Our Scripted Sexuality: The Development and Validation of a Measure of the Heterosexual Script and Its Relation to Television Consumption

Rita C. Seabrook, L. Monique Ward, Lauren Reed, Adriana Manago, Soraya Giaccardi, Julia R. Lippman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


The heterosexual script describes the set of complementary but unequal roles for women and men to follow in their romantic and sexual interactions. The heterosexual script is comprised of the sexual double standard (men want sex and women set sexual limits), courtship strategies (men attract women with power and women attract men through beauty and sexiness), and commitment strategies (men avoid commitment and women prioritize relationships). Despite evidence that women and men are aware of this script, and it is prominent in the media, there is no existing measure of endorsement of the heterosexual script. In Studies 1 and 2, we develop and validate a measure of endorsement of the heterosexual script. In Study 3, we demonstrate that television consumption predicts stronger endorsement of the heterosexual script. We discuss the implications of endorsement of the heterosexual script for sexual health and provide suggestions for future research using this scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-355
Number of pages18
JournalEmerging Adulthood
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • gender roles
  • measure development
  • sexual scripts
  • sexuality
  • television

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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