Inventory of Dyadic Heterosexual Preferences and Inventory of Dyadic Heterosexual Preferences—Other

Inventory of Dyadic Heterosexual Preferences and Inventory of Dyadic Heterosexual Preferences—Other


The Inventory of Dyadic Heterosexual Preferences (IDHP) was developed to measure men’s and women’s affinity for a broad range of fairly conventional sexual behavior preferences within the context of a dyadic heterosexual relation- ship. Six scales, reflecting different domains of behavioral preference, are derived. The IDHP allows researchers to explore relationships between specific preferences or pro- files of preference and various behavioral, personality, or dyadic correlates. Sex therapists may be interested in com- paring the profile of one’s sexual preferences with that of one’s partner. An other-focused version of the inventory (IDHP-O) asks the respondent to indicate how he or she believes the partner would respond to the IDHP.


A complete description of the IDHP and its development may be found elsewhere (Purnine, Carey, & Jorgensen, 1996). The IDHP is a 27-item self-report inventory that measures the following six areas of sexual preference: Erotophilia, Use of Contraception, Conventionality, Use of Erotica, Use of Drugs/Alcohol, and Romantic Foreplay.

Seventy-four statements, applicable to both men and women, were generated to elicit responses to specific behaviors or elements of a sexual scene. Each item was followed by a 6-point Likert-type scale, ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Items regarding fantasy, opinion, or motivation were generally excluded. The perfect tense (“I would enjoy”) rather than the present tense (“I enjoy”) was employed in order that items outside one’s habitual range of experience may be applicable. This use of the hypothetical allows the IDHP to be applicable to those not currently involved in a sexually intimate relationship.

The 74 items were administered to 258 undergraduate and graduate university students (Sample 1), aged 18 to 59 years of age (= 23). After eliminating items that failed to elicit a broad range of responses or that were unreliable over a 1- to 2-week period, 46 items remained. Factor anal- yses suggested a six-factor, 27-item solution. This solution was based on a covariance matrix in which the variance attributable to gender had been removed. A gender-neutral factor structure was considered necessary in order to allow meaningful comparisons between the profiles of male and female partners.

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These results were cross-validated using new data (Sample 2) from 228 students, aged 17 to 53, (= 21). Six items were reworded to improve their clarity. Three new items were introduced to enlarge certain factors. A six-fac- tor maximum likelihood solution, with promax rotation, incorporated the new items and suggested the elimination of three others. The final 27-item factor structure accounted for 51% of the variance among the 27 items.

Response Mode and Timing

Using a paper/pencil format, respondents circle the number indicating their personal level of agreement/disagreement with each statement of preference. It takes approximately 5 minutes to complete the IDHP and, if administered, an additional 5 minutes to complete the IDHP-O.


IDHP scale scores (individual preferences). Higher scores on each of the six IDHP scales indicate stronger preference for the behaviors in that scale. First, Items 3, 24, and 26 must be reverse scored by subtracting the number circled from 7. Each scale is then derived by adding across the items as follows—Erotophilia: 1, 7, 8, 11, 16, 17, 18; Use

of Contraception: 3, 6, 13, 26; Conventionality: 5, 10, 22, 23; Use of Erotica: 4, 9, 24, 27; Use of Drugs/Alcohol: 12, 14, 15, 20; and Romantic Foreplay: 2, 19, 21, 25. To standardize the scales, each ranging from 1 to 6, sums may be divided by the number of items added.

Exploratory scores. Several dyadic variables are currently under investigation. Agreement, or similarity between two partners’ preferences may be observed by comparing the IDHP of each partner. Female Understanding (of the male) is reflected by comparing the male’s IDHP with the IDHP-O of the female; Male Understanding (of the female) is reflected by comparing the female’s IDHP with the male’s IDHP-O. An individual variable, Perceived Agreement, is reflected in the difference between one’s own IDHP and IDHP-O. These variables may be generated through correlational procedures or as difference-scores (by adding the absolute value of point differences across the 27 items). Because these variables are exploratory, the following sections pertain only to the IDHP scale scores.


Listed in Table 1 are alpha coefficients, test-retest reliability correlations, means and standard deviations across the six IDHP scales, based on data from Sample 2. The scales are internally consistent (mean alpha coefficient = .72) and stable over time (mean test-retest = .84). Item analysis from Sample 1 required a test-retest reliability of .70 for each item.


In a subgroup of 45 women and 20 men from Sample 2, seven additional scales were administered for purposes of establishing concurrent and discriminant validity with the six IDHP scales. Of 42 predictions in this 6 x 7 matrix of correlations, 36 were supported. Absence of any relationship between each IDHP scale and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (Crowne & Marlowe, 1960) provides discriminant evidence that the IDHP is not confounded by a bias toward presenting oneself in a socially desirable light. The Sexual Opinion Survey (SOS; Fisher, White, Byrne, & Kelley, 1988), a 21-item measure of erotophilia, correlated with the IDHP scale, Erotophilia (= .54). However, discriminant validity for this scale is currently lacking, because the SOS also was related to Use of Erotica, Use of Drugs/ Alcohol, and Conventionality. It should be noted, however, that similar relationships exist among the IDHP factors themselves. This is an allowance of oblique factor rotation. In fact, it would be surprising if erotophilia were not related to other, possibly more specific, domains of preference.

Both concurrent and discriminant validity were evidenced for the following IDHP scales: Use of Contraception, Conventionality, and Use of Drugs/Alcohol. The Use of Contraception scale positively correlated only with a measure entitled Affective Response Toward Contraceptive Topics and Behavior (Kelley, 1979). Conventionality was related to the Sexual Irrationality Questionnaire (Jordan & McCormick, 1988), a measure with factors such as “conformity,” and “cautious control.” Both the global and sexual subscales of the Alcohol Expectancy Questionnaire (Brown, Christiansen, & Goldman, 1987) were positively related to the IDHP Use of Drugs/Alcohol only. Validity of Romantic Foreplay and Use of Erotica remain without support, as the former was uncorrelated with its criterion measure and no relevant measure was available to test the latter.


Psychometric Properties of the Inventory of Dyadic Heterosexual Preferences (IDHP)

Means (SD)








1. Erotophilia







2. Use of Contraception







3. Conventionality







4. Use of Erotica







5. Use of Drugs/Alcohol







6. Romantic Foreplay







a Test-retest interval was 2 weeks, including 45 women and 20 men (= 65).

Other Information

Further research regarding reliability, validity, and factor structure across diverse populations is encouraged for clinicians and researchers using the IDHP and IDHPO.

Inventory of Dyadic Heterosexual Preferences

Instructions. a Please read the following statements carefully and indicate how much you agree or disagree that the statement is true for you. Respond to each item as you would actually like things to be in relations with your partner. Feel free to ask the investigator about any statement that is not clear to you. Please respond to all items.

There are no right or wrong answers; respond as truthfully as possible.

    1. I would like to initiate sex.









      Strongly b








    2. An intimate, romantic dinner together would be a real turn on to me.

    3. Using spermicide would spoil sex for me.

    4. I would like to use a vibrator or other sexual toy (or aid) during sex.

    5. I would prefer to have sex under the bedcovers and with the lights off.

    6. Having myself or my partner use a condom would not spoil sex for me.

    7. Having sex in rooms other than the bedroom would turn me on.

    8. I would prefer to have sex everyday.

    9. Looking at sexually explicit books and movies would turn me on.

    10. I would not enjoy looking at my partner’s genitals.

    11. I would like to have sex after a day at the beach.

    12. I would like to mix alcohol and sex.

    13. Using a contraceptive would not affect my sexual satisfaction or pleasure.

    14. I would enjoy having sex after smoking marijuana.

    15. I would prefer to have sex while using drugs that make me feel aroused.

    16. I would enjoy having sex outdoors.

    17. My preferred time for having sex is in the morning.

    18. Swimming in the nude with my partner would be a turn-on.

    19. I would enjoy dressing in sexy/revealing clothes to arouse my partner.

    20. I would like to mix drugs and sex.

    21. I would get turned on if my partner touched my chest and nipples.

    22. I would prefer to avoid having sex during my (partner’s) period.

    23. I would not enjoy having my partner look at my genitals.

    24. Sexually explicit books and movies are disgusting to me.

    25. I would find deep kissing with the tongue quite arousing to me.

    26. Using a vaginal lubricant (KY jelly) would spoil sex for me.‌

    27. Watching erotic movies with my partner would turn me on.

a Instructions for the IDHP-O: Please read the following statements carefully and indicate how much you believe that your partner would agree or disagree that the statement is true for him/her. That is, respond to each item as you think your partner would respond—how he or she would actually like things to be in relations with you.

b This scale is repeated after each item.


Brown, S. A., Christiansen, B. A., & Goldman, M. S. (1987). The Alcohol Expectancy Questionnaire: An instrument for the assessment of adolescent and adult alcohol expectancies. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 48, 483–491.

Crowne, D. P., & Marlowe, D. (1960). A new scale of social desirability independent of psychopathology. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 24, 349–354.

Fisher, W. A., White, L. A., Byrne, D., & Kelley, K. (1988). Erotophilia-erotophobia as a dimension of personality. The Journal of Sex Research, 25, 123–151.

Jordan, T. J., & McCormick, N. B. (1988). Sexual Irrationality Questionnaire. In C. M. Davis, W. L. Yarber, & S. L. Davis (Eds.), Sexually-related measures: A compendium (pp. 46–49). Lake Mills, IA: Graphic Publishing Company.

Kelley, K. (1979). Socialization factors in contraceptive attitudes: Roles of affective responses, parental attitudes, and sexual experience. The Journal of Sex Research, 15, 6–20.

Purnine, D. M., Carey, M. P., & Jorgensen, R. S. (1996). The Inventory of Dyadic Heterosexual Preferences: Development and psychometric evaluation. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 34, 375–387.