Sexological testing

Sexological testing

There are several sexual dysfunctions and each of them has a different cause. Therefore, the field of sexology provides different psychological evaluation devices in order to examine the various aspects of the discomfort, problem or dysfunction, regardless of whether they are individual or relational ones. Basile Fasolo C. et Veglia F., (1999) "Disturbi sessuali". In Conti L. (a cura di), "Repertorio delle scale di valutazione in psichiatria", S.E.E., Firenze.]

The number of psychodiagnostic reactives is certainly wide and heterogeneous, nevertheless, the amount of tests specifically meant for the field of sexology is quite limited. The following list (in alphabetical order) is not exhaustive but shows the best known and/or most used reactives in the field of sexological and relational psychodiagnosis.


List of the tests


BSRI (Bem Sex Role Inventory)

* "BSRI – Bem Sex Role Inventory" Bem S.L. (1972), "The measurement of psychological androgyny". Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42, 155.]
#Self administering questionnaire (60 items in all) measures masculinity (20 items), femininity (20 items), androgyny (20 items), using the masculinity and femininity scales.

"The concept of psychological androgyny implies that it is possible for an individual to be both compassionate and assertive, both expressive and instrumental, both feminine and masculine, depending upon the situational appropriateness of these various modalities". Bem S.L. (1976), "Sex typing and androgyny: Further explorations of the expressive domain". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 34, 1016.]

DAS (Dyadic Adjustment Scale)

* "DAS - Dyadic Adjustment Scale" Spanier G.B., "Measuring dyadic adjustment: new scales for assessing the quality of marriage and similar dyads". Journal of Marriage and Family, 38, 15, 1976.]
#This scale is made up of 32 items which explore 4 interdependent dimensions in order to evaluate relational adaptation between husband and wife: "agreement" between husband and wife on important matters, "cohesion" of the couple on common activities, "satisfaction" of the couple with the progress of their relationship, "expression" of satisfaction with their affective and sexual life.

DIQ (Diagnostic Impotence Questionnaire)

* "DIQ - Diagnostic Impotence Questionnaire" Cole M., Dryden W., (1989) "Sex Problems: Your Questions Answered". MacDonald, London.]
#This questionnaire (35 item) evaluates the different components in male erectile dysfunction: Vascular (V), Neurogenic (N), Hormonal (H), Psychogenic (P).The scores of V-N-H components provide information about those organic factors responsible for the dysfunction; the scores of P component indicate the influence of the psychogenic component. If the total score of V-N-H components is higher than the score of P component, then the organic etiology prevails over the psychogenic one (and vice-versa).This device is useful in the clinic setting. However, due to the fact that it is not validated nor standardised, it must be used carefully in researchs and screenings.

DSFI (Derogatis Sexual Function Inventory)

* "DSFI - Derogatis Sexual Function Inventory" Derogatis L.R., (1978) "Derogatis Sexual Function Inventory (revised ed.)". Clin. Psychometrics Res., Baltimore.]
#A standardised self-evaluation questionnaire made up of 258 items (245 in the original version published in 1975). It produces 9 sexual dimensions (information, experience, sexual drive, attitudes, affectivity, sexual gender and role, sexual fantasies, body image and sexual satisfaction), a dimension about psychopathological symptoms (anxiety, depression and somatizations) and an SFI index ("sexual functioning index"). Due to the high number of items, it requires a considerable amount of time to be filled in.

EDITS (Erectile Dysfunction Inventory of Treatment Satisfaction)

* "EDITS - Erectile Dysfunction Inventory of Treatment Satisfaction" Althof S.E. et Corty E.W., (1998) "EDITS - Erectile Dysfunction Inventory of Treatment Satisfaction". University Hospitals of Cleveland, Ohio.]
#A self-evaluation questionnaire on erectile dysfunction which is meant for male patients (13 items) and their partners (5 items). It explores achievements, perceived satisfaction, and treatment effectiveness.The items meant for male patients study expectations, effectiveness, side effects and their willingness to continue with the treatment. The items meant for their partners explore the changes occurred in the couple's sexual activity and allow to notice the concordance between the subjective answers of the patients and the objective ones provided by theirs partners.

FACES (Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales)

* "FACES - Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales" Olson D.H., Russel C.S., Sprenkle D.H., "Circumplex model of marital and family systems". Family Process, 22, 69, 1985.]
#This scale is made up of 111 items exploring family relationships (children above 12 included) with regard to 4 degrees of “"cohesion"”, i.e. emotional link between family members (regressed, attached, parted, disengaged) and 4 degrees of “"adaptability"” (chaotic, flexible, structured, rigid) i.e. capability of family members to reorganize in response to changes in the situations involving the family.A first revision (1993) called "FACES-II" reduced the scale to 30 items, whereas a second one (1995) called "FACES-III" further reduced the number of items to 20.

GRIMS (Golombok Rust Inventory of Marital State)

* "GRIMS - Golombok Rust Inventory of Marital State" Rust J., Bennum I., Crowe M., Golombok S., "The Golombok-Rust Inventory of Marital State (GRIMS)". Journal of Family Therapy, 12, 45, 1990.]
#A 28-item questionnaire which is intended to analyse the features of dyadic relationships. It is often used in marriage counselling and couple's therapy. This inventory shows good psychometric features and is often used together with "GRISS" which is its individual version.

GRISS (Golombok Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction)

* "GRISS - Golombok Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction" Rust J., Golombok S., "The Golombok-Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction (GRISS)". Br J Clin Psychol, 24-63, 1985.]
#It consists of two questionnaires (i.e. a male and a female questionnaire) with 28 items each. It studies sexual dysfunctions in heterosexual subjects. It provides a total score and subscales scores: intercourse frequency, incommunicability, dissatisfaction, avoiding sexual intercourse, absence of sexuality, anorgasmia and vaginismus (only in the female version), impotence and premature ejaculation (only in the male version).It is provided with good psychometric features and is easy to administer due to the limited amount of items. However, this feature limits its illustrative and diagnostic function.

HSAS (Hendrick Sexual Attitude Scale)

* "HSAS - Hendrick Sexual Attitude Scale" Hendrick S. et Hendrick C., (1987) "Multidimensionality of sexual attitudes". Journal of Sex Research, 23, 502-526.]
#A 43-item self-evaluation scale which explore subjects' attitude towards sexuality. The scale examines 4 sexuality-related factors: permissiveness, sexual practices, community (i.e. participation and involvement) and instrumentalism (i.e. pleasure-oriented sexuality).

IIEF (International Index of Erectile Function)

* "IIEF - International Index of Erectile Function" Rosen R.C., Riley A. , Wagner G., Osterhol I.H., Kirkpatrick J., Mishra A., "The International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF): A multidimensional scale for assessment of erectile dysfunction". Urology, 49, 822, 1997.]
#This standardised and validated 15-item self-evaluation scale provides pre-post treatment clinic evaluations of erectile function, orgasmic function, sexual desire, satisfaction in sexual intercourse and general satisfaction. The "IIEF-5 Sexual Health Inventory for Men" Rosen R.C., Cappelleri J.C., Smith M.D., Lipsky J., Pena B., "Constructing and evaluating the Sexual Health Inventory for Men: IIEF-5 as a diagnostic tool for Erectile Dysfunction". Paper presented at the VIII World Meeting on Impotence Research, Amsterdam, 1998.] , an abridged version of the "IIEF", contains a shorter questionnaire of 5 items which takes into account the latest six months instead of the latest four weeks considered by the "IIEF".

ISS (Index of Sexual Satisfaction)

* "ISS - Index of Sexual Satisfaction" Hudson W.W., (1982) "Index of Sexual Satisfaction". Dorsey Press, Chicago.]
#A 25-item questionnaire which psychometrically evaluates the preponderance of sexual components in the problems of a couple. Sexuality-related aspects in the couple are measured with regard to the feelings, attitudes, and events occurring during the relationship.

MAT (Marital Adjustment Test)

* "MAT - Marital Adjustment Test" Locke H.J., Wallace K.M., "Short marital-adjustment and prediction tests: their reliability and validity". Marriage Family Living, 21, 251, 1959.]
#A 15-item questionnaire which evaluates intrarelational adaptation and the agreement between husband and wife about those behaviours they consider sensible and suitable for their marital life. Psychometric capabilities are limited due to its obsolescence.

MCI (Marital Communication Inventory)

* "MCI - Marital Communication Inventory" Bienvenu M.J., "Measurement of marital communication". Family Coordinator, 19, 26, 1970.]
#This scale is made up of two questionnaires (i.e. a male and a female questionnaire) with 42 items each, which provide a total score on intra-couple communication and scores relative to 6 dimensions: communication, adjustment, intimacy and sexuality, children, jobs and income, and religious beliefs. This device shows a good reliability and internal consistency of the global score in comparison to the sub-dimensions.

MMPI-2 (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory)

* "MMPI-2 - Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory" Sellbom, M., Ben-Porath, Y. S., Baum, L. J., Erez, E., & Gregory, C. (2008). "Predictive validity of the MMPI-2 Restructured Clinical (RC) Scales in a batterers' intervention program". Journal of Personality Assessment, 90. 129-135.]

A test published in 1942 by the "University of Minnesota", it was revised in 1989 when the current version MMPI-2 was created (last release Restructured Form in July 2008).The MMPI-2 is made up of a considerable number of items (567) which explore several features of personality pertaining psychology and psychiatry. There are also an abridged version (370 items) and a version called MMPI-A of 478 items (350 items in a short form) aimed at evaluating adolescent between the age of 14 and 18.
The dimensions taken into account are divided into: "Basic Scales" (which evaluate the most relevant features of personality), "Content Scales" (which analyse different variables of personality), "Supplementary Scales" (which further investigate some of the issues in the basic scales), "Validity Scales" (which define the degree of sincerity and accuracy in filling the questionnaire).
The evaluation of "sexual" and "relational" settings takes into account the following aspects: "masculinity""femininity" (i.e. those aspects typically viewed as masculine or feminine, considered as a whole), "masculine and feminine" "gender role" (i.e. perception of gender role), "marital distress and family discord" (i.e. conflicts whitin the couple), "social introversion" (i.e. difficulties in social relations).

Criticisms of this device relate to the amount of time required to fill it in (60-120 minutes) and to the fact that some of the Restructured Clinical Scales, although regarded as clearer and easier to interpret, raised some controversies in the academic world because they have been modified compared to those in the original version.

MPT (Marital Patterns Test)

* "MPT - Marital Patterns Test" Ryle A., "A marital patterns test for use in psychiatric research". British Journal of Psychiatry, 112, 285, 1966.]
#This test is made up of two questionnaires (i.e. a male and a female questionnaire) with 24 pairs of items each. They measure the dominance and willingness within the couple. Its validity has been improved thanks to a revision by Scott-Heyes (1982) whose title is "RSMPT - Ryle/Scott-Heyes Marital Patterns Questionnaire."Scott-Heyes G., "Analysis and revision of Ryle’s Marital Patterns Test". British Journal of Medical Psychology, 55, 67, 1982.]

MSI (Marital Satisfaction Inventory)

* "MSI - Marital Satisfaction Inventory" Snyder D.K., "Multidimensional assessment of marital satisfaction". Journal of Marriage and Family, 41, 813, 1979.]
#A 280-item inventory which evaluates marital satisfaction with regard to 12 dimensions especially concerning conventionalism, affective communication, amount of time spent together, disagreement on financial problems, disagreement on children management and sexual satisfaction. A total score of the scales provides a “"global discomfort"” index defined by couple dissatisfaction, whereas a reduced version of this device (made up of 44 items) shows the “"indifference"” degree and the “disharmony” degree of the relationship.

PEQUEST (Premature Ejaculation Questionnaire)

* "PEQUEST - Premature Ejaculation Questionnaire" Hartmann U., "The PEQUEST: A multidimensional instrument for the assessment of premature ejaculation". International Journal of Impotence Research, 8-119, 1996.]
#A 36-item self-evaluation questionnaire for evaluating premature ejaculation. The ejaculative/orgasmic behaviour is explored in its various problematic aspects: persistence, significance, frequency, situational factors, psychological reaction of both partners, techniques adopted by the patient in order to coping the problem, adaptation and interference levels of the disturbance, performance anxiety, and partner's behaviour during sexual intercourse.

PREPARE-ENRICH (Premarital Personal and Relationship Evaluation)

* "PREPARE-ENRICH Inventories" Fournier D.G., Olson D.H., Druckman J.M., (1983) "Assessing marital and premarital relationships: The PREPARE-ENRICH inventories". In Filsinger E.E., "Marriage and Family Assessment: A Sourcebook for Family Therapy", Sage Publications, Beverly Hills.]
#This inventory is made up of 125 items, subdivided into 14 subscales, which explore sexual intercourse, personal difficulties, marital satisfaction, couple cohesion, dyadic adaptability, communication, conflict resolution, equality of the roles, children and marital life, family and friends, financial management, leisure activities, religious orientation, idealistic distortions. This inventory requires an elaborate preparation in order to be used and results from the combination of three previous scales: "PREPARE - Premarital Personal and Relationship Evaluation" (for couples planning to marry who do not have children); "PREPARE-MC - Marriage Children" (for couples planning to marry who have children, either together or from previous relationships); "ENRICH - Evaluating Nurturing Relationship Issues Communication and Happiness" (for married couples seeking empowerment and counselling).

SAI (Sexual Arousability Inventory)

* "SAI - Sexual Arousability Inventory" Hoon E.F., et Chambless D.L., (1986) "Sexual Arousability Inventory (SAI)" and "Sexual Arousability Inventory - Expanded (SAI-E)". In Davis C.M. et Yarber W.L., "Sexuality-Related Measures: A Compendium". Graphic Publishing Co., Syracuse, New York.]
#A 28-item questionnaire that psychometrically evaluates the level of arousability produced by sexual experiences, whereas "SAI-E Sexual Arousability Inventory Expanded" measures anxiety and arousability and it is meant for men and women regardless their psychosexual orientation.

SAS (Sexual Attitude Scale)

* "SAS - Sexual Attitude Scale" Hudson W.W., (1990) "Sexual Attitude Scale", Walmyr, Tallahassee, FL.]
#A 25-item scale aiming at identifying subjects' attitude ("liberal" or "conservative") towards different forms of sexuality. This questionnaire is not meant to study sexual disturbances, it just explores the "subjects' attitude" towards sexuality and its numerous expressions.

SBI (Sexual Behavior Inventory)

* "SBI - Sexual Behavior Inventory" ("Males" Bentler P.M., (1968) "Heterosexual behavior assessment - I. Males". Behaviour Research and Therapy, 6, 21-25.] , "Females" Bentler P.M., (1968) "Heterosexual behavior assessment – II. Females". Behaviour Research and Therapy, 6, 27-30.] )
#A self-evaluation scale in two versions (male and female version). Both versions are made up of 21 items. The questionnaire evaluates the kind of involvement of subjects in heterosexual activities.

SESAMO_Win (Sexrelation Evaluation Schedule Assessment Monitoring on Windows)

* "SESAMO_Win - Sexrelation Evaluation Schedule Assessment Monitoring on Windows" Boccadoro L., (2002) "SESAMO_Win. Sexrelation Evaluation Schedule Assessment Monitoring. Questionario Sessuorelazionale". Giunti-O.S., Firenze.]
#A standardised and validated self-administering and self-evaluation questionnaire. It studies the dysfunctional aspects in individual and couple sexuality besides family, social, affective and relational aspects. It consists of two questionnaires (i.e. a male and a female questionnaire) which are divided in two subsections each: one for singles and one for people with a partner.The number of items in each questionnaire is variable: 135 items for singles and 173 for people with a partner. The explored dimensions are 16 for singles and 18 for people living a dyadic situation.This questionnaire can be directly self-administered on the computer ("self-assessment"); after that the software elaborates the questionnaire and produces a report made up of 9 sections. Each of these sections has several levels of further diagnostic analysis.A short version of this questionnaire, called "Sexuality Evaluation Schedule Assessment Monitoring" Boccadoro L., (1996) "SESAMO: Sexuality Evaluation Schedule Assessment Monitoring. Questionario Sessualità". O.S., Firenze ITICCUCFI

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