Development and psychometric testing of the Sexual Behaviors Questionnaire

Margaret Chamberlain Wilmoth, University of Pennsylvania


Review of the literature revealed the lack of a measure of female sexuality that was both theoretically based and clinically useful. The Sexual Behaviors Questionnaire (SBQ) was developed based on Johnson's Behavioral Systems Model (JBSM) and measures a broad spectrum of female sexual behaviors. The SBQ initially consisted of 54 items measuring sexuality on eight scales. All items were scored on a Likert-type scale with high scores reflecting high levels of the specific sexual behavior. The study sample included 310 subjects: 145 healthy women and 165 women diagnosed at least six months previously with breast cancer. Data were collected via use of a mailed questionnaire. Psychometric testing included determination of the reliability and validity of the measure. An Index of Content Validity of 1.00 was determined after review of the SBQ by experts in the fields of oncology and sexuality. Construct validity was estimated through use of both factor analysis and the contrasted groups technique. Factor analysis resulted in the identification of seven scales which were theoretically congruent with the JBSM and in the deletion of 5 items from the measure. The scales identified by this technique were: Communication, Techniques, Sexual Response, Body Scar, Self Touch, Masturbation, and Relationship Quality. The scores of a sample of healthy women were compared to those of breast cancer subjects in order to assess construct validity using the contrasted groups technique. Differences were found to be significant between healthy women and women with breast cancer. No differences in sexual behaviors were found between women treated by lumpectomy versus mastectomy. Convergent validity of the SBQ with the Watts' Sexual Functioning Questionnaire was also determined. Internal consistency of the measure was 0.94 and alpha coefficients for the scales ranged from 0.54 to 0.94. Test-retest reliability of the SBQ was determined for the healthy sample. The SBQ has been shown to be a reliable and valid measure of female sexual behaviors for both healthy women and women treated for breast cancer. The SBQ consists of seven scales with a total of 49 items. The data provided empirical support for the Sexual Subsystem of the JBSM.

Subject Area

Nursing|Womens studies|Psychological tests

Recommended Citation

Wilmoth, Margaret Chamberlain, "Development and psychometric testing of the Sexual Behaviors Questionnaire" (1993). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9413929.