Table of Contents
Aggressive Sexual Behavior Inventory
DONALD L. MOSHER,1 University of Connecticut
The Aggressive Sexual Behavior Inventory (ASBI; Mosher & Anderson, 1986) was developed to measure sexual aggression by men against women that occurs in dating or other heterosocial-heterosexual situations. College men, but particularly college men with a macho personality constellation that includes callous sexual attitudes toward women, frequently use these tactics (Mosher & Anderson, 1986). In studies of sexual aggression, answers to a single question about the occurrence of date rape or to a hypothetical question asking about the likelihood of rape if one were not going to be caught suffer from problems of unreliability and false reporting. Although men might also under- or overreport on these 20 items, the summed score, when anonymous, is a better estimate of each man’s history of aggressive sexual behavior. The ASBI can be treated as an individual-differences measure of sexual aggression or as a dependent variable when studying predictive correlates of aggressive sexual behavior.
The ASBI consists of 20 items (or a 10-item short form) arranged in a 7-point Likert-type format to rate frequency of occurrence from 1 (never) to 7 (extremely frequently). From the responses of a sample of 125 college men to 33 items, a varimax factor analysis with an orthogonal rotation extracted six factors that were named Sexual Force, Drugs and Alcohol, Verbal Manipulation, Angry Rejection, Anger Expression, and Threat.
Response Mode and Timing
Respondents can circle the number from 1 to 7 correspond- ing to their frequency of using the tactic, but the more com- mon scoring is to mark the answers on machine-scoreable answer sheets. The inventory requires approximately 5 minutes to complete.
All 20 items are keyed in the same direction with a higher score indicating a greater frequency of aggressive sexual behavior. Scores can range from 20 to 140 or from 10 to 70 on the short form. For each specific factor, the percent- age of 125 University of Connecticut college men who
endorsed one or more items in the factor and the numbers of the items loading most highly on specific factors fol- lows: Sexual Force, 28% ( 3, 9, 11, 14, 17, 19); Drugs and
Alcohol, 75% (2, 6, 15); Verbal Manipulation, 64% (1, 4,
7, 20); Angry Rejection, 43% (10, 13); Anger Expression,
46% (8, 16, 18); and Threat, 13% (5, 12). The 10-item
short form includes Items 1, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 15, 18, and 19.
In a sample of 125 college men (Mosher & Anderson, 1986), the Cronbach alpha for the summed scores from the 20 items was .94. It is recommended that the summed score of the 20 items be regarded as a homogeneous measure of aggressive sexual behavior. The short form of 10 items had a Cronbach alpha of .87 in a sample of 55 male rock musicians (Zaitchik, 1986).
As expected, Mosher and Anderson (1986) found that the summed score of the ASBI was significantly correlated with Macho Personality, r = .33, Callous Sexual Attitudes, r = .53, Violence as Manly, r = .23, and Danger as Exciting, r = .26, as measured by the Hypermasculinity Inventory (Mosher & Sirkin, 1984). As expected, aggressive sexual behavior (Anderson, 1983) was significantly negatively correlated with Sex-Guilt, r = –.53, and Hostility-Guilt, r = -.49, as measured by the Mosher Forced-Choice Guilt Inventory (Mosher, 1966). When 125 college men imagined themselves in the role of rapist during guided imagery of a realistic-violent and nonerotic-rape, men scoring higher on aggressive sexual behavior, in comparison to men scoring lower, reported significantly more subjective sexual arousal, as hypothesized, but contrary to expectations they also experienced more affective anger, distress, fear, shame, and guilt (Mosher & Anderson, 1986). These results were interpreted as consistent with the revivification by the guided imagery of rape of the sexually aggressive men’s mood-congruent, state-memories (Bower, 1981) of their own previous acts of sexual aggression. In a sample of rock musicians, Zaitchik (1986) found that the ASBI was correlated .75 with macho personality, .72 with cocaine use, .70 with amphetamine use, .50 with marijuana use, and .35 with life satisfaction.
1Address correspondence to Donald L. Mosher, 648 Ternberry Forest Drive, The Villages, FL 32162; e-mail: [email protected]
Aggressive Sexual Behavior Inventory
Instructions: The following 20 items sample behavior that sometimes occurs in dating or man-woman sociosexual interactions. The items describe various techniques, which may or may not be successful, for gaining increased sexual access to women. Some of the behaviors are acceptable to some men and others are not. Because you are an anonymous subject in a psychological study, you are asked to be as truthful as you can be. Each item is to be rated on a 7-point scale of the frequency of past use of the tactic in which 1 means never and 7 means extremely frequent. If, for example, an item said, “I shave with an electric razor,” you would mark the item with a 1, if you never shave with an electric razor, with a 7, if you shaved extremely frequently with an electric razor, and with a number between 2–6 to represent the relative frequency with which you shaved with an electric razor. Record your answers on the separate answer sheet.
I have threatened to leave or to end a relationship if a woman wouldn’t have sex with me.
I have gotten a woman drunk in order to have sex with her.
I have waited my turn in line with some other guys who were sharing a “party girl.”
I have told a woman that I wanted to come into her apartment so I could get her where I wanted.
I have warned a woman that she could get hurt if she resisted me, so she should relax and enjoy it.
I have gotten a woman high on marijuana or pills so she would be less able to resist my advances.
I have told a woman I was petting with that she couldn’t stop and leave me with “blue balls.”
I have blown my top and sworn or broken something to show a woman that she shouldn’t get me angry.
I have brought a woman to my place after a date and forced her to have sex with me.
I have told a woman I was going out with that I could find someone else to give me sex if she wouldn’t.
I have calmed a woman down with a good slap or two when she got hysterical over my advances.
I have promised a woman that I wouldn’t harm her if she did everything that I told her to do.
I have called a woman an angry name and pushed her away when she would not surrender to my need for sex.
I have forced a woman to have sex with me and some of my pals.
I have turned a woman on to some expensive drugs so that she would feel obligated to do me a sexual favor.
I have roughed a woman up a little so that she would understand that I meant business.
I have pushed a woman down and made her undress or torn her clothes off if she wouldn’t cooperate.
I have gripped a woman tightly and given her an angry look when she was not giving me the sexual response I wanted.
I have gotten a little drunk and forced a woman that I’m with to have sex with me.
I have told a woman that her refusal to have sex with me was changing the way I felt about her.
Anderson, R. D. (1983). Hyper-masculine attitudes, aggressive sexual behaviors, and the reactions of college men to a guided imagery presentation of realistic rape. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Connecticut, Storrs.
Bower, G. H. (1981). Mood and mercy. American Psychologist, 36, 129– 148.
Mosher, D. L. (1966). The development and multitrait-multimethod matrix analysis of three measures of guilt. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 30, 25–29.
Mosher, D. L., & Anderson, R. D. (1986). Macho personality, sexual aggression, and reactions to guided imagery of realistic rape. Journal of Research in Personality, 20(2), 77–94.
Mosher, D. L., & Sirkin, M. (1984). Measuring a macho personality con- stellation. Journal of Research in Personality, 18, 150–163.
Zaitchik, M. (1986). Macho personality and life satisfaction in rock musicians. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Connecticut, Storrs.