This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Reevaluating Sexual Satisfaction through an Expectancy Lens: Validation of the Sexual Activity Frequency and Expectation Scale




Brown Cunningham, S. Karlene

Type of Degree





The method by which sexual satisfaction is conceptualized and measured varies widely across settings (e.g., research settings vs. clinical settings). However, consistent across settings is the use of inherently subjective Likert-type rating scales that may obscure results. The aim of the current study was to create and validate a measure of sexual satisfaction based on the actual and desired frequencies of a number of sexual behaviors using objective anchors. The Sexual Activity Frequency and Expectation (SAFE) scale conceptualizes sexual satisfaction as comprising sexual satiation and sexual dissatisfaction (i.e., over-satiation and deprivation) across a number of sexual behavioral domains. When compared to a composite measure of global sexual satisfaction, the SAFE scale demonstrated incremental validity in the prediction of relationship satisfaction, a known correlate of theoretical interest. Findings suggest that deprivation of sexual behaviors negatively impacts relationship satisfaction. Exploratory analyses further indicated that length of sexual relationship may underscore ambivalence about the relationship.