Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Sagarin, Brad J., 1966-

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


This study examined sex differences in the impact of sexual fantasies and behaviors on attitudes about sadomasochism (SM). Current empirical literature suggests men are more likely to fantasize and participate in SM related behaviors than are women. Furthermore, past studies report that men endorse more dominant related behaviors whereas women endorse more submissive and love-related behaviors. Due to this, we predicted that men will endorse more SM fantasies (hypotheses 1) and behaviors (hypotheses 2) than will women. Additionally, we predicted that SM fantasies and SM behaviors will predict SM attitudes more strongly in men than in women (hypotheses 3). The sample consisted of 502 undergraduate students at a Midwestern University. Participants were either recruited through an online recruitment system (SONA) or through participating classrooms. All participants completed a series of questionnaires online through SurveyMonky on their own time. A series oft-tests were conducted to test hypotheses 1 and 2. Results showed women reported more SM fantasies and SM behaviors than men, however the difference was only significant for SM behaviors. To test hypotheses 3 we conducted a series of multiple regressions. Results showed a three way interaction on SM attitudes with SM fantasies, SM behaviors, and sex. Consistent with hypothesis 3, these predictors explained more variance in men than for women.


36 pages




Northern Illinois University

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