Development and Psychometric Validation of the Sexual Fantasies and Behaviors Inventory

Ashley Brown*, Edward Barker, Qazi Rahman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
534 Downloads (Pure)


To date, no measures of sexual fantasies and behaviors have been tested using modern structural equation modeling techniques. A total of 4,280 adults from the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Ireland completed a measure of diverse (paraphilic and normophilic) sexual fantasies and behaviors. Data were randomly split in half for a two-part analysis. First, an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was performed to reduce the item pool and determine general factor structure. Second, we tested several models using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM). These were followed by tests of measurement invariance (based on sex and sexual orientation) and criterion validity. For both the fantasies and behaviors, bifactor ESEMs were the most appropriate models. Similar specific factors emerged: (a) normophilia, (b) rough sex, (c) interest of intrusion, (d) assuming power, and (e) relinquishing power. Findings suggest that sexual interests show a hierarchical measurement structure. Males and nonheterosexuals had higher general fantasy scores; nonheterosexuals had higher general behavior scores. Heterosexuals generally scored lower than nonheterosexuals. Fantasy and behavior scores were positively related to Dark Triad traits and sociosexuality, and there were weak or no relationships with depression and anxiety. Results support the psychometric validation of the Sexual Fantasies and Behaviors Inventory. Strengths of this study include a large nonclinical sample with relevant psychological correlates and the use of modern psychometric methods. However, the use of an internet sample with self-report measures may be unrepresentative, although the internet has the advantage of being able to recruit from stigmatized groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217–232
Number of pages16
JournalPsychological Assessment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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