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Arch Sex Behav. 2008 Dec;37(6):925-33. Epub 2007 Nov 29.

The sexual self-consciousness scale: psychometric properties.

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Department of Clinical Psychological Science, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, Maastricht, 6200 MD, The Netherlands.


An investigation of the Sexual Self-Consciousness Scale (SSCS) is reported that aims to measure individual variability with regard to the construct of self-consciousness as experienced in sexual situations. The construct relates to the attentional-capacity model of sexual arousal. Sexual self-consciousness may constitute a vulnerability factor for the development of sexual dysfunction. In the present study, men and women with sexual dysfunction and healthy control participants were investigated (N = 282). Principal component analysis and multitrait scaling analysis showed that a two-component, oblimin-rotated solution based on 12 items and explaining 53.7% of the total variance could be well interpreted. The Sexual Embarrassment subscale (Cronbach's alpha = .84), the Sexual Self-Focus subscale (alpha = .79), and the full scale (alpha = .85) were found to have satisfactory to good internal consistency. Test-retest reliability was satisfactory for the Sexual Embarrassment subscale (r = .84), the Sexual Self-Focus subscale (r = .79), and total score (r = .83). An effect of sex was found on the Sexual Embarrassment subscale, with female participants scoring higher than male participants. Compared with sexually functional participants, sexually dysfunctional participants scored higher on the Sexual Embarrassment and Sexual Self-Focus subscales. Convergent and divergent construct validity was investigated by comparing the associations of SSCS subscales with general self-consciousness and psychological distress scales. The pattern of correlations was interpreted as providing support for the instrument's construct validity. In conclusion, the SSCS was found to have satisfactory reliability and validity characteristics, and is expected to contribute to the field of sex research and clinical sexology.

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