Perceptions of Love and Sex Scale


Love and sex have most commonly been discussed and studied separately. Given the evolutionary links between these two variables, Hendrick and Hendrick (2002) highlight the need to investigate common perceptions of the relationship between love and sex. The Perceptions of Love and Sex Scale was thus designed to assess laypersons’ conceptions of how love and sex are linked in their relationships. The scale consists of four subscales, Love is Most Important, Sex Demonstrates Love, Love Comes Before Sex, and Sex is Declining, and 27 items, each rated on a five-point likert scale that ranged from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Hendrick and Hendrick (2002) concluded that their investigations using the scale demonstrate the utility of studying sex and love together, rather than as separate, isolated constructs.


Acceptable psychometric properties have been demonstrated (Hendrick & Hendrick, 2002).

Author of Tool:

Hendrick & Hendrick

Key references:

Hendrick, S. S., & Hendrick, C. (2002). Linking romantic love with sex: Development of the perceptions of love and sex scale. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships19, 361-378.

Primary use / Purpose:

The Perceptions of Love and Sex Scale was developed to assess respondents’ beliefs about the connection between love and sex.


Listed below are several statements that reflect different ideas about the relationship between love and sex. For each statement, fill in the response on the scantron sheet that indicates how much you agree or disagree with the statement in so far as it describes your current romantic relationship. If you are not currently in a romantic relationship, answer the questions with your most recent relationship in mind. If you have never been in a romantic relationship, answer in terms of what you think your responses would most likely be.

  • A = Strongly agree with the statement
  • B = Moderately agree with the statement
  • C = Neutral – neither agree nor disagree
  • D = Moderately disagree with the statement
  • E = Strongly disagree with the statement
  1. My partner and I are drifting apart, and the sex is declining.
  2. My partner and I wouldn’t have had sex if we didn’t love each other.
  3. Sex shows our love for each other.
  4. For my partner and me, love and sex cannot be separated
  5. When we have sex, it proves that we love each other.
  6. We had to love each other before we could really enjoy being sexual with each other.
  7. Words tell us we love each other, but sex shows us we love each other.
  8. For us, sex is secondary to the friendship aspects of our relationship.
  9. For me partner and me, sex is not necessary but it can make our love stronger.
  10. My partner and I love each other for many reasons other than sex.
  11. For my partner and me, sex came first, followed by love. R
  12. We love each other and are comfortable together, but the excitement of being “in love” has decreased.
  13. We were sexual at the beginning of our relationship, but now we are abstinent.
  14. We don’t always have time for sex, but it is important to show love in other ways.
  15. For my partner and me, communication is more important than physical affection.
  16. For my partner and me, love came first, followed by sex.
  17. For us, the physical aspect is a small part of the whole of our relationship.


  • Love Is Most Important
  • Items 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 17
  • Sex Demonstrates Love
  • Items 3, 4, 5, 7
  • Love Comes Before Sex
  • Items 2, 6, 11 (R), 16
  • Sex is Declining