Annals of sex research

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 307-334

First online:

Development and validation of the Sexual Self-Disclosure Scale

  • William E. SnellJr.Affiliated withSouthwest Missouri State University
  • , Sharyn S. BelkAffiliated withUniversity of Texas at Austin
  • , Dennis R. PapiniAffiliated withUniversity of Arkansas at Fayetteville
  • , Steve ClarkAffiliated withUniversity of Arkansas at Fayetteville

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The recent literature on human sexuality emphasizes the importance of sexual communication. The present research reports the results of three studies documenting the development and validation of an instrument concerned with sexual communication, the Sexual Self-Disclosure Scale (SSDS). The results in Study I indicated that the twelve SSDS subscales were highly reliable and that women were more willing to discuss the topics on the SSDS with female than male therapists. A second study revealed that men's and women's responses to the SSDS were related in meaningful, predictable ways to their sexual-esteem, sexual-depression and sexual-preoccupation, as measured by the Sexuality Scale. In Study III, the SSDS was revised to include a wider variety of sexual topics dealing with sexual behaviors, values-preferences, attitudes, and feelings. The results from Study III indicated that men's and women's responses to the SSDS-R varied as a function of their own gender and the content of the sexual topics. The discussion focuses on the increased need for communication about sexual issues, the implications of the present findings for intimate relationships, and the possible uses of the Sexual Self-Disclosure Scale in the study of human sexuality.