Women's Scores on the Sexual Inhibition/Sexual Excitation Scales (SIS/SES): Gender Similarities and Differences
Carpenter, Deanna, Janssen, Erick, Graham, Cynthia, Vorst, Harrie, Wicherts, Jelte, The Journal of Sex Research
The central assumption of the dual control model (Bancroft, 1999; Bancroft & Janssen, 2000; Janssen & Bancroft, 1997) is that sexual arousal and response result from a balance between inhibitory and excitatory mechanisms of the central nervous system. Individual propensities for sexual excitation and inhibition are thought to be independent of one another and to vary from person to person (Janssen, Vorst, Finn, & Bancroft, 2002a, 2002b). The model assumes that in the majority of individuals inhibition is adaptive and helps us avoid sexually risky or threatening situations. Levels of inhibitory tone that are either too low or too high, however may contribute to problems ranging from high-risk sexual behavior to sexual dysfunctions (Bancroft, 1999; Janssen et al., 2002a, 2002b). Sexual excitation may mediate these relationships. That is, when strong sexual inhibition is paired with low excitation, sexual response may be particularly impaired, and if low inhibition is combined with high excitation, high-risk sexual situations may be subjectively experienced as more difficult to avoid. Sexual risk-taking behavior and sexual functioning problems are health issues of significant personal and social concern, and the dual control model provides a conceptual framework for how individual differences in sexual response may contribute to these problems. A better understanding of these differences has substantial potential for improving our attempts at prevention and treatment of sexual problems and high-risk sexual behavior.
Janssen and colleagues (2002a) designed the to assess the tendency to respond sexually to a variety of erotic stimuli. The items on this measure consist primarily of "if ... then" statements (i.e., "If I am on my own watching a sexual scene in a film, I quickly become sexually aroused"). Exploratory factor analysis of data provided by 408 male university undergraduates unexpectedly yielded three factors rather than two: one related to sexual excitation and two associated with sexual inhibition (Janssen et al., 2002a). The excitation factor (SES) describes sexual arousal stemming from social interactions, visual stimuli, fantasies, and nonsexual situations (such as bathing or lying in the sun). SIS1 focuses on sexual inhibition due to threat of performance failure (e.g., difficulty getting aroused, losing arousal easily, concern about pleasing a partner, etc.). SIS2 assesses sexual inhibition due to potential consequences of sex (such as the risk of being caught/intruded upon, sexually transmitted diseases [STDs], unwanted pregnancy, and pain) (Janssen et al., 2002a). The three-factor structure was confirmed in a sample of 459 undergraduate men, as well as a university-based sample of 313 male faculty and staff (Janssen et al., 2002a). Intercorrelations indicated that the excitation factor (SES) and the two inhibition factors (SIS1 and SIS2) were relatively independent (Janssen et al., 2002a, 2002b). SIS1 and SIS2 were related but not highly correlated (r = +.26), suggesting that they do not measure substantially overlapping constructs.
Results also suggested that SIS/SES scores showed acceptable test-retest reliability (r = +.67 and +.76 for the two samples) and good convergent/discriminant validity (Janssen et al., 2002a, 2002b). SES scores were modestly positively associated with scores on the Behavioral Inhibition/Behavioral Activation Scales (BIS/BAS; Carver & White, 1994), the Neuroticism subscale of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ; Eysenck & Eysenck, 1975), and the Sociosexual Orientation Inventory (SOI; Simpson & Gangestad, 1991), and more strongly related to Sexual Opinion Survey (SOS) scores (Fisher, Byrne, White, & Kelley, 1988). See the Method section for a more detailed description of these measures. Scores on SIS1 and SIS2 showed some overlap: both were modestly positively associated with scores on the Harm Avoidance Scale (MPQ-H). Only SIS2 …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Women's Scores on the Sexual Inhibition/Sexual Excitation Scales (SIS/SES): Gender Similarities and Differences. Contributors: Carpenter, Deanna - Author, Janssen, Erick - Author, Graham, Cynthia - Author, Vorst, Harrie - Author, Wicherts, Jelte - Author. Journal title: The Journal of Sex Research. Volume: 45. Issue: 1 Publication date: February 2008. Page number: 36+. © 2007 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.