Human Sexuality Questionnaire

Human Sexuality Questionnaire‌

MARVIN ZUCKERMAN,University of Delaware

The experience scales are designed to measure cumulative heterosexual experience and homosexual experience in terms of the variety of sexual activities of each type and the frequency. Separate 1-item scales assess the number of heterosexual partners and the number of homosexual partners. An orgasmic experience scale measures the variety of sexual activities leading to orgasm and their cumulative frequency. A 1-item masturbation scale measures cumulative masturbatory experience.

Attitude scales are designed to measure (a) parental attitudes toward manifestations of sexual curiosity and behavior in children, (b) attitudes toward heterosexual activities as a function of the social relationship to the other person, (c) attitudes toward heterosexual activities as a function of the emotional relationship to the other person, and (d) attitudes toward homosexuality in general.

EXPERIENCE SCALES

Description and Scoring of Subscales

The Heterosexual Experience scale is an extension of prior Guttman-type scales. It consists of 14 items ranging from kissing to manual petting, oral stimulation of the breast, genital manipulation, oral-genital contact, and coitus in various positions. For each of the 14 items, the subject rates his or her experience on a 5-point scale from 1 (never) to 5 (10 times or more). The score is the sum of the weighted item responses.

Reliability. Coefficients of reproducibility were .97 for males and females on a 12-item earlier version of the scale (Zuckerman, 1973) and .93 and .94 on the current 14-item version (Zuckerman, Tushup, & Finner, 1976). Coefficients of scalability in the latter study were .77 and

.81 in males and females, respectively. Retest reliabilities after a 15-week interval were .80, .92, .94, and .95 in four groups (Zuckerman et al., 1976).

Validity. Subjects electing to take a course in human sexuality scored significantly higher than subjects in a personality course (Zuckerman et al., 1976). There were no initial sex differences. The males, but not the females, taking the sexuality course showed a greater increase than the control group. Heterosexual experience was positively correlated with all Sensation Seeking subscales in both males and females. Heterosexual college males scored higher than male members of a gay university group (Zuckerman & Myers, 1983). The scale correlated positively with levels of plasma testosterone and estradiol in college males (Daitzman & Zuckerman, 1980).

The Homosexual Experience scale consists of four items describing experiences of genital manipulation (active and passive) and oral-genital stimulation (active and passive) with members of one’s own sex. The subject responds on a 5-point scale for each item that ranges from 1 (never) to 5 (10 times or more). The score is the sum of the weighted item responses.

Reliability. Coefficients of reproducibility were .98 and 1.00 and coefficients of scalability were .76 and 1.00 for males and females, respectively (Zuckerman et al., 1976). Retest reliabilities after a 15-week interval were and .49 for two groups of males (the lower one after taking a sexuality course), and .67 and .80 for two groups of females.

Validity. Males scored higher than females. Males, but not females, taking a course in human sexuality showed more increase than a control group (Zuckerman et al., 1976). Males in two gay groups scored higher than males in two heterosexual groups with practically no overlap in the two distributions (Zuckerman & Myers, 1983). The scales correlated positively with plasma estradiol levels in males, but not with testosterone (Daitzman & Zuckerman, 1980).

The Number of Heterosexual Partners scale consists of one item:. “With how many different persons of the opposite sex have you had sexual relationships in your lifetime?”. The subject responds on a 5-point scale ranging from 1 (none) to 5 (four or more). The score is the weight (1 to 5) of the response choice.

Reliability. Retest reliabilities after a 15-week interval were .91 and .76 for two groups of males and .85 and .94 for two groups of females (Zuckerman et al., 1976).

Validity. Subjects taking a course in human sexuality scored higher than those taking a course in personality, and males scored higher than females (Zuckerman et al., 1976). The scale was unaffected by the course in human sexuality. It correlated positively with the Sensation Seeking subscales in both sexes. A heterosexual college male group scored higher than two gay male groups and a college church group (Zuckerman & Myers, 1983). The scale correlated positively with both plasma testosterone and estradiol in college males (Daitzman & Zuckerman, 1980).

The Number of Homosexual Partners scale consists of one item: “With how many different persons of your own sex have you had sexual relations in your lifetime?”. The subject responds on a 5-point scale from 1 (none) to 5 (four or more).

Reliability. Retest reliabilities were very low on this scale after a 15-week interval: .56 and .37 for males and .26 and .27 for females (Zuckerman et al., 1976). Instability may be due to changing interpretations of the term sexual relations in a homosexual context or more willingness to admit such relations on one occasion relative to another. Another reason is the highly restricted range; most persons respond none, so the stability depends on the responses on the few individuals who respond one or more.

Validity. A group taking a sexuality course scored higher than a group taking a personality course. There were no sex differences (Zuckerman et al., 1976). Males taking the sexuality course increased on the scale relative to control males. Two groups of gay males scored higher than two groups of heterosexual males (Zuckerman & Myers, 1983). The scale did not correlate with either testosterone or estradiol in males (Daitzman & Zuckerman, 1980).

The Orgasmic Experience scale consists of eight items describing various ways in which orgasm can be achieved: masturbation, petting, genital manipulation, heterosexual and homosexual intercourse, oral stimulation from another, dreams, and fantasy alone. The scale is similar to Kinsey’s (Kinsey, Pomeroy, & Martin, 1948) “total outlet” measure which also includes all types of sexual activity. Subjects rate how many times they have reached orgasm by each of the specified methods on the scale ranging from 1 (never) to 5 (10 times or more). The score is the sum of weighted item responses.

Reliability. Retest reliabilities after a 15-week inter- val are .75 and .80 for males and .84 and .80 for females (Zuckerman et al., 1976).

Validity. Males scored significantly higher than females, but there was no difference between those taking sexuality and personality courses (Zuckerman et al., 1976). All Sensation Seeking subscales correlated with the scale in males, but only the Experience Seeking subscale correlated with Orgasmic Experience in females. Both gay groups (college and church-affiliated) and the heterosexual college male group scored higher than the church-affiliated college male group on this scale (Zuckerman & Myers, 1983). Orgasmic experience correlated with plasma testosterone but not with estradiol in college males (Daitzman & Zuckerman, 1980).

The Masturbation scale is a one-item scale referring to “Manipulation of your own genitals.” The subject responds on a 5-point scale ranging from 1 (once or twice) to 5 (10 times or more). The score is the weighted item response.

Reliability. Retest reliabilities for a 15-week interval were .76 and .63 for males and .90 and .77 for females.

Validity. Males scored higher than females, but there were no differences between those taking sexuality and personality courses (Zuckerman et al., 1976). Males, but not females, increased more than a control group after taking a sexuality course. Gay groups had higher scores than the college church group but did not differ from the college heterosexual group (Zuckerman & Myers, 1983).

ATTITUDE SCALES

Description and Scoring of Subscales

The Parental Attitudes scale consisted of the five items in the Suppression of Sex scale from the Parental Attitude Research Instrument (PARI; Schaefer & Bell, 1958); the five corresponding reversed items from the reversed PARI (Zuckerman, 1959), constructed to control acquiescence set in the PARI; and two additional items dealing with attitudes toward exposing children to pornography. The 12 items are in a 4-response Likert format strongly disagree to strongly agree. The score consists of the weighted sum of responses scored in the direction of permissiveness.

Reliability. Retest reliabilities after a 15-week interval were .63 and .64 for males and .44 and .56 for females (Zuckerman et al., 1976).

Validity. Students taking a sexuality course scored higher (more permissive) than those taking a personality course. There were no sex differences (Zuckerman et al., 1976). Females, but not males, taking a sexuality course showed significantly greater increases than a control group.

The Attitudes Toward Heterosexual Activities scales are modifications of the Reiss (1967) scale, which separates social relationships and emotional relationships as criteria for permissiveness.

The Social Relationship attitude scale consists of the 14 activities described in the Heterosexual Experience scale. For each item the subjects are asked to indicate the relationship of partners for which they would consider the particular activity all right or not all right for someone of their own sex. The response scale options are 1 = never all right; 2 = all right with someone you are married to; 3 = all right with someone you are engaged to; 4 = all right with someone you know well; and 5 = all right with anyone, no matter how long you have known them. The total score, in the direction of permissiveness, is the sum of the weighted responses to each of the items.

The Emotional Relationship attitude scale uses the same 14 sexual activities, but here the subjects indicate whether the activity is all right under the following conditions: 1 = never all right regardless of how much you love the person; 2 = all right if you are deeply in love with the person; 3 = all right if you feel strong affection toward the person; 4 = all right if you really like the person; 5 = all right, regardless of how you generally feel about the person. Reliabilities. For the Social Relationship scale, coefficients of reproducibility were .96 and 1.00, and coefficients of scalability were .89 and .96 for males and females, respectively. For the Emotional Relationship scale, coefficients of reproducibility were .96 and .98 and coefficients of scalability were .91 for both males and females. Retest reliabilities after a 15-week interval for the Social Relationship scale were .83 and .64 for males and .86 and .85 for females. For the Emotional Relationship scale retest reliabilities were .48 and .72 for males and .75 and .72 for females (Zuckerman et al., 1976).

Validity. Persons taking a sexuality course scored higher (more permissive) than those taking a personality course, and males scored higher than females on both attitude scales. The highly significant sex differences on the attitude scales were a marked contrast to the absence of difference on the Heterosexual Experience scale, which used the same activities in the items (Zuckerman et al., 1976). Attitude scales were more highly correlated with Experience scales for females than for males. Both males and females taking the sexuality course showed more change in the permissive attitude direction than did those in the control group. Permissive attitudes correlated positively with estradiol, but not testosterone, in males (Daitzman & Zuckerman, 1980).

The Attitudes Toward Homosexuality scale consists of four Likert-type items (strongly disagree to strongly agree) regarding the rights of homosexuals to marry or adopt children and whether homosexuals are regarded as normal or disturbed. The score is weighted based on the sum of the responses (1 to 4) for the items.

Address correspondence to Marvin Zuckerman, Department of Psychology, 220 Wolf Hall, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19711; e-mail: [email protected]

Human Sexuality Questionnaire

Reliability. No reliability data are available.

Validity. Unpublished data show no sex differences but do show a significant influence of a course in human sexuality in increasing permissiveness of attitudes toward homosexuality. Two gay groups had more permissive attitudes than two college heterosexual groups, and the heterosexual college group had more permissive attitudes than the heterosexual college church group (Zuckerman & Myers, 1983). Permissive attitudes correlated positively with estradiol, but not testosterone, in males (Daitzman & Zuckerman, 1980).

Other Information

This test is not copyrighted and may be used with the per- mission of the author for research purposes only.

Parental Attitudes Scale

Response options for all items are:

  1. Strongly agree

  2. Mildly agree

  3. Mildly disagree

  4. Strongly disagree

  1. A young child should be protected from hearing about sex.

  2. Children should be taught about sex as soon as possible.

  3. Children are normally curious about sex.

  4. Young children should be prevented from contact with pornographic pictures.

  5. There is usually something wrong with a child who asks a lot of questions about sex.

  6. Sex play is a normal thing in children.

  7. Sex is one of the greatest problems to be contended with in children.

  8. Pornography is not harmful to young children and there is no need to be concerned about their coming into contact with it.

  9. There is nothing wrong with bathing boys and girls in the same bathtub.

  10. Sex is no great problem for child if the parent does not make it one.

  11. It is very important that young boys and girls not be allowed to see each other completely undressed.

  12. Children who take part in sex play become sex criminals when they grow up.

Scoring: Items 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, and 10 are weighted: A = 1; B = 2; C = 3; D = 4

Items 1, 4, 5, 7, 11, and 12 are reverse weighted: A = 4; B = 3; C = 2; D = 1 Score is sum of weighted responses: range = 12–48.

Attitudes Toward Heterosexual Activities: I. Social Relationship

Instructions: Answer these based on what you feel is right for most persons of your own sex and age. Response options for all items are:

    1. Never

    2. All right with someone you are married to

    3. All right with someone you are engaged to, or intend to marry

    4. All right with someone you have been going with for some time

    5. All right with anyone, no matter how long you have known them

  1. Kissing without tongue contact. 9. Sexual intercourse in face to face position with

  2. Kissing with tongue contact. the male on top.

  3. Male feeling covered female breasts. 10. Female mouth contact with male’s penis.

  4. Male feeling nude female breasts. 11. Male mouth contact with female genitalia.

  5. Male lying prone on the female, petting without 12. Sexual intercourse, face to face with female on top. penetration of her vagina. 13. Sexual intercourse, face to face, in side position.

  6. Male mouth contact with female breast. 14. Sexual intercourse, entering from the rear.

  7. Female manipulation of male penis.

  8. Male manipulation of female genitalia (vaginal and clitoral area).

 

Scoring: Response options are weighted as follows for all items: A = 1; B = 2; C = 3; D = 4; E = 5 Score is sum of weighted response: range = 14–70.

 

Attitudes Toward Heterosexual Activities: II. Emotional Relationship

Instructions: Answer these based on what you feel is right for most persons of your own sex and age. Response options for all items are:

    1. Never all right regardless of how much you love the person

    2. All right if you are deeply in love with the person

    3. All right if you feel strong affection for the person

    4. All right if you really like the person

    5. All right regardless of how you generally feel about the person

  1. Kissing without tongue contact.

  2. Kissing with tongue contact.

  3. Male feeling covered female breasts.

  4. Male feeling nude female breasts.

  5. Male lying prone on the female, petting without penetration of her vagina.

  6. Male mouth contact with female breast.

  7. Female manipulation of male penis.

  8. Male manipulation of female genitalia (vaginal and clitoral area).

  9. Sexual intercourse in face to face position with the male on top.

  10. Female mouth contact with male’s penis.

  11. Male mouth contact with female genitalia.

  12. Sexual intercourse, face to face, with female on top.

  13. Sexual intercourse, face to face, in side position.

  14. Sexual intercourse, entering vagina from the rear.

Scoring: Response options are weighted as follows for all items: A = 1; B = 2; C = 3; D = 4; E = 5

Score is sum of weighted responses: range = 14–70.

Attitudes Toward Homosexuality

    1. Do you think homosexuals (male or female) should have the right to legally marry?

      1. Definitely not

      2. No, I don’t think so

      3. Yes, maybe

      4. Yes, definitely

    2. Do you think homosexual couples (male or female) should have the right to adopt children?

      1. Definitely not

      2. No, I don’t think so

      3. Yes, maybe

      4. Yes, definitely

    3. Nearly all homosexuals are psychiatrically disturbed:

      1. Strongly agree

      2. Mildly agree

      3. Mildly disagree

      4. Strongly disagree

    4. Except for differences in sexual preference, homosexuals are as normal as heterosexuals:

      1. Strongly agree

      2. Mildly agree

      3. Mildly disagree

      4. Strongly disagree

Scoring: Items 1, 2, and 4 are weighted: A = 1; B = 2; C = 3; D = 4 Item 3 is reverse weighted: A = 4; B = 3; C = 2; D = 1 Score is sum of weighted responses: range = 4–16.

Heterosexual Experience

Instructions: Heterosexual experience (with persons of the opposite sex). If you are male, substitute yourself for “male” in the item; if you are female, substitute yourself for “female” in the item (e.g., for a female, Item 4 is “having your nude breast felt by a male.”)

Response options for all items are:

  1. Never

  2. Once or Twice

  3. Several times

  4. More than several times, less than ten times

  5. Ten times or more

How many times have you done the following?

  1. Kissing without tongue contact.

  2. Kissing with tongue contact.

  3. Male feeling covered female breasts.

  4. Male feeling nude female breasts.

  5. Male lying prone on the female, petting without penetration of her vagina.

  6. Male mouth contact with female breast.

  7. Female manipulation of male’s penis.

  8. Male manipulation of female genitalia (vaginal and clitoral areas).

  9. Sexual intercourse in face to face position with the male on top.

  10. Female mouth contact with male’s penis.

  11. Male mouth contact with female genitalia.

  12. Sexual intercourse, face to face, with female on top.

  13. Sexual intercourse, face to face, in side position.

  14. Sexual intercourse, entering vagina from the rear.

Scoring: Response options are weighted as follows: For all items A = 1; B = 2; C = 3; D = 4; E = 5

Score is sum of weighted responses: range = 14–70.

Homosexual Experience

Instructions: Homosexual experience (with a person of your own sex). Response options for all items are:

    1. Never

    2. Once or twice

    3. Several times

    4. More than several, less than ten times

    5. Ten times or more

How many times have you done the following?

  1. Manipulating the genitals of a person of your own sex.

  2. Having your genitals manipulated by a person of your own sex.

  3. Performing mouth-genital contact on a person of your own sex.

  4. Having mouth-genital contact performed on you by a person of your own sex. Scoring: Response options are weighted as follows:

A = 1; B = 2; C = 3; D = 4; E = 5

Score is sum of weighted responses: range = 4–20.

One-Item Scales

Masturbation Experience

How many times have you engaged in manipulation of your own genitals:

    1. Never

    2. Once or twice

    3. Several times

    4. More than several, less than ten times

    5. Ten times or more

Score is weighted response: A = 1; B = 2; C = 3; D = 4; E = 5: range = 1–5 Number of Heterosexual Partners

With how many different persons of the opposite sex have you had sexual intercourse in your lifetime?

  1. None

  2. One

  3. Two

  4. Three

  5. Four or more

Score is weighted response: A = 1; B = 2; C = 3; D = 4; E = 5: range = 1–5

Number of Homosexual Partners‌

With how many different persons of your own sex have you had sexual relations in your lifetime?

    1. None

    2. One

    3. Two

    4. Three

    5. Four or more

Score is weighted response: A = 1; B = 2; C = 3; D = 4; E = 5: range = 1–5

Orgasmic Experience

Instructions: Orgasmic Experience (orgasm = sudden spasmodic discharge of sexual tension usually accompanied by ejaculation in the male).

Response options for all items are:

  1. Never

  2. Once or twice

  3. Several times

  4. More than several, less than ten times

  5. Ten times or more

How many times have you experienced orgasm through:

  1. Masturbation

  2. Petting, or body contact without manipulation of genitals

  3. Manipulation of your genitals by someone else

  4. Heterosexual intercourse

  5. Homosexual relations

  6. Oral stimulation by another

  7. Dreams (nocturnal emissions)

  8. Fantasy alone

Scoring: Response options are weighted as follows for all items: A = 1; B = 2; C = 3; D = 4; E = 5 Score is sum of weighted responses: range = 8–40

Note that the Number of Partners scales may be used as a consistency check on the heterosexual sexual intercourse item and any of the homosexual experience items in regard to the report or denial of this type of experience.

Note that the Orgasmic Experience scale may be used for a consistency check on heterosexual and homosexual activities and partners scales.

References

Daitzman, D., & Zuckerman, M. (1980). Disinhibitory sensation seek- ing and gonadal hormones. Personality and Individual Differences, 1, 103–110.

Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. B., & Martin, C. E. (1948). Sexual behavior in the human male. Philadelphia: Saunders.

Reiss, I. L. (1967). The social context of premarital sexual permissive- ness. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Schaefer, E. S., & Bell, R. Q. (1958). Development of the Parental Attitude Research Instrument. Child Development, 29, 339–361.

Zuckerman, M. (1959). Reversed scales to control acquiescence response set in the Parental Attitude Research Instrument. Child Development, 30, 523–532.

Zuckerman, M. (1973). Scales for sex experience for males and females. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 41, 27–29.

Zuckerman, M., & Myers, P. L. (1983). Sensation seeking in homosexual and heterosexual males. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 12, 347–356.

Zuckerman, M., Tushup, R., & Finner, S. (1976). Sexual attitudes and experience: Attitude and personality correlates and changes pro- duced by a course in sexuality. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 44, 7–19.

Ordering of Scales: Generally, the Attitude Scales are given before the Experience Scales, beginning with the Parental Attitudes Scale.