Test-retest reliability and predictors of unreliable reporting for a sexual behavior questionnaire for U.S. men

Alan G. Nyitray, Robin B. Harris, Andrew T. Abalos, Carrie M. Nielson, Mary Papenfuss, Anna R. Giuliano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Accurate knowledge about human sexual behaviors is important for increasing our understanding of human sexuality; however, there have been few studies assessing the reliability of sexual behavior questionnaires designed for community samples of adult men. A test-retest reliability study was conducted on a questionnaire completed by 334 men who had been recruited in Tucson, Arizona. Reliability coefficients and refusal rates were calculated for 39 nonsexual and sexual behavior questionnaire items. Predictors of unreliable reporting for lifetime number of female sexual partners were also assessed. Refusal rates were generally low, with slightly higher refusal rates for questions related to immigration, income, the frequency of sexual intercourse with women, lifetime number of female sexual partners, and the lifetime number of male anal sex partners. Kappa and intraclass correlation coefficients were substantial or almost perfect for all non-sexual and sexual behavior items. Reliability dropped somewhat, but was still substantial, for items that asked about household income and the men's knowledge of their sexual partners' health, including abnormal Pap tests and prior sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Age and lifetime number of female sexual partners were independent predictors of unreliable reporting while years of education was inversely associated with unreliable reporting. These findings among a community sample of adult men are consistent with other test-retest reliability studies with populations of women and adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1343-1352
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Men
  • Reliability
  • Sexual behavior
  • Test-retest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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