Through sexual exploration, adolescents learn that they are sexual beings with choices, desires, and are deserving of pleasure, which corresponds to sexual subjectivity. However, the two measures of this construct (i.e., Female Sexual Subjectivity Inventory and Male Sexual Subjectivity Inventory) have not been validated with younger adolescents and have different items for boys and girls (with no scale available for gender diverse individuals), limiting gender comparisons. This study examined (1) the factor structure of the adapted Short Sexual Subjectivity Inventory—11 items (SSSI-11) in a large sample of young cisgender, heterosexual and sexual and gender minority adolescents, (2) measurement invariance across language (English and French), gender, and sexual orientation, (3) validity with sexuality-related outcomes, and (4) one-year temporal stability. Results of a confirmatory factor analysis among 2001 adolescents (Mage = 15.5 years, SD = 0.60) revealed a multidimensional factor structure. The SSSI-11, in both English and French, showed adequate reliability and one-year temporal stability, and was invariant across genders, sexual orientations, and languages. Girls had lower scores on the entitlement to self-pleasure and self-efficacy in achieving pleasure factors, and higher scores on the entitlement to pleasure from a partner factor. No significant differences were observed on the basis of language or between heterosexual and sexual minority adolescents. The SSSI-11 correlated positively with sexuality-related variables. Findings support the strong psychometric properties of the SSSI-11, rendering it of considerable use in clinical, education, and research applications.
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The authors would like to thank Mylène Desrosiers and Camélia Dubois for their assistance with data collection.
This work was supported by a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research awarded to S. Bergeron and J. Dion, a doctoral fellowship from Fonds de recherche du Québec, Société et Culture awarded to M-M. Paquette. B. Bőthe was supported by the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, SSHRC) during the finalization of the manuscript.
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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in the study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee of the Université de Montréal and the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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Paquette, MM., Dion, J., Bőthe, B. et al. How Does Sexual Subjectivity Vary on the Basis of Gender and Sexual Orientation? Validation of the Short Sexual Subjectivity Inventory (SSSI-11) in Cisgender, Heterosexual and Sexual and Gender Minority Adolescents. Arch Sex Behav (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-023-02675-7