Double Standard Scale

Double Standard Scale

SANDRA L. CARON,University of Maine

CLIVE M. DAVISSyracuse University


The purpose of the Double Standard Scale is to measure acceptance of the traditional sexual double standard.


The Double Standard Scale consists of 10 items arranged in a 5-point Likert format with response options labeled from

(1) Strongly Agree to (5) Strongly Disagree.

Response Mode and Timing

Respondents circle the number from 1 to 5 corresponding to their answer. The scale requires an average of 5 minutes for completion.


A total score for the instrument is obtained by summing each of the item scores, including reversing the negative item (Item 8). Scores can range from 10 to 50 points. A lower score indicates a greater adherence to the traditional double standard.


In a sample of 330 college men and women (Caron, Davis, Halteman, & Stickle, 1993), the Cronbach alpha for the summed scores from the 10 items was 72.


In addition to the face validity of the questions, Caron et al. (1993) obtained results consistent with expectations about how those men and women who held a double standard would behave regarding some aspects of condom use.

Double Standard Scale

Instructions: Please circle your response to the following questions regarding your attitudes about the sex roles of men and women. Please keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers. Please answer honestly.

1 = Strongly Agree

2 = Agree

3 = Undecided

4 = Disagree

5 = Strongly Disagree‌

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 1. It is expected that a woman be less sexually experienced than her partner.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 2. A woman who is sexually active is less likely to be considered a desirable partner.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 3. A woman should never appear to be prepared for a sexual encounter.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 4. It is important that the men be sexually experienced so as to teach the women.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 5. A “good” woman would never have a one-night stand, but it is expected of a man.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6. It is important for a man to have multiple sexual experiences in order to gain experience.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 7. In sex the man should take the dominant role and the woman should assume the passive role.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 8. It is acceptable for a woman to carry condoms.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 9. It is worse for a woman to sleep around than it is for a man.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 10. It is up to the man to initiate sex.

Address correspondence to Sandra L. Caron, Human Development, University of Maine, 5749 Merrill Hall, Orono, ME 04469; e-mail: [email protected]


Caron, S. L., Davis, C. M., Halteman, W. A., & Stickle, M. (1993). Predictors of condom related behaviors among first-year college students. The Journal of Sex Research, 30, 252–259.