People differ in their sexual attitudes. There are different types of sexual attitudes, and in the BSAS four are distinguised (Hendrick et al, (2005):

  • Permissiveness = Permissiveness towards an open relationship

  • Birth control = Responsibility in birth control

  • Communion = Attitude to towards the importance of melting together with sex partner

  • Instrumentality = Attitude towards enjoying the physical sex

Each score for these 4 dimensions of the sexual attitudes can range from 1.0 to 5.0, and a lower score indicates a greater amount of that attitude.

The original study used student populations to validate the test. They found the following average scores (Hendrick et al., 2005, study 1, table 3). The statistical significance of the sex difference and the sex with the greatest amount of that attitude is also indicated:

Dimension type Men (n=202) Women (n=472) Sex difference (p<.05)




Birth control









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This scale has been published in an academic journal and it seems that it can be used in research, given that the relevant researchers and papers are acknowledged and cited.


This is a simple scale item.

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
scale: agree
- strongly agree
- moderately agree
- neutral
- moderately disagree
- strongly disagree

l: bsas
t: scale agree
o: random
o: width 40%
q: Listed below are several statements that reflect different attitudes
about sex.<br><br>
For each statement select the response on the answer scale that
indicates how much you agree or disagree with that statement.<br><br>
Some of the items refer to a specific sexual relationship, while
others refer to general attitudes and beliefs about sex.<br><br>
Whenever possible, answer the questions with your current partner in
mind. If you are not currently dating anyone, answer the questions
with your most recent partner in mind. If you have never had a sexual
relationship, answer in terms of what you think your responses would
most likely be.<br>
- I do not need to be committed to a person to have sex with him/her.
- Casual sex is acceptable.
- I would like to have sex with many partners.
- One-night stands are sometimes very enjoyable.
- It is okay to have ongoing sexual relationships with more than one person at a time.
- Sex as a simple exchange of favors is okay if both people agree to it.
- The best sex is with no strings attached.
- Life would have fewer problems if people could have sex more freely.
- It is possible to enjoy sex with a person and not like that person very much.
- It is okay for sex to be just good physical release.
- Birth control is part of responsible sexuality.
- A woman should share responsibility for birth control.
- A man should share responsibility for birth control.
- Sex is the closest form of communication between two people.
- A sexual encounter between two people deeply in love is the ultimate human interaction.
- At its best, sex seems to be the merging of two souls.
- Sex is a very important part of life.
- Sex is usually an intensive, almost overwhelming experience.
- Sex is best when you let yourself go and focus on your own pleasure.
- Sex is primarily the taking of pleasure from another person.
- The main purpose of sex is to enjoy oneself.
- Sex is primarily physical.
- Sex is primarily a bodily function, like eating.

l: permissiveness
t: set
- mean $bsas.1 $bsas.2 $bsas.3 $bsas.4 $bsas.5 $bsas.6 $bsas.7 $bsas.9 $bsas.10

l: birth_control
t: set
- mean $bsas.11 $bsas.12 $bsas.13

l: communion
t: set
- mean $bsas.14 $bsas.15 $bsas.16 $bsas.17 $bsas.18

l: instrumentality
t: set
- mean $bsas.19 $bsas.20 $bsas.21 $bsas.22 $bsas.23

l: feedback
t: info
q: The sexual attitudes scale gives four different scores.<br>
Each score can range from 1 (high in the specific attitude) to 5 (low in the attitude)<br><br>
Write down your scores and at the end of the questionnaire, you find the link<br>
back to the library which gives the averages for the population.<br><br>
Note: Lower scores mean that you a greater amount of the attitude.<br>
Thus, a score of 1.0 on, say permissiveness, means you have a very permissive sexual attitude.<br>
<li>Permissiveness: {$permissiveness}
<li>Birth control: {$birth_control}
<li>Communion: {$communion}
<li>Instrumentality: {$instrumentality}


  • Hendrick, C., Hendrick, S. S., & Reich, D. A. (2006). The Journal of Sex Research, 43, 76-86.