Student Research Projects

Sexual Self-esteem: A Much Needed Measure

Student Charity Bock '13 and Rebecca Bozora '14
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Psychology
Course Psychology 333: Assessment of Individuals


The purpose of the study was to establish an appropriate measure to evaluate an individual’s emotional evaluation of self in relation to sexual intercourse and relationships. We used our own questionnaire consisting of 22 adjectives on a 5-point Likert scale; the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale consisting of 10 items on a 4-point Likert scale, which measures overall self satisfaction; and a sexual-esteem subscale of the Multidimensional Sexuality Questionnaire, which consists of 5 items on a 5-point Likert scale measuring sexual-esteem. Our sexual self-esteem questionnaire proved to be reliable, and its construct validity is promising (? = .86). Similar to previous research, participants’ overall emotional evaluation of self in relation to sexual intercourse was positive. Participant scores on the newly created questionnaire were not statistically significant with the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale (r = .18, p = .25), but they approached significance with the Sexual-esteem Subscale (r = .29, p = .067). There was a significant relationship between the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale and the Sexual-esteem Subscale (r = .40, p = .008). There were no significant relationships between participant variables, including gender and relationship status, although the mean score on the Sexual Self-esteem Scale and relationship satisfaction was higher for married males. Based on the data, our survey on sexual self-esteem is a good starting point, and with further research it may prove to be a highly valid, reliable, and relevant measure for the psychological study of human sexuality.