The Sexual Attitudes Scale (S. Hendrick & Hendrick, 1987b) was originally constructed in the early 1980s because of difficulty in identifying a measure that assessed sexual attitudes in a multidimensional fashion. Original scale development was empirically driven, since there was not a prevailing multidimensional theory of sexual attitudes at that time (see S. Hendrick & Hendrick, 1987b, p. 524). Although instruments were available to assess such constructs as attitudes toward sexual permissiveness (e.g., Reiss, 1964), attitudes toward erotica (e.g., Green & Mosher, 1985), and attitudes toward premarital sexuality (e.g., MacCorquodale & DeLamater, 1979), scales were not readily available that encompassed several attitudinal dimensions within a single measure. Reiss' widely-used sexual permissiveness scale included the sexual behaviors of kissing, petting, and full sexual relations; however, the emotional and attitudinal aspects of sexual relating were not addressed.
The existing clinical literature at that time (e.g., Kaplan, 1974) suggested that sexual relating is a complex web of emotions, attitudes, and behaviors, multiply determined and enacted. Although we do not equate sexual attitudes with sexual behaviors, attitudes and behaviors are often linked (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993). The notion of sexual behavior as having a substantial emotional component has become much more widely accepted (Sprecher & McKinney, 1993), as has the idea that sexual attitudes are multidimensional. "Hendrick and Hendrick [1987b] identified four different dimensions underlying the set of items that they studied, one of which corresponded to permissiveness. This same finding--that a single dimension cannot alone explain the full range of sexual attitudes--is echoed in the results that we present" (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, & Michaels, 1994, p. 511).
The development of the original Sexual Attitudes Scale was as follows: the first two authors generated an initial pool of 150 items (by inspection reduced to 102 items) in the early 1980s, reflecting a variety of values, attitudes, and orientations to sex, attempting to address traditional areas of sex attitudes (e.g., permissiveness, premarital sex) as well as sexual responsibility, what sex "means" in an emotional sense, and so on. Scale development (S. Hendrick, Hendrick, Slapion-Foote, & Foote, 1985) was initiated by reduction of these 102 items to a 58-item, five-factor scale through principal components analysis of data from 835 respondents. This initial work was replicated and revised with two large data collections (1,374 respondents) across two geographic locations, yielding the final format of the Sexual Attitudes Scale (S. Hendrick & Hendrick, 1987b). In its final form, this 43-item scale measured four aspects of sexual attitudes: Permissiveness (casual sexuality), Sexual Practices (responsible, tolerant sexuality), Communion (idealistic sexuality), and Instrumentality (biological, utilitarian sexuality).
Our analytic approach for constructing the final form was to use principal components analysis with varimax rotation. Our criterion for item retention was to preserve only items that loaded less than .30 on any of the other three factors and that (ideally) loaded .50 or higher on their own factor (4 of 43 items loaded slightly below .50). This approach resulted in the deletion of 15 items in the initial 58-item version and slight rewrites of 7 of the 43 retained items. This analytic approach guaranteed conceptual independence among the four components that defined the four sex attitude subscales. The actual empirical correlations among the four subscales were modest; the highest was .44 between Permissiveness and Instrumentality (see S. Hendrick & Hendrick, 1987b, p. 510). We concluded that the Sexual Attitudes Scale measured four important, relatively independent sexual attitudes.
Research With the Sexual Attitudes Scale
Our research. The scale has been used in our own research in a number of studies, only a few of which are discussed below. Very early in our research, we theorized that romantic love and sex are often linked together and should be studied together. We had developed a measure of love, the Love Attitudes Scale, which assessed passionate (Eros), game-playing (Ludus), friendship (Storge), practical (Pragma), possessive (Mania), and altruistic (Agape) orientations toward love (C. Hendrick & Hendrick, 1986). We employed both the Love Attitudes Scale and the Sexual Attitudes Scale in a number of studies designed to increase understanding of romantic relationships and the variables that influence their continuation or termination. Initially, however, we correlated the love and sex scales and found that Permissiveness and Instrumentality were correlated positively with game-playing love at .48 and .32, respectively. Communion was correlated positively with passionate love (.30) and altruistic love (.25). We subsequently factored the four sex subscales and six love subscales together in order to assess their common features (S. Hendrick & Hendrick, 1987b). We obtained three factors that seemed to represent (a) game-playing and instrumental love and sex, (b) emotional and responsible love and sex, and (c) stable love. We subsequently used both the love and sex scales in several studies. For example, we found that persons who were in love differed from those not in love (C. Hendrick & Hendrick, 1988), with the former more passionate, altruistic, and less game-playing in love attitudes and less permissive and instrumental in sexual attitudes than were persons not in love. We also examined gender differences and similarities in sexual attitudes (S. Hendrick & Hendrick, 1995), often finding that men and women differed on two of the four subscales, with men more endorsing of Permissiveness and Instrumentality.
We also used the Sexual Attitudes Scale and additional relationship measures to assess cultural differences in attitudes between Mexican American (both Hispanic-oriented and bicultural) and Anglo American married couples (Contreras, Hendrick, & Hendrick, 1996). We found that although the groups of couples did not differ across a number of relational dimensions, they did differ on two subscales of the Sexual Attitudes Scale: Sexual Practices and Communion. "The Anglo American group most strongly endorsed responsible sexual practices, differing from the two Mexican American groups. Finally, the Anglo American and bicultural groups had more idealistic sexual attitudes (Communion) than did the Hispanic-oriented group" (p. 411).
Others' research. A variety of other research on sexuality-related topics has also included the Sexual Attitudes Scale. In the United States, for example, Cann, Mangum, and Wells (2001) used the Sexual Attitudes Scale as one central measure in their study of emotional and sexual infidelity and its differential impacts on men and women. They found that for women, lower Instrumentality (biological sex) predicted higher distress due to partners' emotional infidelity, whereas for men, higher Communion (idealistic sex) predicted higher distress due to partners' sexual infidelity. The scale was also used by Shafer (2001) in a study of personality and sexuality, and items from the Permissiveness subscale have been used in studies of such topics as alcohol use and date rape (Abbey, Buck, Zawacki, & Saenz, 2003) and development of the construct of hyperfemininity (McKelvie & Gold, 1994). The measure was also considered in one of the most comprehensive meta-analyses to date of sexual attitude differences across genders (Oliver & Hyde, 1993).
The Sexual Attitudes Scale has also been used internationally. LeGall, Mullet, and Riviere-Shafighi (2002) employed it in a study of sexual attitudes of French adults across several age ranges. The authors found some cultural differences between their French participants and American participants, as reported in previous research, noting that "the French appear as more permissive, less responsible, more instrumentalist, and less interested in communion than the U.S. participants" (p. 213). Other results, such as women endorsing Permissiveness less than men and persons holding religious beliefs endorsing Permissiveness less than persons not holding such beliefs, were consistent with previous findings (S. Hendrick & Hendrick, 1987a). Le Gall et al. found the measure useful and referred to it as "one of the most complete instruments for studying sexual attitudes" (p. 207).
Indications for a Revised Sexual Attitudes Scale
Despite the fact that the Sexual Attitudes Scale has been used widely, some limitations of the scale have been noted recently. For example, Le Gall et al. (2002) re-factored the scale with their French sample, finding that the original four-factor solution did not represent the scale well. Le Gall et al. used principal components analyses to achieve a satisfactory six-factor solution, with the resulting six factors named Permissiveness, Responsibility, Pleasure, Instrumentality, Communion, and Depersonalization. Although confirmatory factor analysis resulted in a final five-factor solution and three of these factors were reasonably faithful to three of the original subscales, it appeared that the scale might not be as stable as is desired, at least in the French sample.
Stimulated by the work of Le Gail et al. (2002) and others, we reanalyzed some of our own Sexual Attitudes Scale data sets collected over several years (S. Hendrick & Hendrick, 2002). Results indicated that, for example, the correlations between the four sex scales and other relevant measures continued to be similar across the years. However, when we reanalyzed the 43 items of the Sexual Attitudes Scale using principal components analysis with varimax rotation, we found that the structure of the components changed somewhat over time, using our original criteria of an item loading .50 on its primary factor and less than .30 on the other three factors. Given some variation across data sets, the problems found included a few items no longer loading .50 or higher on any factor; two to three items being complex, loading too highly on two or more factors; and shifts of a few items occurring so that their highest loading changed to a factor other than their original primary factor.
Discussions with colleagues and doctoral students suggested some possible reasons for such shifts. Some of the items appeared either dated in their phrasing (e.g., "Using 'sex toys' during lovemaking is acceptable") or not centrally relevant to sexual attitudes in an intimate relationship (e.g., "Prostitution is acceptable"). It is not surprising that some specific attitudes and language usage can change more rapidly in some areas now than occurred in previous generations, given greater mobility and new communication technology (e.g., widespread use of the internet).
More broadly, in social science research generally, there is an increasing pressure for brief assessment measures that can be used for interviews and telephone surveys and that can be included in longer batteries, including sexual assessment and other relationship assessment batteries. Of course, brief reduced measures should be as comparable as possible to the longer "parent" measures in terms of such features as factor structures, reliability, subscale intercorrelations, relationships with other measures, and gender differences.
Development of the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale
This article reports our development of the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale, designed to offer a shorter, updated version of a well-utilized measure. Analyses were conducted on three data sets, including two existing data sets (Studies I and II) using item subsets from the original 43-item form of the Sexual Attitudes Scale, and one prospective study (Study III) using only the brief version. Our primary goal was to ascertain whether this brief version was psychometrically comparable to the original measure. Therefore, the brief measure was subjected to a variety of analyses and comparisons with the longer, original form. Like the original Sexual Attitudes Scale, we expected the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale to conform to the same four-factor structure, to have similar levels of reliability and subscale correlations, and to show similar gender differences.
Furthermore, the direction and approximate magnitude of correlations of the four sex subscales with subscales of the Love Attitudes Scale, as well as with satisfaction, commitment, and self-disclosure, should be similar for the original and brief versions of the scale and should conform to the relationships found in previous research. Lengthy theoretical rationales for each relationship are beyond the scope and purpose of this paper and can be found in the works cited below, but a general summary perspective is presented after the hypotheses.
HI: Permissiveness and Instrumentality will correlate positively with Ludus, and Communion will correlate positively with both Eros and Agape (S. Hendrick & Hendrick, 1987a).
H2: Permissiveness and Instrumentality will correlate negatively with relationship satisfaction, and Communion will correlate positively with relationship satisfaction (S. Hendrick & Hendrick, 1995).
H3: Permissiveness and Instrumentality will correlate negatively with commitment, and Communion will correlate positively with commitment (S. Hendrick & Hendrick, 1995).
H4: Permissiveness and Instrumentality will correlate negatively with self-disclosure (C. Hendrick & Hendrick, 1988).
H5: Gender differences will be found for two of the four subscales, with men more endorsing than women of both Permissiveness and Instrumentality (C. Hendrick & Hendrick, 1988).
As noted previously, the original Sexual Attitudes Scale was developed on an empirical basis. Consequently, the hypotheses listed above flowed from prior empirical work relating the sexual attitudes to other relationship variables. However, a general theoretical principle can be induced from the hypotheses as well as from previous work. That principle is that relationship variables that reflect a self-orientation (i.e., egocentrism) tend to be positively related to each other; relationship variables that reflect an other-orientation tend to be positively related to each other; and self-oriented variables tend to be related negatively to other-oriented variables.
For example, among the sex attitudes, Permissiveness and Instrumentality are clearly self-oriented, and Communion and Sexual Practices (to a lesser extent) are other-oriented. Among the love attitudes, Ludus (clearly) and Pragma and Mania (to some extent) are self-oriented, whereas Eros, Storge, and Agape are strongly other-oriented. Other relational variables, such as commitment and self-disclosure, tend to be other-oriented. Further, other-oriented variables relate positively to satisfaction with a relationship, whereas self-oriented variables relate negatively to relationship satisfaction. Given this general theoretical perspective, four of the five empirically-supported hypotheses described above follow readily. H5 on gender differences requires different consideration, unless one gender can be shown to be generally more egocentric than the other, something on which we do not focus.
Sample and procedure. The sample consisted of 674 participants; 70% were women and 30% were men. In age, 93% of the sample was 22 or younger. European Americans comprised 71% of the sample, with 8% Hispanic, 4% African American, 3% Asian or Pacific Islander, and 13.5% reporting Other. Some 59.5% of participants reported being in a romantic relationship, and 40.5% reported not currently being in a relationship. (Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.)
The sample was comprised of undergraduates at a large southwestern university who volunteered to participate in the research as part of their class requirement in introductory psychology. Groups of participants were administered a detailed relationship-oriented survey questionnaire. The data from this sample were also reported in S. Hendrick and Hendrick (2002). (Data for Studies II and III were used in S. Hendrick and Hendrick, 2005.)
Measures. Demographic information and relationship-relevant background information were assessed. All alphas were standardized and refer to results for Study I. The Sexual Attitudes Scale (S. Hendrick & Hendrick, 1987b) is a 43-item scale that includes subscales of Permissiveness (21 items, alpha = .94), Sexual Practices (7 items, alpha = .77), Communion (9 items, alpha = .79), and Instrumentality (6 items, alpha = .80). The Love Attitudes Scale: Short Form (C. Hendrick et al., 1998) is a 24-item scale composed of six subscales of four items each, including Eros (passionate love, alpha = .80), Ludus (game-playing love, alpha = .68), Storge (friendship love, alpha = .86), Pragma (practical love, alpha = .79), Mania (possessive, dependent love, alpha = .74), and Agape (altruistic love, alpha = .88). The Relationship Assessment Scale (S. Hendrick, 1988) is a unidimensional, seven-item scale measuring overall relationship satisfaction (alpha = .87). The Commitment Scale includes four items assessing commitment, adapted from Lund (1985; alpha = .90). The Self-Disclosure Index (Miller, Berg, & Archer, 1983) is a 10-item scale measuring self-disclosure to a target person, which in this study was a romantic partner (alpha = .90). (For all three studies, the scales used a Likert format. Additional scales were included that were not relevant to the current paper.)
Our analytic strategy for this study was to develop a briefer version of the Sexual Attitudes Scale using exploratory factor analysis, and if successful, to compare this new version of the scale with the original scale in terms of internal reliability (alphas), subscale intercorrelations, correlations with relevant relationship measures, and gender differences. These analyses (correlations with other measures and ANOVAs for gender) were selected because they provided the best replication of previous research using the Sexual Attitudes Scale, and at the same time began a validation of the briefer measure.
Creating a brief scale. In the interest of shortening the scale, we sought to identify and exclude items that did not load highly (near .50) on any factor, items that loaded highly (more than .35) on more than one factor, items with highest loadings on a factor other than their appropriate factor, and items that contained outdated language. In addition, we sought to reduce the Permissiveness subscale in order to balance the size of the subscales. To begin this process, we performed an exploratory factor analysis using principal factor extraction on the original 43-item Sexual Attitudes Scale, using a varimax rotation. There were five factors with eigenvalues greater than one. Three factors adequately represented three of the four subscales of the Sexual Attitudes Scale, with the exception of Sexual Practices, discussed below. Most items loaded on their appropriate factors; however, eight items loaded .35 or above on more than one factor, a violation of previously established criteria. The fifth factor contained four Permissiveness items with loadings of .35 or higher.
Changes to the subscales are discussed in order. For Permissiveness (21 items), we dropped four factorially-complex items, three reverse-scored items that linked sex with love, friendship, etc. (and thus were not as directly related to casual sexuality), and four items reflecting content that seemed either less timely, or negative rather than simply casual (e.g., "Sex is more fun with someone you don't love.") Thus, ten Permissiveness items were retained. For Sexual Practices, three (of seven) items had loadings of .63 or higher and reflected the theme of birth control. Of the remaining four items, one item had a loading of only .47, and three items did not load on Sexual Practices but had higher loadings on two other factors. Thus, the three birth control items were retained, and the factor was renamed "Birth Control." For Communion, five (of nine) items loaded .48 or higher on the proper factor and no higher than .17 on the other three factors, and emphasized the relational aspects of sex. Thus, these five items were retained. Four other items had content that was less relational (e.g., "Orgasm is the greatest experience in the world") or that were more general in content (e.g., "Sex is fundamentally good."). These items were dropped. Finally, for Instrumentality, five (of six) items loaded .48 or higher and faithfully reflected the subscale's theme. One additional item was complex and was dropped. Five items were retained.
Following this procedure, we had selected a subset of 23 items. To examine the factor structure of this potential 23-item scale and to examine possible correlations between the factors, an exploratory factor analysis using principal factors extraction and Harris-Kaiser oblique rotation was conducted on the 23 items. Four factors had eigenvalues greater than 1.0. Five of the six correlations between the factors were modest (correlations ranging from .26 to -.04), but there was a moderate correlation between Permissiveness and Instrumentality (r = .48). Because only one sizable factor correlation was found, and because varimax rotation was used in the original construction of the Sexual Attitudes Scale, the factor loadings for a varimax solution are reported in Table 1, along with those for the oblique-rotated solution (shown in parentheses). Both solutions achieved good simple structure (as clarified by Thurstone, 1947) with similar loadings, and both showed four factors with eigenvalues greater than one. Items loaded highly on their respective factors, as shown, and low on the other three factors.
More specifically, for the varimax rotation, the ten Permissiveness items loaded .60 or higher on their factor, the three Sexual Practices (Birth Control) items loaded .63 or higher on their factor, the five Communion items loaded .49 or higher on their factor, and the five Instrumentality items loaded over .50 on their factor. All items had loadings below .22 on the remaining three factors, with two exceptions. Two Instrumentality items loaded .33 and .34 on the Permissiveness factor. The results suggested that a 23-item brief version of the Sexual Attitudes Scale would be feasible.
Alphas. For the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale, the alphas were as follows: Permissiveness = .93; Birth Control = .84; Communion = .71; Instrumentality = .77. These alphas were quite similar to the alphas for the longer version and were deemed adequate for brief scales.
Subscale intercorrelations. The six correlations among the four subscales of the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale were comparable in every case, if not slightly smaller than the respective six correlations for the Sexual Attitudes Scale. The correlation between Permissiveness and Instrumentality was .41 for the brief measure (compared to .46 for the original, longer measure), but the other five correlations were .19 or lower.
Correlations with other measures. The Sexual Attitudes Scale and the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale were correlated with the six love attitudes, relationship satisfaction, commitment, and self-disclosure. Results for Study I are shown in Table 2 as the correlations without parentheses. The two measures of sexual attitudes showed virtually identical correlations with the other measures; the correlations did not differ significantly. Hypothesis 1 stated that the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale subscales of Permissiveness and Instrumentality would be correlated positively with game-playing love (Ludus), and that Communion would be positively correlated with passionate love (Eros) and altruistic love (Agape). Hypothesis 2 predicted negative correlations between Permissiveness and Instrumentality and relationship satisfaction, and a positive correlation between Communion and relationship satisfaction. Both hypotheses were supported. Hypothesis 3 predicted negative correlations between both Permissiveness and Instrumentality and commitment, and a positive correlation between Communion and commitment. This hypothesis was supported. Hypothesis 4 predicted that Permissiveness and Instrumentality would be negatively related to self-disclosure. This hypothesis was also supported. There were several additional significant relationships between the Brief Sexual Attitude Scale subscales and the other variables of interest, such as the negative correlation between Instrumentality and altruistic love (Agape); however, these correlations were modest for the most part.
Gender differences. Men and women were compared on both versions of the sexual attitude scales (see top panel of Table 3 for Study I). Means were very similar for the two versions of the Sexual Attitudes Scale. Gender differences occurred for Permissiveness and Instrumentality, with men more endorsing of both subscales. Thus, Hypothesis 5 (which was generated based on previous empirical work, rather than our theory about self-oriented versus other-oriented constructs) was supported. For the 23-item scale, women were more endorsing of Birth Control than were men, a finding we had not predicted.
The findings for Study I indicated that the shortened form of the original Sexual Attitudes Scale had the same four-factor structure as the original scale and performed similarly to the original scale (and consistently with previous research) when correlated with the other scales. These results suggested that the 23-item Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale is a viable instrument that could replace the 43-item Sexual Attitudes Scale. The shortened scale was extracted from the longer scale in a large, existing data set. Such a procedure, though a reasonable way to shorten a scale initially, may also capitalize on factors unique to that particular data set. Thus, in Study II, we performed an independent replication on another large data set.
Sample and procedure. The sample consisted of 528 participants; 67% were women and 33% were men. Most of the sample were age 22 or younger (97%). The sample was comprised of 73% European Americans, 9% Hispanics, 5% African Americans, 4% Asian or Pacific Islander, and 9% Other. Fifty percent of participants reported being in a current romantic relationship, and 50% reported not currently being in a relationship. Participants were introductory psychology students at a large southwestern university who volunteered to complete a lengthy relationship-oriented survey as part of their course requirements. Participants were tested in groups.
Measures. Demographic information and relationship-relevant background information were assessed. The Sexual Attitudes Scale (S. Hendrick & Hendrick, 1987b) had the following alphas: Permissiveness (alpha = .95), Sexual Practices (alpha = .77), Communion (alpha = .82), and Instrumentality (alpha = .82). The Love Attitudes Scale: Short Form (C. Hendrick et al., 1998), included Eros (alpha = .82), Ludus (alpha = .70), Storge (alpha = .86), Pragma (alpha = .79), Mania (alpha = .70), and Agape (alpha = .87). The Relationship Assessment Scale (S. Hendrick, 1988) had an alpha of .89; Commitment Scale (Lund, 1985) had an alpha of .89; and the Self-Disclosure Index (Miller et al., 1983) had an alpha of .91.
The analytic strategy for this study was similar to that of Study I and included comparisons of the long and short versions of the Sexual Attitudes Scale (via confirmatory factor analyses), alphas, subscale intercorrelations, correlations with other measures, and gender differences on the four subscales.
Replicating the structure of the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale. We performed confirmatory factor analyses on both the Sexual Attitudes Scale and the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale. The 43-item Sexual Attitudes Scale had a Goodness of Fit Index (GFI) of .96, a GFI adjusted for degrees of freedom (AGFI) of .92, a Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA) of .08, a Bentler's Comparative Fit Index (CFI) of .97, and [X.sup.2] (29, 528) = 117.0. The Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale had a GFI of .98, AGFI of .96, RMSEA of .05, CFI of .99, and [X.sup.2] (21,528) = 44.7. The chi-square difference test indicated that the difference between the two models was highly significant (p < .001). The four-subscale structure of the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale was clearly replicated on an independent data set and provided a better model fit than the 43-item version.
An additional CFA was performed on a 20-item version of the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale, with the three Birth Control items deleted. The 20-item version had a GFI of .98, AGFI of .96, RMSEA of .06, CFI of .99, and [X.sup.2] (11, 528) = 29.88. The chi-square difference test indicated that the difference between the two models was not significant. We decided to retain the four-factor, 23-item version of the scale because we wished to preserve the structure of the original scale; however, the scale could be used without the birth control items.
Alphas. For the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale, the alphas were as follows: Permissiveness = .95; Birth Control = .87; Communion = .79; Instrumentality = .80.
Subscale intercorrelations. Once again, the six correlations among the four subscales of the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale (BSAS) were comparable to the respective correlations for the Sexual Attitudes Scale (SAS). For the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale, the correlation between Permissiveness and Instrumentality was .44, as compared to .41 in Study I, and the other five correlations were .20 or lower (. 19 in Study I). In summary, the intercorrelation pattern for the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale in Study II was virtually identical to the correlation pattern in Study I.
Correlations with other measures. The correlation results from Study II were similar to those for Study I and are shown in parentheses in Table 2. Differences between the SAS correlations and BSAS correlations were not significant, and differences between the SAS correlations in Studies I and II and the BSAS correlations in Studies I and II did not differ significantly. (Only correlation pairs in which at least one correlation was significant were tested.) Table 2 allows readers to compare correlations of the original version of the scale in one study (e.g., Study I) with correlations of the brief version in the other study (e.g., Study II, and vice versa). These comparisons eliminate the possibility that similarities between the two versions are due to chance factors within a single study.
Gender differences. As in Study I, means were very similar for the original and short forms of the scale (see middle panel of Table 3). For the original version, women were significantly less endorsing of Permissiveness and Instrumentality than were men. For the short version, the same difference was shown for Permissiveness, but for Instrumentality, the difference fell short of significance.
The independent replication in Study II closely matched the results from Study I. The Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale appears to have scaling properties that are similar and perhaps superior to the longer Sexual Attitudes Scale. Some content was lost from Sexual Practices (e.g., sex education, masturbation), but this subscale is now a concise measure of attitudes toward Birth Control. Although the current results argue against the notion that the results of Study I simply capitalized on chance, the 23-item Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale was still a set of items selected out of a larger context of 43 items. That context might, in unknown ways, have caused the particular results that were obtained. Establishment of context independence as well as replication of results were the purposes of prospective Study III.
Sample and procedure. The sample consisted of 518 participants; 58% were women and 42% were men. Most of the sample were age 22 or younger (96%). The sample was comprised of 73% European Americans, 11% Hispanics, 3% African Americans, 3.5% Asian or Pacific Islander, and 9.5% Other. Some 42% of participants reported being in a current romantic relationship, and 58% reported that they were not in a current romantic relationship. Participants were introductory psychology students at a large southwestern university who volunteered to complete a relationship-oriented survey as part of their course requirements. Participants were assessed in groups.
Measures. This study employed all previous measures (with the exclusion of the original Sexual Attitudes Scale), and three new measures were added in Study III to strengthen the construct validity of the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale. Demographic information and relationship-relevant information were assessed. The Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale consisted of 23 items: Permissiveness (10 items, alpha = .95), Birth Control (3 items, alpha = .88), Communion (5 items, alpha = .73), and Instrumentality (5 items, alpha = .77). The Love Attitudes Scale: Short Form (C. Hendrick et al., 1998) included Eros (alpha = .80), Ludus (alpha = .71), Storge (alpha = .88), Pragma (alpha = .80), Mania (alpha = .71), and Agape (alpha = .84). The Relationship Assessment Scale (S. Hendrick, 1988) had an alpha of .86. The Commitment Scale (Lund, 1985) had an alpha of .87. The Self-Disclosure Index (Miller et al., 1983) had an alpha of .92.
For new measures, two items measuring the possibilities for attracting an Alternative Partner (alpha = .63) were based on Lund (1985). The Perceptions of Love and Sex Scale (S. Hendrick & Hendrick, 2002) is a measure of people's attitudinal linkages between love and sex and includes the following subscales: Love is Most Important (alpha = .79); Sex Demonstrates Love (alpha = .84); Love Comes Before Sex (alpha = .79); and Sex is Declining (alpha = .59). The Respect Toward Partner Scale (alpha = .87) measures respect for one's partner (S. Hendrick & Hendrick, 2005).
The analytic strategy for Study III was similar overall to that for Study II. We sought to confirm the four-factor structure of the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale by confirmatory factor analysis when the scale was administered independently of the 20 items dropped from the original version. The alphas were noted above, and the intercorrelations among the subscales are described below. Correlations between the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale and other measures are shown in Table 4. Test-retest reliability correlations were conducted with a separate sample and are reported at the end of this section.
Structure of the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale. The four-factor structure was confirmed by a confirmatory factor analysis. The Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale had a GFl of .98, AGFI of .95, RMSEA of .05, CFI of .99, and [X.sup.2] (21,518) = 52.3. The final set of items for this scale is given in Appendix 1, along with the instructional format that is used.
Subscale intercorrelations. Five of the six subscale intercorrelations were .20 or lower. The correlation between Permissiveness and Instrumentality was .40. This pattern of scale intercorrelations for the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale was thus virtually identical across all three studies.
Correlations with other measures. The correlations of the four sexual attitude scales and additional relationship variables are shown in Table 4. We expected to replicate the results for the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale subscales and the love scales, relationship satisfaction (shown in row designated RAS), commitment, and self-disclosure found in Studies I and II, and indeed, these correlations look very similar. (The greatest correlation change from Study II to Study III was a change of. 15 for the correlation between Eros and Communion.) For the alternative partner scale, we expected to find a positive correlation with Permissiveness and a negative correlation with Communion. For the Perceptions of Love and Sex Scale, based on S. Hendrick & Hendrick (2002), we expected Permissiveness to correlate negatively with the subscales of Love is Most Important and Love Comes Before Sex. We expected Birth Control to correlate positively with Sex Demonstrates Love. We expected Communion to correlate positively with Love is Most Important and Sex Demonstrates Love. And finally, we expected Instrumentality to correlate negatively with Love is Most Important and Love Comes Before Sex. The Respect Toward Partner Scale is a relatively new measure. We expected that it would correlate negatively with both Permissiveness and Instrumentality and positively with Birth Control and Communion.
Because of the large N, we used a criterion of .15 or higher for considering a correlation as meaningful. A correlation of. 15 accounts for 2.25% of the variance between two measures, enough to suggest that a real relationship may exist.
For Permissiveness, correlations for Study III with the scales also used in Studies I and II were consistent with correlations for the previous studies. For the new scales introduced in Study III, as expected, Permissiveness was correlated negatively with Love is Most Important, Love Comes Before Sex, and Respect Toward Partner.
Birth Control had few significant correlations and performed fairly similarly to the way it had for Studies I and II. For the new scales, it correlated only with Sex Demonstrates Love, as expected. Though modest, the correlation makes sense, since persons who believe that sex can demonstrate love should likely feel that responsible birth control is important. We had expected Birth Control to be correlated positively with respect, but it was not.
Communion correlated with the love and satisfaction variables comparable to the way it had in Study I. For the new measures, Communion did not correlate with alternative partner, though a negative correlation had been expected. As expected, it correlated positively with Love is Most Important, Sex Demonstrates Love, Love Comes Before Sex, and respect.
Instrumentality also exhibited correlations that were relatively similar across all three studies, although only that with the love attitude of Ludus exceeded the criterion of . 15. For the new measures, although several relationships had been predicted, only the negative correlation with Love is Most Important reached the criterion of. 15.
Gender differences. Consistent with Studies I and II, women in Study III were less endorsing of Permissiveness and Instrumentality than were men, and the genders did not differ on Birth Control or Communion (see bottom panel of Table 3).
Scale reliability across time. Test-retest analyses were conducted with 79 students drawn from an undergraduate human sexuality class at a large southwestern university. The Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale was administered twice with a one-month interval between administrations. No course credit was received, and students completed the survey in class after taking an examination. Test-retest correlations for the subscales were Permissiveness = .92; Birth Control = .57; Communion = .86; and Instrumentality = .75.
Study III successfully concluded development of the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale. This 23-item scale emerged with better psychometric properties than the longer 43-item Sexual Attitudes Scale. Subscale intercorrelations and correlations with other measures were consistent for both versions of the scale.
This research has some limitations. First, participants were university students; thus, the generalizability of the results to other age groups may be limited. In addition, the sample lacked the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity that would be desirable and is surely needed in future research. Finally, the test-retest reliability for the three-item Birth Control subscale was low, and thus results for this subscale should perhaps be interpreted with caution. The alpha was excellent for Birth Control, however, and it may be that the test-retest correlation of .57 accurately reflects the inconsistency (and ambivalence) among college students in their use of birth control, as well as their attitudes about it.
This research might be viewed as a case study in the historical mutability of psychosocial measuring instruments. When researchers initially create a reliable and valid measure, the massive effort required to create the measure implicitly suggests that the scale should last for a considerable period of time; and some measures do. Yet the rapidity of social and linguistic change may require more revalidation of existing scales, necessitating the type of work discussed in this paper. We set out to shorten and update the Sexual Attitudes Scale, employing three separate samples and conducting numerous analyses in the process. No one relishes the work required to revalidate a scale; but the original Sexual Attitudes Scale has been widely used, as we detailed in the introduction, and we felt it should be revalidated. We are pleased with the results, especially the fact that the new Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale retains 23 of the original 43 items in identical form. We hope this new version of the scale will be useful to both researchers and clinicians for years to come.
APPENDIX 1. THE BRIEF SEXUAL ATTITUDES SCALE
Listed below are several statements that reflect different attitudes about sex. For each statement fill in the response on the answer sheet that indicates how much you agree or disagree with that statement. Some of the items refer to a specific sexual relationship, while others refer to general attitudes and beliefs about sex. Whenever possible, answer the questions with your current partner in mind. If you are not currently dating anyone, answer the questions with your most recent partner in mind. If you have never had a sexual relationship, answer in terms of what you think your responses would most likely be.
For each statement:
A = Strongly agree with statement
B = Moderately agree with the statement
C = Neutral - neither agree nor disagree
D = Moderately disagree with the statement
E = Strongly disagree with the statement
I do not need to be committed to a person to have sex with him/her.
Casual sex is acceptable.
I would like to have sex with many partners.
One-night stands are sometimes very enjoyable.
It is okay to have ongoing sexual relationships with more than one person at a time.
Sex as a simple exchange of favors is okay if both people agree to it.
The best sex is with no strings attached.
Life would have fewer problems if people could have sex more freely.
It is possible to enjoy sex with a person and not like that person very much.
It is okay for sex to be just good physical release.
Birth control is part of responsible sexuality.
A woman should share responsibility for birth control.
A man should share responsibility for birth control.
Sex is the closest form of communication between two people.
A sexual encounter between two people deeply in love is the ultimate human interaction.
At its best, sex seems to be the merging of two souls.
Sex is a very important part of life.
Sex is usually an intensive, almost overwhelming experience.
Sex is best when you let yourself go and focus on your own pleasure.
Sex is primarily the taking of pleasure from another person.
The main purpose of sex is to enjoy oneself.
Sex is primarily physical.
Sex is primarily a bodily function, like eating.
Note. The BSAS includes the instructions shown at the top. The items are given in the order shown. The BSAS is usually part of a battery with items numbered consecutively. The scoring may be reversed, so that A = strongly disagree, etc. The scale names and lines separating scales are not shown to participants.
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Manuscript accepted September 22, 2005
Address correspondence to Clyde Hendrick, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, 79409-2051; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clyde Hendrick, Susan S. Hendrick, and Darcy A. Reich
Texas Tech University
Table 1. Factor Loadings for the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale for Study I Subscales Permiss. BC Permissiveness I do not need to be committed to a person to have sex with him/her. .79 (.82) Casual sex is acceptable. .86 (.89) I would like to have sex with many partners. .77 (.79) One-night stands are sometimes enjoyable. .82 (.84) It is okay to have ongoing sexual relationships with more than one person at a time. .75 (.76) Sex as a simple exchange of favors is okay if both people agree to it. .77 (.78) The best sex is with no strings attached. .65 (.63) Life would have fewer problems if people could have sex more freely. .70 (.68) It is possible to enjoy sex with a person and not like that person very much. .60 (.62) It is okay for sex to be just good physical release. .65 (.66) Birth Control Birth control is part of responsible sexuality. .63 (.64) A woman should share responsibility for birth control. .85 (.86) A man should share responsibility for birth control. .83 (.84) Communion Sex is the closest form of communication between two people. A sexual encounter between two people deeply in love is the ultimate human interaction. At its best, sex seems to be the merging of two souls. Sex is a very important part of life. Sex is usually an intensive, almost overwhelming experience. Instrumentality Sex is best when you let yourself go and focus on your own pleasure. Sex is primarily the taking of pleasure from another person. The main purpose of sex is to enjoy oneself. Sex is primarily physical. Sex is primarily a bodily function, like eating. Subscales Commun. Instrum Permissiveness I do not need to be committed to a person to have sex with him/her. Casual sex is acceptable. I would like to have sex with many partners. One-night stands are sometimes enjoyable. It is okay to have ongoing sexual relationships with more than one person at a time. Sex as a simple exchange of favors is okay if both people agree to it. The best sex is with no strings attached. Life would have fewer problems if people could have sex more freely. It is possible to enjoy sex with a person and not like that person very much. It is okay for sex to be just good physical release. Birth Control Birth control is part of responsible sexuality. A woman should share responsibility for birth control. A man should share responsibility for birth control. Communion Sex is the closest form of communication between two people. .56 (.58) A sexual encounter between two people deeply in love is the ultimate human interaction. .64 (.65) At its best, sex seems to be the merging of two souls. .63 (.63) Sex is a very important part of life. .50 (.50) Sex is usually an intensive, almost overwhelming experience. .49 (.49) Instrumentality Sex is best when you let yourself go and focus on your own pleasure. .52 (.56) Sex is primarily the taking of pleasure from another person. .63 (.69) The main purpose of sex is to enjoy oneself. .67 (.71) Sex is primarily physical. .60 (.62) Sex is primarily a bodily function, like eating. .56 (.57) Note. N = 674. Permiss. = Permissiveness; BC = Birth Control; Commun. = Communion; Instrum. = Instrumentality. Loadings are shown for both varimax rotation and oblique rotation (latter in parentheses). Table 2. Correlations Between Both Versions of the Sexual Attitudes Scales and Other Relationship Variables for Studies I and II Measures Permissiveness BC Love Attitudes Eros -.22 ** (-.22 **) .10 (-.05) -.23 ** (-.23 **) .10 (-.06) Ludus .44 ** (.45 **) .04 (.09) .44 ** (.45 **) -.05 (-.05) Storge -.23 ** (-.18 **) -.03 (-.17 **) -.24 ** (-.18 **) .01 (-.11) Pragma -.17 ** (-.18 **) -.14 ** (-.19 **) -.17 ** (-.16 **) -.10 (-.15 **) Mania .02 (.01) -.01 (-.01) .04 (.02) -.06 (-.04) Agape -.09 (-.13) -.04 (-.06) -.08 (-.12) -.06 (-.07) Other Measures Satisfaction -.25 ** (-.22 **) .02 (-.04) -.26 ** (-.23 **) .00 (-.01) Commitment -.31 ** (-.26 **) -.02 (-.02) -.33 ** (-.27 **) -.01 (-.00) Self-disclosure -.29 ** (-.18 **) .13 (.06) -.30 ** (-.18 **) .16 ** (.07) Measures Communion Instrum. Love Attitudes Eros .21 ** (.11) -.21 ** (-.18**) .16 ** (.11) -.18 ** (-.16**) Ludus -.01 (.04) .33 ** (.31**) -.02 (-.00) .30 ** (.27**) Storge .08 (-.05) -.14 ** (-.14) .07 (-.05) -.12 (-.12) Pragma .05 (-.02) .04 (-.06) .04 (.02) .05 (-.03) Mania .13 (.13) .11 (.10) .11 (.14 **) .10 (.10) Agape .17 ** (.12) -.13 ** (-.18 **) .14 ** (.16 **) -.13 ** (-.18 **) Other Measures Satisfaction .15 ** (.07) -.23 ** (-.20 **) .12 (.08) -.19 ** (-.18 **) Commitment .14 ** (.05) -.20 ** (-.22 **) .10 (.05) -.16 ** (-.20 **) Self-disclosure .17 ** (.05) -.20 ** (-.17 **) .13 ** (.05) -.17 ** (-.17 **) Note. N = 674 for Study I and 528 for Study II . Correlations for the original scale are listed above, and those for the brief version are listed below. Correlations without parentheses are for Study I. Correlations in parentheses are for Study II. BC = Birth Control; Instrum. = Instrumentality. ** p < .001 Table 3. Means and F-Ratios For Sexual Attitudes Scale Subscales as a Function of Gender for Studies I, II, and III Means Subscales Men Women F-Ratio Study I Permissiveness (3.63) (4.47) 241.04 *** 3.38 4.47 244.96 *** Birth Control (1.80) (1.81) .02 1.62 1.33 27.09 *** Communion (2.11) (2.17) 1.27 2.15 2.20 .68 Instrumentality (3.30) (3.61) 21.84 *** 3.27 3.50 11.42 *** Study II Permissiveness (3.61) (4.41) 145.14 *** 3.36 4.39 149.00 *** Birth Control (1.83) (1.90) 1.58 1.63 1.49 3.45 Communion (2.04) (2.15) 2.83 2.03 2.16 2.81 Instrumentality (3.35) (3.54) 6.52 * 3.34 3.45 2.21 Study III Permissiveness 3.31 4.37 164.69 *** Birth Control 1.83 1.74 1.04 Communion 2.09 2.02 1.31 Instrumentality 3.38 3.53 4.98 * Note. N = Study I (202 men, 472 women); Study II (172 men, 356 women); Study III (219 men, 299 women). Means for the original measure (Studies I and II only) are in parentheses. Lower means indicate more of the sexual attitude. * p < . 05 ** p < .01 *** p < .001 Table 4. Correlations Between the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale and Other Relationship Variables for Study III Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale Other measures Permissiveness Birth Control Love Styles Eros -.24 *** .03 Ludus .53 *** .09 Storge -.23 *** -.05 Pragma -.17 *** -.02 Mania .06 .05 Agape -.05 .01 Relational Satisfaction RAS -.27 *** -.04 Partner Connectedness Commitment -.31 *** .05 Self-disclosure -.29 *** .09 Alternative partner .28 *** .11 Perceptions of Love and Sex Love is most important -.28 *** .11 Sex demonstrates love .04 .16 ** Love comes before sex -.41 *** .03 Sex is declining .20 *** .07 Respect Respect toward partner -.28 *** -.00 Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale Other measures Communion Instrumentality Love Styles Eros .26 *** -.14 Ludus .02 .29 *** Storge .11 -.02 Pragma .14 ** -.07 Mania .19 *** .11 Agape .12 -.09 Relational Satisfaction RAS .13 -.17 * Partner Connectedness Commitment .10 -.16 * Self-disclosure .17 *** -.15 Alternative partner .05 .10 Perceptions of Love and Sex Love is most important .15 ** -.15 ** Sex demonstrates love .28 *** .13 Love comes before sex .16 ** -.14 Sex is declining -.08 .13 Respect Respect toward partner .18 *** -.14 Note. N = 518. ** p < .001 *** p < .0001…