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J Sex Res. 2008 Jan-Mar;45(1):36-48. doi: 10.1080/00224490701808076.

Women's scores on the sexual inhibition/sexual excitation scales (SIS/SES): gender similarities and differences.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA 23606, USA.


The Sexual Inhibition/Sexual Excitation Scales (SIS/SES) assess individual propensities to become sexually aroused and to inhibit arousal. Prior analyses of men's SIS/SES data (Janssen, Vorst, Finn, & Bancroft, 2002a) yielded one excitation factor (SES) and two inhibitory factors (SIS1/Threat of Performance Failure and SIS2/Threat of Performance Consequences). The current study utilized a dataset of 2,045 undergraduates (1,067 women and 978 men) to examine the psychometric properties of women's SIS/SES scores. Women scored higher on sexual inhibition and lower on sexual excitation compared with men. The convergent/discriminant validity of women's SIS/SES scores globally resembled men's, but showed stronger associations with other sexuality - related measures and less pronounced relationships with measures of general behavioral approach/avoidance. The test-retest reliability of men's and women's SIS/SES scores were similar, but individual items exhibited differential relevance to men's and women's arousal. An exploratory factor analysis of women's scores was utilized to further examine shared and unshared themes.

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