Unwanted Childhood Sexual Experiences Questionnaire

Unwanted Childhood Sexual Experiences Questionnaire

MICHAEL R. STEVENSON,Ball State University

The Unwanted Childhood Sexual Experience Questionnaire can be used to document the age and extent of respondents unwanted childhood sexual experiences with adults. Instructions intentionally refer to unwanted childhood sexual experiences rather than abusive sexual experiences or experiences of sexual victimization in an attempt to avoid unintended bias in reporting. It defines an adult as someone who is at least 5 years older than the respondent.


Each of the 13 items refers to a different set of behaviors that can be categorized as minimal contact (Items 1–3), moderate contact (Items 4–8), or maximal contact (Items 9–13). Items were drawn from a larger questionnaire designed by Finkelhor (1979) and have been used in other studies (e.g., Fromuth, 1986; Stevenson & Gajarsky, 1992).

Response Mode and Timing

Respondents simply indicate in the space provided the age or ages at which any of the unwanted sexual behaviors occurred. The scale can be completed in less than 5 minutes.


The questionnaire allows for the reporting of the frequency with which each of the behaviors occur in the sample, and the ages at which the behaviors occurred.


The intention of this questionnaire is to document whether specific unwanted behaviors have occurred, and the items are not intended to constitute a scale. Reliability has not been assessed directly.


Using this measure, Stevenson and Gajarsky’s (1992) sample of college students reported frequencies of unwanted sexual experiences that were consistent with earlier reports (e.g., Finkelhor, 1979, 1984; Groth, 1979). Although the percentage of men reporting unwanted sexual experiences was somewhat higher than some previous estimates, it was quite consistent with others (e.g., Popen & Segal, 1988).

Unwanted Childhood Sexual Experiences Questionnaire

It is now generally realized that most people have sexual experiences as children and while growing up. By “sexual” it is meant any behavior or event that might seem “sexual” to you. Please try to remember the unwanted, that is, sexual experiences that were forced on you or done against your will by an adult (someone at least five or more years older than you), while growing up. Indicate if you had any of the following experiences before the age of 16.

  1. An invitation or request to do something sexual. Age(s)        

  2. Kissing and hugging in a sexual way. Age(s)        

  3. An adult showing his/her sex organs to you. Age(s)        

  4. You showing your sex organs to an adult. Age(s)        

  5. An adult fondling you in a sexual way. Age(s)        

  6. You fondling an adult in a sexual way. Age(s)‌

  7. An adult touching your sex organs. Age(s)

  8. You touching an adult person’s sex organs. Age(s)

  9. An adult orally touching your sex organs. Age(s)

  10. You orally touching an adult person’s sex organs. Age(s)

  11. Intercourse, but without attempting penetration of the vagina. Age(s)

  12. Intercourse (penile-vaginal penetration). Age(s)

  13. Anal intercourse (penile-anal penetration). Age(s)



Finkelhor, D. (1979). Sexually victimized children. New York: Free Press.

Finkelhor, D. (1984). Child sexual abuse: New theory and research. New York: Free Press.

Fromuth, M. E. (1986). The relationship of childhood sexual abuse with later psychological and sexual adjustment in a sample of college women. Child Abuse and Neglect, 10, 5–15.

Groth, N. A. (1979). Sexual trauma in the life histories of rapists and child molesters. Victimology: An International Journal, 4(1), 10–16.

Popen, P. J., & Segal, H. J. (1988). The influence of sex and sex-role ori- entation on sexual coercion. Sex Roles, 19, 689–701.

Stevenson, M. R., & Gajarsky, W. M. (1992). Unwanted childhood sex- ual experiences relate to later revictimization and male perpetration. Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, 4, 57–70.