Sexual self-concept: Testing a hypothetical model for men and women

Arielle R. Deutsch, Lesa R Hoffman, Brian L Wilcox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


One theoretical concept receiving modest attention in contemporary sex research is the sexual self-concept (SSC). However, a lack of cohesion within this research has culminated in a collection of SSC models which overlap one another but which are not exactly the same. Therefore, a unified conceptual model of SSC needs to be established. In addition, little research has examined potential differences between genders in SSC, as most SSC research has focused on women. Using Buzwell and Rosenthal's 1996 sexual selves model as a theoretical basis, a six-factor higher-order latent SSC model was tested using confirmatory factor analysis. Lower-order factors for this model included multidimensional sexual self-esteem and sexual self-efficacy factors, as well as unidimensional arousal, anxiety, exploration, and commitment factors. A five-factor latent model (after removing the commitment and the resistance sexual self-efficacy factors) was the best-fitting model. This model was then tested for measurement and structural invariance between genders. Results indicated that while the measurement of SSC was similar between men and women, structural invariance did not hold, as men had a significantly higher latent SSC score compared to women. These findings have important implications for sexual self-concept research, as well as contributing to better understanding of human sexuality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)932-945
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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