Contraceptive Attitude Scale

Contraceptive Attitude Scale‌

KELLY J. BLACK,University of Washington

The Contraceptive Attitude Scale (CAS) is a measure of attitudes toward the use of contraceptives in general as opposed to attitudes toward a specific type of contraceptive (Brown, 1984), or toward the premarital use of contraceptives (Parcel, 1975). Potentially the scale could help distinguish between an attitude toward using a particular method of contraception (e.g., the condom) versus an attitude toward using any contraceptive.


The CAS consists of 17 positively and 15 negatively worded items to which respondents indicate their agreement or dis- agreement. The final set of statements was selected based on the responses of 75 male and 60 female college students to a larger set of 80 statements.

Response Mode and Timing

Participants respond to each item by indicating their level of agreement with each statement. Possible responses range from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). The scale requires about 10 minutes to complete.


All statements are scored using a 5-point scale. For positively worded statements, strongly disagree receives a score of 1 and strongly agree receives a score of 5. Negatively worded statements are reverse scored so that strongly dis-agree receives a score of 5 and strongly agree receives a score of 1. The total score is the sum of the responses to each item. Lower scores indicate more negative attitudes toward contraception.


Test-retest reliability of the 32-item scale is very good, r(166) = .88, < .001. Internal reliability, as measured by corrected item-total correlations is also good (rs range from .26 to .68; Black & Pollack, 1987).


Scores from the CAS correlated significantly with scores from the Premarital Contraceptive Attitude Evaluation Instrument (Parcel, 1975), = .72. It also correlated with reported frequency of contraceptive use among nonvirgin male and female college students, = .60. Below are several statements about the use of contraceptives (birth control). We are interested in knowing your opinion about each statement. Using the scale below, please indicate your level of agreement or disagreement with each statement. Keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers. Also remember that we are interested in your personal opinion. Therefore, we want to know how you feel about these statements and not how you think your family or friends might feel about these statements.


SA = Strongly agree; = Agree; = Undecided; = Disagree; SD = Strongly disagree

        1. I believe that it is wrong to use contraceptives.

        2. Contraceptives reduce the sex drive.

        3. Using contraceptives is much more desirable than having an abortion.

        4. Males who use contraceptives seem less masculine than males who do not.

        5. I encourage my friends to use contraceptives.

        6. I would not become sexually involved with a person who did not accept contraceptive responsibility.

        7. Teenagers should not need permission from their parents to get contraceptives.

        8. Contraceptives are not really necessary unless a couple has engaged in intercourse more than once.

        9. Contraceptives make sex seem less romantic.

        10. Females who use contraceptives are promiscuous.

        11. I would not have intercourse if no contraceptive method was available.

        12. I do not believe that contraceptives actually prevent pregnancy.

        13. Using contraceptives is a way of showing that you care about your partner.

        14. I do not talk about contraception with my friends.

        15. I would feel embarrassed discussing contraception with my friends.

        16. One should use contraceptives regardless of how long one has known his/her sexual partner.

        17. Contraceptives are difficult to obtain.

        18. Contraceptives can actually make intercourse seem more pleasurable.

        19. I feel that contraception is solely my partner’s responsibility.

        20. I feel more relaxed during intercourse if a contraceptive method is used.

        21. I prefer to use contraceptives during intercourse.

        22. In the future, I plan to use contraceptives any time I have intercourse.

        23. I would practice contraception even if my partner did not want me to.

        24. It is no trouble to use contraceptives.

        25. Using contraceptives makes a relationship seem too permanent.

        26. Sex is not fun if a contraceptive is used.

        27. Contraceptives are worth using, even if the monetary cost is high.

        28. Contraceptives encourage promiscuity.

        29. Couples should talk about contraception before having intercourse.

        30. If I or my partner experienced negative side effects from a contraceptive method, we would use a different method.

        31. Contraceptives make intercourse seem too planned.

        32. I feel better about myself when I use contraceptives.

Address correspondence to Kelly Black, University of Washington, WaNPRC, Box 357330, Seattle, WA 98109; e-mail: [email protected]


Black, K. J., & Pollack, R. H. (1987, April). The development of a contraceptive attitude scale. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology, Atlanta.

Brown, I. S. (1984). Development of a scale to measure attitudes toward the condom as a method of birth control. The Journal of Sex Research, 20, 255–263.

Parcel, G. S. (1975). Development of an instrument to measure attitudes toward the personal use of premarital contraception. Journal of School Health, 45, 157–160.