The Sexual Assertiveness Scale is an 18-item self-reported measure of individual behaviors associated with initiating sex, based on the Scale of Sexual Experience (Brady and Levitt 1965) available here. The items are separated into three domains: Initiation, Refusal, and Pregnancy-STD Prevention. The aspects of sexual assertiveness in women captured by the scale include communication about sex with an intimate partner and condom use.
Geographies Tested: United States of America
Populations Included: Female
Age Range: Adolescents, Adults
1. I begin sex with my partner if I want to.
2. I let my partner know if I want my partner to touch my genitals.
3. I wait for my partner to touch my genital instead of letting my partner know that’s what I want. (R)
4. I wait for my partner to touch my breasts instead of letting my partner know that’s what I want. (R)
5. I let my partner know If I want to have genitals kissed.
6. Women should wait for men to start things like breast touching. (R)
7. I give in and kiss if my partner pressures me, even if I already said no. (R)
8. I put my mouth on my partner’s genitals if my partner wants me to even if I don’t want to. (R)
9. I refuse to let my partner touch my breasts if I don’t want that, even if my partner insists.
10. I have sex if my partner wants me to, even if I don’t want to. (R)
11. If I said no, I won’t let my partner touch my genitals even if my partner pressures me.
12. I refuse to have sex if I don’t want to, even if my partner insists.
Pregnancy – STD Prevention
13. I have sex without a condom or latex barrier if my partner doesn’t like them, even if I want to use one. (R)
14. I have sex without using a condom or latex barrier if my partner insists, even if I don’t want to. (R)
15. I make sure my partner and I use a condom or latex barrier when we have sex.
16. I have sex without using a condom or latex barrier if my partner wants. (R)
17. I insist on using a condom or latex barrier if I want to, even if my partner doesn’t like them.
18. I refuse to have sex if my partner refuses to use a condom or latex barrier.
Note: R in parentheses after items denotes the item was reverse scored.
Each item was rated on a 5-point scale.
Never, 0% of the time - 1
Sometimes, about 25% of the time - 2
About 50% of the time - 3
Usually, about 75% of the time - 4
Always, 100% of the time - 5
Morokoff, P. J., Quina, K., Harlow, L. L., Whitmire, L., Grimley, D. M., Gibson, P. R., & Burkholder, G. J. (1997). Sexual Assertiveness Scale (SAS) for women: Development and validation. Journal of personality and social psychology, 73(4), 790. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.2060
Ease of Use Score
Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework
Field Expert Input
Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing