Sexual Attitudes Scale

Sexual Attitudes Scale is a 43-item measure of attitudes held regarding sexual permissiveness, sexual practices, communion, and instrumentality.


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


1. I do not need to be committed to a person to have sex with him/her.
2. Casual sex is acceptable.
3. I would like to have sex with many partners.
4. One-night stands are sometimes very enjoyable.
5. It is okay to have ongoing sexual relationships with more than one person at a time.
6. It is okay to manipulate someone into having sex as long as no future promises are made.
7. Sex as a simple exchange of favors is okay if both people agree to it.
8. The best sex is with no strings attached.
9. Life would have fewer problems if people could have sex more freely.
10. It is possible to enjoy sex with a person and not like that person very much.
11. Sex is more fun with someone you don't love.
12. It is all right to pressure someone into having sex.
13. Extensive premarital sexual experience is fine.
14. Extramarital affairs are all right as long as one's partner doesn't know about them.
15. Sex for its own sake is perfectly all right.
16. I would feel comfortable having intercourse with my partner in the presence of other people.
17. Prostitution is acceptable.
18. It is okay for sex to be just good physical release.
19. Sex without love is meaningless.
20. People should at least be friends before they have sex together.
21. In order for sex to be good, it must also be meaningful.

Sexual Practices
22. Birth control is part of responsible sexuality.
23. A woman should share responsibility for birth control.
24. A man should share responsibility for birth control.
25. Sex education is important for young people.
26. Using "sex toys" during lovemaking is acceptable.
27. Masturbation is all right.
28. Masturbating one's partner during intercourse can increase the pleasure of sex.

29. Sex gets better as a relationship progresses.
30. Sex is the closest form of communication between two people.
31. A sexual encounter between two people deeply in love is the ultimate human interaction.
32. Orgasm is the greatest experience in the world.
33. At its best, sex seems to be the merging of two souls.
34. Sex is a very important part of life.
35. Sex is usually an intensive, almost overwhelming experience.
36. During sexual intercourse, intense awareness of the partner is the best frame of mind.
37. Sex is fundamentally good.

38. Sex is best when you let yourself go and focus on your own pleasure.
39. Sex is primarily the taking of pleasure from another person.
40. The main purpose of sex is to enjoy oneself.
41. Sex is primarily physical.
42. Sex is primarily a bodily function, like eating.
43. Sex is mostly a game between males and females.

Response Options:
Strongly agree - 1
Moderately agree - 2
Neutral - 3
Moderately disagree - 4
Strongly disagree - 5

Scoring Procedures

Total scale and subscale scores are sums of all responses.

Original Citation

Hendrick, S., & Hendrick, C. (1987). Multidimensionality of sexual attitudes. Journal of Sex Research, 23(4), 502-526.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


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