Academic journal article College Student Journal

Development of the Sexual Attitudes and Experiences Scale (SAES)

Academic journal article College Student Journal

Development of the Sexual Attitudes and Experiences Scale (SAES)

Article excerpt

Despite a rich history of measuring sexual attitudes and behaviors, few scales allow for a direct comparison of sexual attitudes with sexual experiences. The Sexual Attitudes and Experiences Scale (SAES) was developed for academia, counselors and health professionals for use with undergraduate populations. Upon completion of pilot work and a preliminary study of 202 undergraduate students and a final analysis of 455 undergraduate students, the SAES was found to exhibit sufficient reliability and validity. A strong attitude-experience correlation was found between the subscales despite variation in the correlations between individual sexual attitude items and corresponding sexual experiences. Low correlations were noted between attitudes toward same sex behaviors and their corresponding experience item largely due to a small level of variance in the experience responses. Women indicated more conservative sexual attitudes and more liberal sexual experiences than men. Implications for the use of the SAES in academic and sexual health related fields are discussed.

**********

Development of the Sexual Attitudes and Experiences Scale (SAES)

This study introduces a scale developed to measure the sexual attitudes and sexual experiences of undergraduate college students. The scale addresses the two central themes of sexuality measurement--attitudes and experiences. The attitude and experience components can be used separately or together to assess the relationship between individuals' sexual attitudes and behaviors. The scale is best used for measuring college student attitudes and behaviors and can be used by researchers, instructors, student support services and/or counselors. Sexual behavior shows tremendous variation across individuals and smaller variation across an individual's lifetime. Consequently, the term experience refers to any behavior--current or past. In addition, the associations between attitudes, experiences and self-identification are fluid and can vary in strength across a lifetime. Any measurement of current attitudes is a snapshot of individuals in a particular place in time as attitudes and identity will affect experiences and behavior, just as experiences and behaviors will affect attitudes over time (Breckler & Wiggins, 1993). Sexual attitudes and experiences are critical components of human development and the Sexual Attitudes and Experiences Scale (SAES) will serve to help individuals working with college students to help develop a meaningful understanding of undergraduates' sexual attitudes and experiences.

Measuring Sexual Experiences and Behavior

The Kinsey studies represent the primary source of self-reported data on sexual experiences and the studies greatly influenced the measurement of sexual behaviors (Kinsey, Pomeroy, & Martin, 1948; Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin, & Gabhard, 1953). The Kinsey studies sought to identify what sexual experiences people had, what age they were when they began engaging in sexual behaviors and had a sexual experience, and how often they were currently engaging in sexual behaviors. The Kinsey studies were highly influential due to the nature of the questions asked and the large number of participants. Representing other groundbreaking work, Masters and Johnson (1966) measured physiological responses of male and female volunteers and dispelled the myth that women's sexual responses to intercourse were vastly different from men's and indicated both sexes had very similar physiological responses. Critics of Masters and Johnson and the Kinsey reports note concerns that the findings were not generalizable to the American population (Bajracharya, Sarvela, & Isberner, 1995; Bernstein, Clarke-Stewart, Roy, & Wickens, 1997; Elliot & Brantley, 1997; Fishbein & Ajzen, 1980; Hannon, Hall, Gonzalez, & Cacciapaglia, 1999; Kirschner & Sedlacek, 1987).

In the absence of systematic, scientific studies of the American population in the 1950s and 1960s, a series of popular "reports" on sexual practices proliferated to fill the void. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.