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The Multidimensional Sexuality Questionnaire (MSQ)
by
William E. Snell, Jr., SE Missouri State University
Terri D. Fisher, The Ohio State University at Mansfield
Andrew S. Walters, University of Georgia

This page shows a copy of the Multidimensional Sexuality Questionnaire (MSQ).

 

Address all correspondence to William E. Snell, Jr. 
(PHONE: 314-651-2447; FAX: 314-651-2176),
Department of Psychology, 
One University Plaza #5700, 
SE Missouri State University, 
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701, USA. 
Address INTERNET E-mail to: WESNELL@SEMO.EDU.


*
INSTRUCTIONS: Listed below are several statements that concern the topic of sexual relationships. Please read each item carefully and decide to what extent it is characteristic of you. Some of the items refer to a specific sexual relationship. Whenever possible, answer the questions with your current partner in mind. If you are not currently dating anyone, answer the questions with your most recent partner in mind. If you have never had a sexual relationship, answer in terms of what you think your responses would most likely be. Then, for each statement fill in the response on the answer sheet that indicates how much it applies to you by using the following scale:
A = Not at all characteristic of me.
B = Slightly characteristic of me.
C = Somewhat characteristic of me.
D = Moderately characteristic of me.
E = Very characteristic of me.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
1. I am confident about myself as a sexual partner.
2. I think about sex all the time.
3. My sexuality is something that I am largely responsible for.
4. I am very aware of my sexual feelings.
5. I'm very motivated to be sexually active.
6. I feel anxious when I think about the sexual aspects of my life.
7. I'm very assertive about the sexual aspects of my life.
8. I am depressed about the sexual aspects of my life.
9. The sexual aspects of my life are determined mostly by chance happenings.
10. I sometimes wonder what others think of the sexual aspects of my life.
11. I am somewhat afraid of becoming sexually involved with another person.
12. I am very satisfied with the way my sexual needs are currently being met.
13. I am a pretty good sexual partner.
14. I think about sex more than anything else.
15. The sexual aspects of my life are determined in large part by my own behavior.
16. I'm very aware of my sexual motivations.
17. I'm strongly motivated to devote time and effort to sex.
18. I'm worried about the sexual aspects of my life.
19. I'm not very direct about voicing my sexual preferences. (R)
20. I am disappointed about the quality of my sex life.
21. Most things that affect the sexual aspects of my life happen to me by accident.
22. I'm very concerned with how others evaluate the sexual aspects of my life.
23. I sometimes have a fear of sexual relationships.
24. I am very satisfied with my sexual relationship.
25. I am better at sex than most other people.
26. I tend to be preoccupied with sex.
27. I am in control of the sexual aspects of my life.
28. I tend to think about my sexual feelings.
29. I have a strong desire to be sexually active.
30. Thinking about the sexual aspects of my life leaves me with an uneasy feeling.
31. I am somewhat passive about expressing my sexual desires. (R)
32. I feel discouraged about my sex life.
33. Luck plays a big part in influencing the sexual aspects of my life.
34. I'm very aware of what others think of the sexual aspects of my life.
35. I sometimes am fearful of sexual activity.
36. My sexual relationship meets my original expectations.
37. I would rate myself pretty favorably as a sexual partner.
38. I'm constantly thinking about having sex.
39. The main thing which affects the sexual aspects of my life is what I myself do.
40. I'm very alert to changes in my sexual desires.
41. It's really important to me that I involve myself in sexual activity.
42. I usually worry about the sexual aspects of my life.
43. I do not hesitate to ask for what I want in a sexual relationship.
44. I feel unhappy about my sexual relationships.
45. The sexual aspects of my life are largely a matter of (good or bad) fortune.
46. I'm concerned about how the sexual aspect of my life appears to others.
47. I don't have very much fear about engaging in sex. (R)
48. My sexual relationship is very good compared to most.
49. I would be very confident in a sexual encounter.
50. I think about sex the majority of the time.
51. My sexuality is something that I myself am in charge of.
52. I am very aware of my sexual tendencies.
53. I strive to keep myself sexually active.
54. I feel nervous when I think about the sexual aspects of my life.
55. When it comes to sex, I usually ask for what I want.
56. I feel sad when I think about my sexual experiences.
57. The sexual aspects of my life are a matter of fate (destiny).
58. I'm concerned about what other people think of the sexual aspects of my life.
59. I'm not very afraid of becoming sexually active. (R)
60. I am very satisfied with the sexual aspects of my life.
61. I responded to the above items based on:
(A) A current sexual relationship.
(B) A past sexual relationship.
(C) An imagined sexual relationship.
Copyright - 1993

Scoring Instructions for the Multidimensional Sexuality Questionnaire (MSQ).
Purpose
    The Multidimensional Sexuality Questionnaire (MSQ; Snell, Fisher, & Walters, 1993) is an objective, self-report instrument designed to measure of 12 aspects of human sexuality: (1) sexual-esteem, defined as positive regard for and confidence in the capacity to experience one's sexuality in a satisfying and enjoyable way; (2) sexual-preoccupation, defined as the tendency to think about sex to an excessive degree; (3) internal-sexual-control, defined as the belief that the sexual aspects of one=s life are determined by one=s own personal control; (4) sexual-consciousness, defined as the tendency to think and reflect about the nature of one=s sexuality; (5) sexual-motivation, defined as the desire to be involved in a sexual relationship; (6) sexual-anxiety, defined as the tendency to feel tension, discomfort, and anxiety about the sexual aspects of one=s life; (7) sexual-assertiveness, defined as the tendency to be assertive about the sexual aspects of one=s life; (8) sexual-depression, defined as the experience of feelings of sadness, unhappiness, and depression regarding one's sex life; (9) external-sexual-control, defined as the belief that one’s sexuality is determined by influences outside of one=s personal control; (10) sexual-monitoring, defined as the tendency to be aware of the public impression which one=s sexuality makes on others; (11) fear-of-sex, defined as a fear of engaging in sexual relations with another individual; and (12) sexual-satisfaction, defined as the tendency to be highly satisfied with the sexual aspects of one=s life. Factor analysis (12 factor maximum likelihood with oblique rotation) confirmed that the items on the Multidimensional Sexuality Questionnaire largely form conceptual clusters corresponding to the 12 MSQ concepts (Snell et al., 1993). Other results indicated that all 12 subscales had clearly acceptable levels of reliability (alphas ranged from .71 to .94, with an average of .85; test-retest reliabilities ranged from .50 to .86, with an average of .87). The 12 MSQ subscales were also found to be largely uncontaminated by social desirability tendencies. Additional findings indicated that men reported higher levels of sexual-esteem, sexual-preoccupation, sexual-motivation, sexual-assertiveness, and external-sexual-control than did women. By contrast, females reported greater fear-of-sexual-relations than did males. Other results indicated that the MSQ subscales were related to both exchange and communal approaches to sex, to sexual attitudes, and to women=s and men=s sexual behaviors. Scores in the Multidimensional Sexuality Questionnaire can be treated as individual difference measures of the 12 constructs measured by the MSQ or as dependent variables when examining predictive correlates of these concepts.
Description
    The Multidimensional Sexuality Questionnaire consists of 60 items arranged in a format where respondents indicate how characteristic of them each statement is. A 5-point Likert scale is used to collect data on peoples' responses, with each item being scored from 0 to 4: Not at all characteristic of me (0), Slightly characteristic of me (1), Somewhat characteristic of me (2), Moderately characteristic of me (3), and Very characteristic of me (4). In order to create subscale scores (discussed below), the items on each subscale are summed. Higher scores thus correspond to greater amounts of the relevant tendency. To confirm the conceptual dimensions assumed to underlie the Multidimensional Sexuality Questionnaire, the 60 items on the MSQ were subjected to a 12 factor maximum likelihood factor analysis with oblique rotation. A 12 factor solution was specified and rotated to oblique structure with the oblimin procedure. The results of this statistical analysis provided preliminary evidence supporting the anticipated factor structure of the Multidimensional Sexuality Questionnaire.
Response Mode and Timing
    In most instances, people respond to the 60 items on the Multidimensional Sexuality Questionnaire by marking their answers on separate machine-scorable answer sheets. The scale usually requires about 30-45 minutes to complete.
Scoring
    The Multidimensional Sexuality Questionnaire consists of 60 items. Several items are first reverse coded (items 19, 31, 47, and 50); they are designated with an "R" on the copy of the MSQ shown below. The relevant items on each subscale are then coded so that A = 0; B = 1; C = 2; D = 3; and E = 4. Next, the items on each subscale are summed, so that higher scores correspond to greater amounts of each tendency. Scores on the 12 subscales can range from 0 to 20. The items on the MSQ subscales alternate in numerical order (i.e., subscale 1 consists of items 1, 13, 25, 37, and 49; subscale 2 consists of items 2, 14, 26, 38, and 50).
Reliability
    The internal consistency of the subscales on the Multidimensional Sexuality Questionnaire was determined by calculating Cronbach alpha coefficients, using 372 participants (265 females; 117 males; 4 gender unspecified) drawn from lower division psychology courses at a small Midwestern university (Snell et al., 1993). The average age of the sample was 24.1, with a range of 17 to 60. The alpha coefficients were computed for each of the 12 subscales. Each coefficient was based on 5 items. The alphas for all subjects on the 12 subscales were .87, .94, .80, .71, .91, .83, .77, .92, .86, .90, .82, and .90 (for subscales 1 to 12, respectively). Test-retest reliability were, respectively: .85, .73, .63, .75, .83, .64, .65, .70, .68, .69, .67, and .76. In brief, the 12 MSQ subscales had more than adequate internal consistency and test-retest reliability.
Validity
    Evidence for the validity of the Multidimensional Sexuality Questionnaire (MSQ) comes from a variety of findings. Snell et al. (1993) found that among university students, women's and men's scores on the MSQ were associated not only with their sexual attitudes and their exchange and communal approaches to sexual relations, but also with their scores on other instruments conceptually similar to the MSQ. Men=s and women=s sexual behaviors were also predictably related to their scores on the MSQ subscales. Additional research provides evidence that the MSQ subscales were related in predictable ways to men's and women's contraceptive behaviors (Fisher et al., 1995).
References
    Snell, W. E., Jr., Fisher, T. D., & Walters, A. S. (1993). The Multidimensional Sexuality Questionnaire: An objective self-report measure of psychological tendencies associated with human sexuality. Annals of Sex Research, 6, 27-55.
    Fisher, T. D., Snell, W. E., Jr. (1995). Validation of the Multidimensional Sexuality Questionnaire. Unpublished manuscript, The Ohio University at Mansfield.

Permission is granted to individuals to use the Multidimensional Sexuality Questionnaire 
for research purposes.
Permission granted by William E. Snell, Jr. on February 14, 1997.

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This site was last updated on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 .
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Copyright @ 1997 to Dr. William E. Snell, Jr.