The initiating heterosexual contact scale: A factor analysis

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Recent studies of college women’s initiation of heterosexual contact have focused on the relationships among predictors of women's heterosexual initiating behaviors, initiating strategies, and theories concerning sexuality and indicate the importance of establishing the psychometric properties of the research measurements. The present study of 212 college women (mean age =22.3 years) investigated the factor structure underlying one of these tools, the Initiating Heterosexual Contact Scale (IHCS). The IHCS was developed to assess behaviors and motives relative to initiating heterosexual contact. subjects were administered a survey that included their self-report of initiating sexual contact with men. Factor analysis of the 26-item scale revealed a 19-item scale comprised of six factors—Sexual Arousal, Hidden Motives, Verbal Pressure, Retaliation or Gain, Physical Force, and Exploitation—accounting for 59.8% of the response variance. The internal reliability of the subscales ranged from .43 to .75. Recommendations for further refinement of the IHCS and areas of future research are suggested.