Despite a plethora of research on sexual functioning during the past decades, the field is still lacking standardized measurements specifically characterizing orgasm. Although several validated tools are available to assess sexual function in healthy and clinical populations, items on orgasm are limited to frequency or dichotomous responses. A neurophysiologic model of orgasm developed from previous research in able-bodied and spinally injured populations offers a promising framework for the construction of a new questionnaire.
To develop and validate a brief self-report measurement of orgasm by the assessment of bodily and physiologic sensations perceived during climax by able-bodied individuals. Although the currently available tool focuses on the phenomenological sensations associated with climax, the goal of this questionnaire was to capture the more specific genital and extragenital sensations associated with orgasm.
The current Bodily Sensations of Orgasm questionnaire and the Orgasm Rating Scale.
Data from previous research conducted on individuals with spinal cord injury and the available empirical literature provided a pool of 45 items organized into four categories, which were reviewed by an expert panel. Upon review, a 28-item questionnaire was created and administered to a community sample of 227 participants, including men and women, 18 to 73 years old.
Exploratory factor analyses supported the four-factor model, in which orgasm is comprised of extragenital sensations, genital sensations and spasms, nociceptive sensations, and sweating responses. Overall, a high degree of internal consistency was found for the final 22-item questionnaire (Cronbach α = 0.87), with individual reliability coefficients showing moderate to high internal consistency (r = 0.65-0.79) for each dimension. Overall temporal stability of the measurement was acceptable (r = 0.74). Using the Orgasm Rating Scale, satisfying convergent validity was confirmed, thereby indicating that the two measurements are complementary.
The Bodily Sensations of Orgasm questionnaire allows for a brief evaluation of the physical and physiologic sensations associated with orgasm. Findings also suggest perceptual differences between men and women with regard to climax, with women reporting a larger repertoire of climactic sensations during orgasm.
Dubray, S., Gérard, M., Beaulieu-Prévost, D. and Courtois, F. (2017). Validation of a Self-Report Questionnaire Assessing the Bodily and Physiological Sensations of Orgasm.The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 14(2). DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2016.12.006.
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