Author Date


Degree Name





Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Defense Date


Publication Date


First Faculty Advisor

Dr. Scott Braithwaite

First Faculty Reader

Dr. Chelsea Romney

Honors Coordinator

Dr. Bruce Brown


psychometrics, sexual health, anxiety, psychological testing, sexual relationships


The Sexual Anxiety Inventory (SAI) is a psychometric tool intended to measure sex-related anxiety for individuals in many different relationship stages and irrespective of sexual experience. A sample of 419 participants aged 18 to 76 responded to the items of the SAI as well as measures of generalized anxiety, depression, sexual sensation seeking, sociosexuality, and personality. After factor analysis, five factors were determined to have unique properties while being interpretable. A series of correlational testing between these factors and the measures of anxiety, depression, sexual sensation seeking, and sociosexuality demonstrated the strength of SAI factors as measurement tools. Exploratory correlations between the SAI factors and personality traits measured by the Big Five Inventory indicated directions for continued analysis and future research. The SAI factors “shame” and “knowledge” also remained significantly effective when controlling for the effects of other measures with participants’ self-reported likelihood of having a new sexual encounter in the next six months. While these results are largely exploratory, they highlight the potential of the SAI to impact both sexual and relationship theory and clinical use for therapists and psychologists.