An instrument to measure safer sex strategies used by male sex workers Academic Article uri icon


  • Several studies have related safe sex in the commercial sex encounter to the ability of sex workers to apply specific safer sex strategies. However, no instrument has been previously available to measure these skills. The Safer-Sex Strategy Scale (SSS) was developed for such purposes. The psychometric properties (reliability and validity) were evaluated with a sample of sex workers recruited from Australian cities. A questionnaire was administered to 184 sex workers aged 18-58 years using a convenience sampling method. Results indicated that the SSS can be conceptualized as a four variation construct and can be reliably (all subscales yielded at least a Cronbach's alpha = .60) and validly measured. Additionally, the relationship of the SSS to various sex work experiences was explored. The results show that the length of time working as a sex worker and contact with sex work organizations and sexual health clinics appear to influence the level of agreement of using the safer sex strategies evaluated.

publication date

  • 2000