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International Academy of Sex Research Presentations
The Measurement of Sexual Compulsivity in Young Adults: A Comparison of Two Scales
McBride, K. R., Reece, M., Sanders, S. A., & Janssen, E. The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Morrison Hall 313, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 47405, USA (email: email@example.com).
Objective: While there has been an increase in research aimed at understanding the notion of out-of-control sexual behavior and sexual compulsivity, much of the existing work has focused on men (especially within the context of HIV risk) and clinical samples, giving little attention to women and non-clinical groups, particularly young heterosexual adults. Additionally, little work has explored measurement issues associated with this construct. The purpose of this study was to examine, among a non-clinical young adult sample, the psychometric properties of two existing measurement tools used to assess sexual compulsivity, giving special attention to the scales’ ability to predict the negative cognitive and behavioral outcomes of sexual behavior that some would suggest are definitive elements of the construct of sexual compulsivity.
Methods: Data were collected from 390 male and female undergraduate students in the United States using convenience sampling methods. Measures included a sexual behavior questionnaire, the Compulsive Sexual Behavior Inventory (CSBI, Coleman et al., 2001), the Sexual Compulsivity Scale (SCS, Kalichman & Rompa, 1995), and a newly developed scale that assesses cognitive and behavioral outcomes of various sexual behaviors. Data analyses included descriptive and inferential statistical techniques to assess the psychometric properties of the sexual compulsivity scales, logistic regression to assess the predictive capacity of the scales with regard to sexual risk taking, and multiple regression to assess the predictive capacity of the scales with regard to negative cognitive and behavioral outcomes of sexual behavior.
Results: Acceptable levels of internal consistency were found for the two measures of sexual compulsivity (CSBI α = .87, SCS α = .79), and high internal consistency for the cognitive and behavioral outcomes scale (α = .91). Regression analyses indicated that both the CSBI and the SCS were predictive of sexual risk-taking behaviors, with higher scores on the SCS being a significant predictor of unprotected vaginal and anal receptive intercourse for women and unprotected anal insertive and receptive intercourse for men. Lower scores on the CSBI were found to be a significant predictor of unprotected vaginal and anal receptive intercourse for women and unprotected anal insertive intercourse in men. With regard to the negative cognitive and behavioral outcomes of sexual behavior, the SCS accounted for 13.7% of the variance in cognitive and 7% of the behavioral outcome scores. The CSBI accounted for 18.4% of the variance in behavioral outcome scores and 21.9% in cognitive outcome scores.
Conclusions: The results indicate that higher scores on measures of sexual compulsivity are associated with sexual risk-taking and negative cognitive and behavioral outcomes among young adults. Findings also lend support to the notion of an outcomes-based conceptualization of the construct of sexual compulsivity and provide insight in to the utility of these tools as screening mechanisms among this population.