Sexological Worldview Development

We have two ongoing projects about sexological worldview neither are currently accepting participants.  Scroll down to learn more about the projects and to find out how to participate.

About Sexological Worldviews

Sexological worldview is a construct that was initially developed for use in the training of sexologists – professionals who work in the area of human sexuality as either educators, therapists, or researchers. Leaders in the field of sexology (Diamond, 2000; Tiefer, 1991, 1994; Zucker, 2002) have discussed the fact that sexology has experienced great growth. Since its inception, sexology has been a field populated mainly by scientists from interdisciplinary backgrounds (Zucker, 2002), and professionals are now emerging whose primary training and interest is sexology (Diamond, 2000).

The sexologist, like other social scientists, works with individuals who have their own unique and personal perspectives of the world. Recognition of this individuality is critical in order to provide humanistic and pluralistic service, perspectives supported by the American Association of Sexuality Educators Counselors and Therapists (AASECT, 2006), Stayton (1998), Tiefer (2006) and the author of this work. The fields of social work, education, psychology, and medicine all have specialized training methodologies specific to the work of professionals in those fields, and sexology values a specific training modality – the Sexuality Attitude Reassessment/Restructuring (SAR) program – a mode of training the sexuality professional in the affective domain (Weerakoon & Stiernborg, 1996). In an effort to find evidence that supports the use of the SAR training program, we reviewed past data from studies of the SAR. Much of the data gathered and analyzed is contradictory and filled with limitations. Furthermore, there is speculation by some scholars (Weerakoon & Stiernborg, 1996), that is wary of whether the training in attitudes (addressing the personal feelings, beliefs, taboos of the practitioner as described by Stayton (1998) has any correlation with effective and high-quality service provision.

With such discrepancy in the effectiveness literature, we set out to determine whether there might be a different construct to use to measure SAR effectiveness – sexological worldview.  We make the argument for the construct in Sitron & Dyson (2009), and describe its validation using qualitative methods with a sample of sexologists and sexology students in Sitron & Dyson (2012). While the construct has face validity, there are some limitations, primarily in that all of the data collected to date have been from professional sexologists and sexology students. Since every person, theoretically, has a sexological worldview, and since professionals aiming to be intercultural competent would aim to accept or adapt to the perspective(s) of their clients, the next logical step would be to collect data from the general population to determine if there are any unique aspects of the construct in non-professionals.

Sexological Worldview Development Inventory

The purpose of this research study is to validate the Sexological Worldview Development Inventory (SWDI), an instrument for determining one’s sexological worldview. By standardizing the SWDI as a result of this study, we hope to be able to better measure the effectiveness of trainings that are designed to develop more sensitivity in human service professionals around sex and sexuality.

This study is currently closed.


Sexological Worldview Development Interviews

We are not currently recruiting participants for this study.  Participation involves a 20-60 minute one-on-one interview (telephone or in person) with a member of the research team.



American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. (2006). Standards for Sexual Attitudes Reassessment Seminars

Diamond, M. (2000). The field of sex research: Responsibility to ourselves and to society. Archives of sexual behavior, 29, 389-395.

Sitron, J. & Dyson, D. (2009). Sexuality attitudes reassessment (SAR): Historical and new considerations for measuring its effectiveness. American Journal of Sexuality Education, 4(2), 158-177.

Sitron, J.  & Dyson, D. (2012). Validation of sexological worldview a construct for use in the training of sexologists in sexual diversity. SAGE Open, 2(1), 2158244012439072.

Stayton, W. R. (1998). A curriculum for training professionals in human sexuality using the Sexual Attitude Restructuring (SAR) model. Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, 23, 26-32.

Tiefer, L. (1991). Historical, scientific, clinical and feminist criticisms of “the human sexual response cycle” model. Annual Review of Sex Research, 2(1), 1-23.

Tiefer, L. (1994). Three crises facing sexology. Archives of sexual behavior, 23, 4, 361-374.

Tiefer, L. (2006). Sex therapy as a humanistic enterprise. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 21, 359-375.

Weerakoon, P., & Stiernborg, M. (1996). Sexuality education for health care professionals: A critical review of the literature. Annual Review of Sex Research, 7, p. 181-208.

Zucker, K. (2002). From the editor’s desk: Receiving the torch in the era of sexology’s renaissance. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 31, 1-6.