The Development and Validation of the Male Genital Self-Image Scale: Results from a Nationally Representative Probability Sample of Men in the United States

Authors


Corresponding Author: Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH, Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA. Tel: 8123223777; Fax: 812-855-3936; E-mail: debby@indiana.edu

Abstract

Introduction

Numerous factors may affect men's sexual experiences, including their health status, past trauma or abuse, medication use, relationships, mood, anxiety, and body image. Little research has assessed the influence of men's genital self-image on their sexual function or behaviors and none has done so in a nationally representative sample.

Aims

The purpose of this study was to, in a nationally representative probability sample of men ages 18 to 60, assess the reliability and validity of the Male Genital Self-Image Scale (MGSIS), and to examine the relationship between scores on the MGSIS and men's scores on the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF).

Methods

The MGSIS was developed in two stages. Phase One involved a review of the literature and an analysis of cross-sectional survey data. Phase Two involved an administration of the scale items to a nationally representative sample of men in the United States ages 18 to 60.

Main Outcome Measures

Measures include demographic items, the IIEF, and the MGSIS.

Results

Overall, most men felt positively about their genitals. However, 24.6% of men expressed some discomfort letting a healthcare provider examine their genitals and about 20% reported dissatisfaction with their genital size. The MGSIS was found to be reliable and valid, with the MGSIS-5 (consisting of five items) being the best fit to the data.

Conclusion

The MGSIS was found to be a reliable and valid measure. In addition, men's scores on the MGSIS-5 were found to be positively related to men's scores on the IIEF.

Ancillary