Sexual Consent Attitudes Scale

The Sexual Consent Attitudes Scale is a 19-item measure of beliefs and attitudes toward sexual consent. This scale contains two scales: 1. Asking for consent first is important and 2. Commitment reduces asking for consent.


Geographies Tested: Canada

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adults


Asking for consent first is important
1. When initiating sexual activity, one should assume no sexual consent and verbally ask for it before proceeding with any sexual activity.
2. Consent should be asked before ANY kind of sexual behavior, including necking or petting.
3. It is just as necessary to obtain consent for genital fondling as it is for sexual intercourse.
4. It is enough to ask for consent at the beginning of a sexual encounter. You don't need to ask at every step along the way.*
5. If your partner wants to engage in sexual activity it is okay to proceed, even if she/he is drunk.*
6. Sexual consent should always be obtained BEFORE the start of any sexual activity.
7. Sexual intercourse is the only sexual activity that requires explicit verbal consent.*
8. More campus programs are needed to make students aware of sexual consent issues.
9. When initiating sexual activity, it is okay to assume consent and proceed sexually until the partner indicates 'no'.*
10. If sexual consent for intercourse is already established, then consent for petting and fondling can be assumed.*
11. Verbally asking for sexual consent reduces the pleasure of the encounter (i.e. it destroys the mood).*
12. Nonverbal behaviors are as effective as verbal communication to indicate sexual consent.*
13. Too few couples openly discuss the issue of sexual consent.
14. If a sexual request is made and the partner indicates 'no', it is okay to continue negotiating the request.*

Commitment reduces asking for consent
15. The necessity of asking for sexual consent DECREASES as the length of an intimate relationship INCREASES.
16. Obtaining sexual consent is MORE necessary in a casual sexual encounter than in a committed relationship.
17. If a couple has a long history of consenting sexual activity with each other, they no longer need to ask for consent during each sexual encounter.
18. Obtaining sexual consent is MORE necessary in a new relationship than in a committed relationship.
19. Partners are LESS likely to ask for sexual consent the longer they are in a relationship.

Response Options:
7-point Likert scale
Strongly disagree - 1
Strongly agree - 7

*Items are reverse scored

Scoring Procedures

The mean of each subscale is calculated. Higher scores represent stronger agreement.

Original Citation

Humphreys, T., & Herold, E. (2007). Sexual consent in heterosexual relationships: Development of a new measure. Sex Roles, 57(3-4), 305-315.

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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