Journal of sex research 2018 04 10() 1-12 doi 10.1080/00224499.2018.1453042
Researchers have theorized about the role of sexual shame as a mechanism through which sexual minority stress manifests into mental health difficulties, such as sexual compulsivity for gay and bisexual men (GBM), and about the resilience-promoting effects of sexual pride. However, no validated measures to date have directly tapped into these constructs rather than using proxies for them, such as internalized homonegativity. We developed the Sexual Shame and Pride Scale (SSPS) and conducted a psychometric evaluation of it using a sample of 260 highly sexually active GBM. The scale had the expected structure in factor analysis and showed evidence of internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Correlational analyses demonstrated the convergent validity of sexual shame and sexual pride with relevant constructs. Regression analyses demonstrated the predictive validity of sexual shame in relation to sexual compulsivity, accounting for unique variability even after adjusting for previously demonstrated etiological factors, and the predictive validity of both shame and pride, which interacted to consistently predict four sexual behavior outcomes. Findings suggest the SSPS is a psychometrically valid and reliable measure that may be useful in future empirical work and highlight preliminary evidence for the role of these constructs in the sexual health of GBM.