Journal List > Korean J Women Health Nurs > v.8(1) > 1127715

Korean J Women Health Nurs. 2002 Mar;8(1):106-115. Korean.
Published online Jun 04, 2013.
Copyright © 2002 Korean Academy of Women's Health Nursing
Development of Sexual Autonomy Measurement for College Students
Soon Bok Chang*
*Professor, college of nursing in Yonsei University, Research Institute for Home Health Care, Korea.
Accepted Mar 07, 2002.


Little is known about sexual autonomy in the light of human sexual health or sexual behavior. The purpose of this study was to increase understanding of sexual autonomy by developing a scale to measure sexual autonomy in college students. The measure was based on the perspective of human beings as having autonomy. A methodological developmental design was used. The study was done in three steps and included concept development through content analysis of relevant literature individual interviews using open-ended questions with 19 college students, item analysis of data from self report questionnaires for item to total correlation, content validity index by professionals and college students, and factor analysis with principal component analysis. Three groups participated in testing the measurement scale; Group A in 1998, a nationwide convenience sample of college students (n=1,163), Group B, college students in 1999 (n=233), and Group C, college students in 2000 who responded to the measurement scale before and after a sex education program (n=216). A series of exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to test validity.

For analysis of the questionnaires, statistical methods including reliability (test-retest), item to total analysis, content validity, factor analysis for construct validity and t-test for mean difference according to gender, sexual coitus, previous sex education, and pre-post experiment sex education were used with SPSS 10.0.


  1. Two stable factors were extracted and these contributed 48.05% of the variance in the total score. All 13 items loaded above .40 on each factor.

  2. Factor I with 10 items was named 'control' and factor II with 3 items and was named 'coping'.

  3. Differences in sexual autonomy scores for college students according to their experience showed that there were significantly higher scores for sexual autonomy in the post sex education group(t=-10.841, p=.000), but there were no differences according to whether or not they had previous sex education. Female college students had higher sexual autonomy scores than male college students in A or B group (t=-5.933, p=.000/ t=-1.992, p=.048).

  4. Cronbach's α was .8603 for the total 13 items with 1,632 college students, .8739 with 232 students, .8333~.7647 with pre-post sex education with 216 students.

This measurement was found to have a high validity and reliability for measuring sexual autonomy in college students. Therefore, the author recommends that it be used to measure the effects of sex education. It is suggested that further study is needed to analyze the relationship between sexual autonomy and sexual behavior. Economic status(γ33=-.44, t=-6.01) had a positive direct effect on perceived life stress. The results of this study showed that self-esteem had the most significant direct effect on depression. Meaning of life and health status had significant direct effect on this self-esteem. Volunteer activity and health status had direct effect on meaning of life. The results of this study suggested that there is a need to develope intervention to promote degree of self-esteem and alleviate degree of depression in middle-aged women.

Keywords: Sexual autonomy; Measurement; College student