Questionnaires and scales for the evaluation of the online sexual activities: A review of 20 years of research

Vol.8,No.1(2014)
Special issue: Internet and Sexuality

Abstract
An increasing number of people use the Internet for Online Sexual Activities (OSA). This sexual revolution has resulted in both positive and negative aspects, enriching sexual functioning but also providing other risks for criminal, negative and harmful sexual conducts, or Online Sexual Problems (OSP). A deeper understanding of Internet sexuality is therefore important for practitioners who work in the psychological and sexological fields. Current studies on Internet sexuality span a broad spectrum with respect to data collection: interviews, questionnaires, observations, content analyses and Internet log file recordings have all been used. The aim of this paper is to offer the most complete overview of these instruments focusing on the strengths and weaknesses of different tools currently available to assess different dimensions of OSA, and to suggest a simple screener for OSP. A systematic search of published online sexual activities inventories was performed using PsychInfo and Pubmed (1993 to July 2013). Although many of them are adequate for their own purposes, our review revealed a lack of standardized, internationally (culturally) accepted tools that are epidemiologically validated in general populations and that can be used to investigate OSA and to assess OSP. The definitions of OSA and OSP continue to change and basic tools are essential to have a broader idea of the phenomenon and of the challenges and possibilities emerging from the double link between the Internet and sexuality. More accurate instruments are also necessary to help advanced clinical diagnosis and treatment for OSP.

Keywords:
self-report questionnaires; scales; online sexual activities (OSA); online sexual problems (OSP); internet sexuality
Author biographies

Stefano Eleuteri

Author photo Stefano Eleuteri, Psychologist, Sexual Counsellor, works in the educational guidance and tutoring service at Faculty of Medicine & Psychology of Sapienza University of Rome. He is the President of the “Educere” Association, based in Orvieto, and the Vice-Chair of the WAS Youth Initiative Committee.

Francesca Tripodi

Author photo Francesca Tripodi, Psychotherapist, Sexologist, and Supervisor at the Institute of Clinical Sexology of Rome. Member of the Educational Committee of the European Society of Sexual Medicine. Co-director of the ESSM School of Sexual Medicine.

Irene Petruccelli

Author photo Irene Petruccelli, PhD, Psychologist, Psychotherapist; Assistant professor of Social Psychology, Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, "Kore" University of Enna; Coordinator and Supervisor, Center of Forensic Psichology, Rome.

Roberta Rossi

Author photo Roberta Rossi, Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Sexologist, coordinator and supervisor of the Institute of Clinical Sexology (ISC) of Rome, President of Italian Federation Scientific Sexology (FISS).

Chiara Simonelli

Author photo Chiara Simonelli, is an associate professor in clinical sexology at Sapienza University in Rome, Italy. She is a regular lecturer in the psychology and psychopathology of sexual behaviour and also teaches the degree course in psychology. She is the President of EFS (European Federation of Sexology) and author of a variety of scientific publications and theoretical or experimental papers and books.
References

Albright, J. M. (2008). Sex in America online: An exploration of sex, marital status, and sexual identity in Internet sex seeking and its impacts. The Journal of Sex Research, 45, 175-186. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224490801987481

Boies, S. C., Cooper, A., & Osborne, C. S. (2004). Variations in Internet-related problems and psychosocial functioning in online sexual activities: Implications for social and sexual development of young adults. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 7, 207-230. https://doi.org/10.1089/109493104323024474

Brand, M., Laier, C., Pawlikowski, M., Schchtle, U., Schöler, T., & Altstötter-Gleich, C. (2011). Watching pornographic pictures on the Internet: Role of sexual arousal ratings and psychological–psychiatric symptoms for using Internet sex sites excessively. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 14, 371-377. https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2010.0222

Carnes, P. J., & Delmonico, D. L. (1996). Sexual Dependency Inventory-revised. Minneapolis, MN: Positive Living Press.

Carnes, P., Green, B., & Carnes, S. (2010). The same yet different: Refocusing the Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST) to reflect orientation and gender. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 17, 7–30. https://doi.org/10.1080/10720161003604087

Cooper, A., Griffin-Shelley, E., Delmonico, D. L. & Mathy, R. (2001). Online sexual problems: Assessment and predictive variables. Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity, 8, 265 – 283. https://doi.org/10.1080/107201601753459964

Cooper, A., Scherer, C., & Mathy, R. M. (2004). Overcoming methodological concerns in the investigation of online sexual activities. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 4, 437-447.https://doi.org/10.1089/109493101750526999

Cooper, A., Månnson, S. A., Daneback, K., Tikkanen, R., & Ross, M. W. (2003). Internet sexuality in Scandinavia. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 18, 277-291.

Corley, M. D., & Hook, J. N. (2012). Women, female sex and love addicts, and use of the Internet. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 19, 53-76. https://doi.org/10.1080/10720162.2012.660430

Couch, D. (2008). Online dating and mating: The use of the Internet to meet sexual partners. Qualitative Health Research, 18, 268-279. https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732307312832

Daneback, K., Cooper, A., & Månsson, S. A. (2005). An Internet study of cybersex participants. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 34, 321-328. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-005-3120-z

Daneback, K., Månsson, S. A., & Ross, M. W. (2007). Using the Internet to find offline sex partners. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10, 100-107. https://doi.org/10.1089/cpb.2006.9986

Delmonico, D. L. (1997). Internet Sex Screening Test. Retrieved from: http://www.sexhelp.com

Delmonico, D. L., & Miller, J. A. (2003). The Internet Sex Screening Test: A comparison of sexual compulsives versus non-sexual compulsives. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 18, 261-276. https://doi.org/10.1080/1468199031000153900

Döring, N. M. (2009). The Internet’s impact on sexuality: A critical review of 15 years of research. Computers in Human Behavior, 25, 1089-1101. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2009.04.003

Goodson, P., McCormick, D., & Evans, A. (2000). Sex and the Internet: A survey instrument to assess college students’ behavior and attitudes. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 3, 129–149. https://doi.org/10.1089/109493100315987

Goodson, P., McCormick, D., & Evans, A. (2001). Searching for sexually explicit materials on the Internet: An exploratory study of college students’ behavior and attitudes. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 30, 101-118. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1002724116437

Green, B. A., Carnes, S., Carnes, P. J., & Weinman, E. A. (2012). Cybersex addiction patterns in a clinical sample of homosexual, heterosexual, and bisexual men and women. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 19, 77-98. https://doi.org/10.1080/10720162.2012.658343

Grov, C., Gillespie, B. J., Royce, T., & Lever, J. (2011). Perceived consequences of casual online sexual activities on heterosexual relationship: A U.S. online survey. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 429-439. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-010-9598-z

Grubbs, J. B., Sessoms, J., Wheeler, D. M., & Volk, F. (2010). The Cyber-pornography use inventory: The development of a new assessment instrument. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 17, 106–126. https://doi.org/10.1080/10720161003776166

McKenna, K. Y. A., Green, A. S., & Smith, P. K. (2001). Demarginalizing the sexual self. The Journal of Sex Research, 38, 302-311. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224490109552101

Mitchell, K. J., Becker-Blease, K. A., & Finkelhor, D. (2005). Inventory of problematic Internet experiences encountered in clinical practice. Professional Psychology: Research & Practice, 36, 498-509. https://doi.org/10.1037/0735-7028.36.5.498

Mitchell, K. J., Finkelhor, D., Wolak, J., Ybarra, M. L., & Turner, H. (2011). Youth Internet victimization in a broader victimization context. Journal of Adolescent Health, 48, 128-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2010.06.009

Mitchell, K. J., Sabina, C., Finkelhor, D., & Wells, M. (2009). Index of problematic online experiences: item characteristics and correlation with negative symptomatology. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 12, 707-711. https://doi.org/10.1089/cpb.2008.0317

Mustanski, B., Lyons, T., & Garcia, S. C. (2011). Internet use and sexual health of young men who have sex with men: A mixed-methods study. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 289-300. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-009-9596-1

Ross, M. W. (2005). Typing, doing, and being: Sexuality and the Internet. The Journal of Sex Research, 42, 342-352. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224490509552290

Ross, M. W., Daneback, K., Månsson, S. A.,Tikkanen, R., & Cooper, A. (2003). Characteristics of men and women who complete or exit from an on-line Internet sexuality questionnaire: A study of instrument dropout biases. The Journal of Sex Research, 40, 396-402. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224490209552205

Ross, M. W., Månsson, S. A., & Daneback, K. (2012). Prevalence, severity, and correlates of problematic sexual Internet use in Swedish men and women. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41, 459-466. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-011-9762-0

Schroder K. E. E., Carey M. P., & Vanable, P. A. (2003). Methodological challenges in research on sexual risk behavior: II. Accuracy of self-reports. Ann Behav Med, 26, 104–123. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15324796ABM2602_03

Shaughnessy, K., Byers, E. S., & Walsh, L. (2011). Online sexual activity experience of heterosexual students: Gender similarities and differences. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 419-427. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-010-9629-9

Valkyrie, Z. C. (2011). Cybersexuality in MMORPGs: Virtual sexual revolution untapped. Men and Masculinities, 14, 76-96. https://doi.org/10.1177/1097184X10363256

Velezmoro, R., Negy, C., & Livia, J. (2012). Online sexual activity: Cross-national comparison between United States and Peruvian college students. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41, 1015–1025. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-011-9862-x

Waskul, D. D. (2002). The naked self: Being a body in televideo cybersex. Symbolic Interaction, 25, 199–227. https://doi.org/10.1525/si.2002.25.2.199

Metrics

7562

Views

14072

HTML views