23b   .26d   -.17a   -.11a      .16a    .26d

   Exchange Approach               -.23b  -.14a    .20a    .15b      .29d    .17c


Note.    N  for women = 260-264; and n for men = 115-116.  Higher positive (negative) scores correspond to greater (less) sexual-esteem, sexual-depression, and sexual-preoccupation.  Higher scores on the validity measures correspond to greater amounts of each of the respective tendencies.   F = females.   M = Males

+ p < .10.  a p < .05.  b p < .01.       c p < .005.   d p < .001.

 

      AIDS Discussion Strategy Correlates.  The correlations between the Sexuality Scale and the AIDS Discussion Strategy Scale, presented in Table 2, are consistent with the earlier predictions.  As can be seen in this table, males with greater sexual-depression were more likely to indicate that they would use manipulation and charm to foster a discussion about AIDS with a partner.  Table 2 also shows that females with greater sexual-depression scores indicated that they would be more likely to use withdrawal and subtle types of social influence strategies to discuss AIDS with a potential sexual partner.  Sexually-preoccupied women, by contrast, indicated that they would be likely to use manipulative and charm strategies to start an intimate conversation about AIDS.

      Communal and Exchange Correlates.  The correlations between the Sexual Relationship Scale and the measures of sexual-esteem, sexual-depression, and sexual-preoccupation tendencies are shown in Table 2.  The results indicated that, as predicted, both males and females with higher levels of sexual-esteem were more likely to take a communal, interpersonal approach to their sexual relationships, and that in addition males with greater sexual-esteem were less likely to approach sex from an "exchange" basis.  Also, females who were more depressed about the sexual aspects of their lives took a stronger exchange approach to their sexual relations.  In addition, sexually-obsessed males and females were more likely to take an exchange approach to their sexual relations, and sexually-preoccupied females were also more likely to take a communal sexual approach.

      AIDS Empathy Correlates.  Other results indicated that the three subscales on the Sexuality Scale were uncorrelated with the AIDS Empathy Scale (see Table 2).

      The purpose of the present investigation was to provide additional evidence for the reliability and validity of the Sexuality Scale, a measure of psychological tendencies associated with sexual-esteem, sexual-depression, and sexual-preoccupation.  The findings provided preliminary evidence for the Sexuality Scale as a measure of these three sexual tendencies by identifying predictable associations with measures of sexual attitudes, interpersonal approaches to sexual relations, and AIDS-related discussion strategies.

Study II:

Additional Evidence for

the Convergent and Discriminant Validity of the Sexuality Scale

         Although the first investigation reported in this article provided evidence supporting the reliability and validity of the Sexuality Scale, still there was a need to conduct further research that focused more closely on this instrument's correlates with personality and other sexual-related tendencies.  For this purpose, a second study was conducted in which the Sexuality Scale was administered to males and females along with several personality instruments and other measures of sexual affects, attitudes, and behaviors.  This research provided not only the opportunity to obtain additional evidence for the Sexuality Scale's validity, but also the opportunity to cross-validate the reliability of the three subscales on the Sexuality Scale.  In addition, a second set of norms were also obtained, thereby providing another examination of the relationship between gender and the Sexuality Scale.

Method

Participants

         The Sexuality Scale was administered to undergraduate psychology students (47 males and 126 females; 2 gender unspecified) from a regional campus of The Ohio State University who volunteered to participate in a study on human sexuality.  The students averaged 22.06 years of age (SD = 7.39) and participated in the study as one option in fulfilling a research requirement for a General Psychology course.  After participating in the project, all students were completely debriefed.

Procedure, Instruments, and Hypotheses

         In addition to the Sexuality Scale, the participants in this second study were asked to complete several other instruments that have been previously established as having reliability and validity:

         1.  The Locus of Control Scale (LOC; Lefcourt, 1976, 1980; Lefcourt, Miller, Ware, & Sherk, 1981) was designed to measure 1) people's perceptions that they themselves control the events that transpire in their lives (internal locus of control), 2) the belief that powerful others exert control over one's life (powerful-other locus of control), and 3) the belief that luck and chance explain the events in peoples' lives (chance-luck locus of control).

         2.  The Self-Monitoring Scale (SMS; Snyder, 1974, 1979, 1987) was designed to measure the tendency to be aware of one's social surroundings and peoples' reactions to oneself and to modify the impressions one creates in public settings.  Higher scores on this scale indicate greater self-monitoring tendencies.

         3.  The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) measures the chronic tendency to feel depressed about oneself (Beck, Ward, Mendelson, Mock, & Erbaugh, 1961; Beck, 1976).  Higher scores on this inventory corresponded to greater chronic depression.

         4.  The Survey of Heterosexual Interaction (Leary & Dobbins, 1983) is a modification of the original SHI developed by Twentyman and McFall (1975).  In the updated form, subjects are asked to report how nervous they would feel engaging in various heterosexual interactions.  Higher scores indicated greater heterosexual anxiety.

         5.  The Sexual Opinion Survey (SOS; Fisher, Byrne, White, & Kelley, 1988) was designed to measure erotophilic (positive) versus erotophobic (negative) emotional responses to sex.

         6.  The Sex-Guilt Scale (SGS; Mosher, 1966, 1973, 1979; Mosher & O'Grady, 1979) was designed to measure people's tendency to feel guilty about the sexual aspects of themselves (cf. D'Augelli & Cross, 1975; Gerrard, 1987).

         7.  The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (SE; Rosenberg, 1965) is a 10-item instrument designed to measure feelings of global self-worth.

         8.  The Sex Anxiety Scale  was developed by Janda and O'Grady (1980) to measure sex anxiety, defined as a generalized expectancy for nonspecific external punishment for the violation of perceived normative sexual standards (p. 169).

         9.  The Personal Attributes Questionnaire (PAQ; Spence & Helmreich, 1978) was designed to measure socially desirable instrumental (e.g., can make decisions easily) and expressive personality attributes (e.g., very warm in relations with others).  Higher scoring corresponded to greater instrumentality and expressiveness.

         10.  The Sexual Awareness Inventory (SAQ; Snell, Fisher, & Miller, 1990) was designed to assess attention to:  internal private bodily sensations associated with sexual arousal and motivation (referred to as sexual-consciousness); external public concern with other's impressions about one's sexuality (referred to as sexual-monitoring); and individual alertness to others' perception that one is sexy (referred to as "sexiness"-consciousness).  In addition, it includes a subscale measuring sexual-assertiveness, the dispositional tendency to act and behave in an independent, self-reliant fashion concerning one's own sexuality.

Convergent Validity

         The convergent validity of the sexual esteem subscale was expected to be demonstrated by a series of negative correlations between it and the measures of sex-guilt, sex-anxiety, chronic depression and heterosexual-anxiety; and positive correlations between it and the measures of self-esteem, instrumentality, sexual-assertiveness, and sexual-awareness (all types).  These predictions were based on the notion that sexual-esteem provides people with a positive approach to sex, accompanied by an outlook that precludes feelings of sex-guilt, sex-anxiety, depression, and heterosexual-anxiety.

         Likewise, evidence for the convergent validity of the sexual-depression subscale would be supported by the demonstration of positive relationships with clinical depression and heterosexual anxiety; and a negative relationship with self-esteem.  This prediction was based on the notion that sexually depressed people have considerable global depression and anxiety about their lives, and also feel less positive about themselves (e.g., the syndrome assessed by the BDI includes aspects of sexual-depression).  Finally, the convergent validity of the sexual-preoccupation subscale was examined in the present investigation.  Since persons who are sexual-preoccupied possess an extreme obsession with the sexual aspects of their lives, these individuals should report less sex-guilt and sex-anxiety, as well as greater erotophilia, sexual-assertiveness, and sexual-awareness (all types).

Discriminant Validity

         Because sexual-esteem concerns the tendency to have positive self-regard about one's sexuality, the person high in sexual-esteem should not be similar to individuals who tend to monitor themselves in public settings, nor to individuals who perceive the events in their lives to be controlled by chance-luck.  Also, because sexual-depression deals with the tendency to feel sad and depressed about the sexual aspects of one's life, the more sexually-depressed individual ought not to resemble people who monitor and moderate their public impressions.  Finally, since the sexual-preoccupation subscale assesses the tendency to be obsessed about sex, it was expected that sexually-preoccupied individuals would not bear a resemblance to people who possess instrumental or expressive personality characteristics, nor to people who view their lives as controlled by powerful others.

Results and Discussion

SS Reliability, Intercorrelations, and Norms

         Cronbach alphas were computed for the three SS subscales (separately for females and males).  These measures of internal consistency were all sufficiently high to warrant their use in subsequent analyses (see Table 1):  sexual-esteem (range = .91 to .91), sexual-depression (range = .93 to .93), and for sexual-preoccupation (range = .90 to .91).  An inspection of Table 1 also indicates that sexual-esteem and sexual-depression scores were strongly and negatively correlated.  Also, sexual-esteem correlated positively with sexual-preoccupation, whereas sexual-depression scores were unrelated to the measure of sexual-preoccupation.

         A two-group (males and females) MANOVA was also conducted on the three SS subscales.  Table 1 presents the SS subscale means and standard deviations.  The overall multivariate effect was statistically significant, Wilds' lambda = .91, F (3, 162) = 5.21, p < .002.  An inspection of this table reveals that males reported greater sexual-esteem and sexual-preoccupation than did females.  It can also be seen that both males and females reported relatively low scores on the measure of sexual-depression.

Convergent Validity

         Additional evidence for the convergent validity of the SS was tested by computing correlations between the SS and the instruments described earlier.  The results, presented in Table 3, are highly supportive of the predictions.

Table   3

Correlations Between the Sexuality Scale and Several Additional Validity Measures


                                                                    Sexuality Scale

Additional                               _______________________________________

Validity                                   Sexual-              Sexual-                Sexual-

Measures                                Esteem               Depression           Preoccupation

                                               Males  Females  Males  Females   Males Females


PAQ:  Instrumental                  .48d   .21a        -.37b   -.22b         .26a    -.10

PAQ:  Expressive                    .21     .23c        -.01     -.24c         .06      .03

LOC:  Internal                          .05     .21a        -.14     -.23a        -.18      -.15a

LOC:  Powerful-Other             -.05    -.31d         .33a    .32d        -.04      .11

LOC:  Chance-Luck                  .04    -.24c         .06      .22b        -.19      .09

Self-Monitoring                        .37b   .12          -.02     -.00           .33a    .20a

Heterosexual Anxiety             -.45d  -.34d         .46d    .30d        -.20      .12

Depression                             -.31a  -.24c         .54d    .32d         .14      -.00

Erotophilia                               .08     .10           .16     -.05           .53d    .32d

Sex-Anxiety                            -.46c  -.35d         .22      .25b        -.31a    -.36d

Sex-Guilt                                -.36b  -.20a         .27a    .08          -.31a    -.22b

Self-Esteem                             .26a   .24c        -.31a   -.29d        -.05      -.02

Sexual-Consciousness           .39c   .45d        -.26a   -.41d         .41c    .19a

Sexual-Monitoring                   .28a   .16a        -.13     -.00           .41c    .38d

Sexiness-Consciousness       .59d   .32d        -.48d   -.23b         .30a    -.01

Sexual-Assertiveness            .65d   .50d        -.59d   -.41d         .40c    .34d


Note.  N for females = 102-122; n for males = 46.  Higher positive (negative) scores correspond to greater (less) sexual-esteem, sexual-depression, and sexual-preoccupation.  Higher scores on the validity measures correspond to greater amounts of each of the respective tendencies.

+ p < .10.   a p < .05.     b p < .01.          c p < .005.        d p < .001.


         Sexual-Esteem.  For males, sexual-esteem was positively correlated with instrumental personality traits, self-monitoring, sexual-assertiveness, and two of the dispositional measures of sexual-awareness (i.e., sexual-consciousness and sexiness-consciousness).  Also, among males sexual-esteem was negatively associated with heterosexual anxiety, sex-anxiety, and sex-guilt.  By contrast, among females sexual-esteem was positively correlated with expressive personality attributes, self-esteem, sexual-assertiveness, and both sexual-consciousness and sexiness-consciousness.  Also, women's scores on the measure of sexual-esteem were negatively correlated with the measures of a chance-luck and a powerful-other locus of control, as well as negatively correlated with the measures of heterosexual anxiety and clinical depression.

         Sexual-Depression.  Among females and males significant positive correlations were found between the sexual-depression subscale and both heterosexual anxiety and clinical depression; and negative correlations were found between sexual-depression and instrumental personality attributes, sexual-assertiveness, and sexiness-consciousness.  For women, the sexual-depression scale was also positively correlated with sex-anxiety  and both a chance-luck and powerful-other locus of control, as well as negatively correlated with the measures of expressive personality attributes, self-esteem, and sexual-consciousness.

         Sexual-Preoccupation.  Among both females and males, a consistent pattern of positive correlations was found between sexual-preoccupation and the measures of erotophilia, sexual-monitoring, and sexual-assertiveness.  Additional results indicated that among females sexual-preoccupation was negatively correlated with sex-guilt and sex-anxiety.  By contrast males, sexual-preoccupation was positively correlated with sexual-consciousness.

Discriminant Validity

         Evidence for the discriminant validity of the SS would be demonstrated, at least partially, by finding that the SS subscales were independent of several other instruments.  As can be seen in Table 3, sexual-esteem was unrelated to self-monitoring (among females) and locus of control tendencies (among males).  Also it can be seen in this table that, as expected, sexual-depression was independent of self-monitoring.  Finally, there was evidence for the discriminant validity of the sexual-preoccupation scale in that this SS subscale was unrelated to the measures of locus of control (males) and instrumental (females) and expressive (females) personality characteristics.

         The purpose of this second investigation was to provide further evidence for the reliability and validity of the Sexuality Scale.  Preliminary evidence indicated that the subscales on the Sexuality Scale were all highly reliable.  The SS's validity was evaluated by examining its relationship with a series of self-report instruments concerned with personality and sexuality.  The findings were consistent with the overall pattern of predicted results.  Both sexual-esteem and sexual-preoccupation were more associated with a positive (e.g., sexual-assertiveness) than a negative (e.g., sex-guilt, sex-anxiety) orientation toward sex.  By contrast, sexual-depression was accompanied by greater anxiety and depression and less self-esteem and sexual-assertiveness.  These findings would seem to attest to the benefits of a chronically high level of sexual-esteem and the drawbacks of greater dispositional sexual-depression, while also suggesting that sexual-preoccupation may coincide with a less negative outlook on sexual relations.

General Conclusions

      The present two investigations offer strong preliminary evidence for the reliability and validity of the Sexuality Scale as a measure of dispositional tendencies associated with sexual-esteem, sexual-depression, and sexual-preoccupation.  Future research is now needed to determine the social and developmental antecedents and consequences of these sexual tendencies (e.g., Abbey, 1982).  In research currently underway in our own lab, we are examining the relationship between the Sexuality Scale and  the masculine role (cf. Snell, 1986, 1991, Snell, Belk, & Hawkins, 1986a, 1986b, 1987, 1990; Snell, Hawkins, & Belk, 1988), perceptions of rape victims (Schwarz & Brank, 1983; Selby, Calhoun, & Brock, 1977; Shotland & Craig, 1988), and women's and men's sexual disclosure tendencies (Snell, Belk, Papini, & Clark, 1989).



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Copyright    2002
William E. Snell, Jr., Ph.D.
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