An implicit measure of sexual double standard endorsement in emerging adults: Reliability and validity aspects

J.J.D.M. van Lankveld*, Peggy Emmerink, Regina J. J. M. van den Eijnden, Tom F. M. Ter Bogt, R.J. Pat El, Ine Vanwesenbeeck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Psychometric characteristics were investigated of an Implicit Association Test to assess implicit endorsement of the sexual double standard (SDS-IAT) in emerging adults. The reliability of the SDS-IAT was investigated focusing on internal consistency across different phases of the test. Convergent validity of the SDS-IAT was evaluated against the Scale for the Assessment of Sexual Standards in Youth, an explicit measure of SDS, and against gender investment. Divergent validity was evaluated against the personality characteristics of extraversion, neuroticism, and social desirability proneness. Gendered patterns were examined. Attenuation-corrected alphas demonstrated acceptable internal consistency, with alphas ranging for .65–.70. A modest level of explicit SDS endorsement was found in both female and male participants. In line with their explicit SDS level, a modest level of implicit SDS endorsement was found in male participants, whereas a reverse implicit SDS was found among young women. In agreement with our theoretical expectations, we found low convergent validity in multitrait-multimethod analysis of the SDS-IAT with a measure of explicit SDS endorsement, and with general level of investment in gender ideals. Similarly, divergent validity analysis revealed absence of significant correlations with the conceptually unrelated concepts of extraversion, neuroticism, and social desirability proneness, except for extraversion in female participants. The present findings suggest that implicit SDS endorsement can be assessed using the SDS-IAT. The finding that explicit and implicit SDS approvals differ in young female participants, while they align in young male participants, warrants further research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-749
Number of pages21
JournalSexuality and Culture
Issue number2
Early online date7 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • BIAS
  • Emerging adulthood
  • Explicit attitudes
  • Gender differences
  • Implicit attitudes
  • Sexual double standard


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