Is Risky Sexual Behavior Continuous or Categorical? A Taxometric Analysis of the Sexual Risk Survey
Risky sexual behaviors are behaviors that involve the possibility of an adverse outcome, such as contracting a sexually transmitted infection or unwanted pregnancy. The question of whether risky sexual behavior exists as a discrete class (i.e., Saxon) or as a dimensional construct has not previously been explored. The authors performed a set of taxometric analyses on 4 factor scales derived from the Sexual Risk Survey (Turchik & Garske, 2009) with data from 1,103 college students. The results provided consistent support for a dimensional latent structure in which variations in reported risky sexual behavior reflect differences in degree and not differences in kind. The implications of these findings for the assessment of risky sexual behavior are discussed.
Marcus, D. K.,
Fulton, J. J.,
Turchik, J. A.
(2011). Is Risky Sexual Behavior Continuous or Categorical? A Taxometric Analysis of the Sexual Risk Survey. Psychological Assessment, 23(1), 282-286.
Available at: http://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/494