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Arch Sex Behav. 1994 Dec;23(6):627-43.

Self-report assessment of female sexual function: psychometric evaluation of the Brief Index of Sexual Functioning for Women.

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  • 1Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903.


Previous self-report measures of female sexual function have been either overly restrictive or inappropriate for use in large-scale clinical trials. Accordingly, we have developed the Brief Index of Sexual Functioning for Women (BISF-W), a 22-item, self-report instrument for the assessment of current levels of female sexual functioning and satisfaction. The BISF-W was administered at monthly intervals to a standardization sample of 269 women, ages 20-73 years. A principal components analysis yielded a three-factor solution--interest/desire, sexual activity, and satisfaction--which accounted for 51.2% of the variance. Concurrent validity was demonstrated by means of a comparison with the Derogatis Sexual Function Inventory. In addition, the BISF-W was compared to the Brief Sexual Function Questionnaire, a similar self-report measure of sexual functioning for men. Major advantages of the BISF-W are its ease of administration and scoring, suitability for use in both clinical and nonclinical samples, and assessment of key dimensions of female sexuality. However, based on its moderate test-retest reliability and internal consistency, further development of the instrument is indicated.

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