Publication Date


Document Type



Research on heterosexual menÕs sexual expectations has focused on self-described personal traits and culturally dominant models of masculinity. In a pair of studies, we used a sexual scripts perspective to explore the range and diversity of young menÕs thoughts about sex and relationships with women and to develop measures for assessing these scripts. In the first study, we conducted semi-structured interviews to elicit young menÕs accounts of their sexual relationships. We used these narratives to produce brief sexual script scenarios describing typical sexual situations, as well as conventional survey items assessing sexual behavior themes. In the second study, we administered the scenarios and theme items to an ethnically diverse, national sample of 648 heterosexually active young men in an online survey. Using exploratory factor analysis, we delineated sets of sexual scripts and sexual behavior themes. In the scenarios, we found both a traditional masculine ÒplayerÓ script and a script that emphasized mutual sexual pleasure. Analysis of theme items produced scales of Drinking and Courtship, Monogamy and Emotion, and Sexual Focus and Variety. We discuss the implications of these findings for understanding heterosexual menÕs thinking about sexuality and how cultural change in sexual thinking may arise. We also discuss the need for measures of sexual thinking that better integrate perceptions and expectations about the partner as well as the self in relation to the partner, rather than solely self-assessed traits.

Publication Title

Archives Of Sexual Behavior





First Page


Last Page




Publisher Policy

pre-print, post-print

Find in your library

Included in

Social Work Commons