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The Prevalence of BDSM in Finland and the Association between BDSM Interest and Personality Traits

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Abstract

According to previous research, interest in BDSM (Bondage-Discipline, Dominance-Submission and Sadomasochism) activities is high in several European countries and various BDSM practices are not uncommon. There is a limited amount of research on the personalities of BDSM practitioners, but in previous research practitioners have been found to have better overall well-being and to be more educated than the general population. The current study explored the prevalence of BDSM interest and practice in a Finnish sample (n = 8,137, age range 18–60, M = 30.14, SD = 8.08) and investigated the association between BDSM interest and personality measured with the six-factor personality measure HEXACO. A total of 38% of the sample was interested in BDSM sex and non-heterosexual individuals displayed almost twice as much interest and at most 83% more participation in BDSM than heterosexual individuals. Younger participants (18–28 years old) displayed almost three times as much interest than older participants. There were some associations between BDSM interest and personality factors, but the effect sizes of these associations were modest. The study shows that BDSM interest is quite common among the Finnish population.

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We introduce a personality inventory designed to measure six major dimensions of personality derived from lexical studies of personality structure. The HEXACO Personality Inventory (HEXACO-PI) consists of 24 facet-level personality trait scales that define the six personality factors named Honesty-Humility (H), Emotionality (E), Extraversion (X), Agreeableness (A), Conscientiousness (C), and Openness to Experience (O). In this validation study involving a sample of over 400 respondents, all HEXACO-PI scales showed high internal consistency reliabilities, conformed to the hypothesized six-factor structure, and showed adequate convergent validities with external variables. The HEXACO factor space, and the rotations of factors within that space, are discussed with reference to J. S. Wiggins' work on the circumplex.
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The present study examined the relations of sexuality variables—specifically, the “Sexy Seven” scales and Sociosexual Orientation—with personality dimensions of the HEXACO model and the Five-Factor model (FFM). The Extraversion factors of both models were associated with the Sexy Seven scales of Emotional Investment and Sexual Attractiveness, whereas HEXACO Honesty–Humility and FFM Agreeableness were related to restricted Sociosexual Orientation and to the Sexy Seven variables of Relationship Exclusivity and (low) Erotophilic Disposition. The two personality frameworks showed similar levels of multiple correlations with the sexuality variables, although the HEXACO model showed some advantage in predicting Sexual Attractiveness, Relationship Exclusivity, and Sociosexuality.
Article
Recent research has suggested that a six-dimensional model of personality called the HEXACO framework may have particular value in organizational settings because of its ability to predict integrity-related outcomes. In this series of studies, the potential value of the HEXACO factor known as Honesty-Humility was further examined. First, the empirical distinctness of this construct from the other major dimensions of personality was demonstrated in a high-stakes personnel selection situation. Second, Honesty-Humility was found to predict scores on an integrity test and a business ethical decision-making task beyond the level of prediction that was possible using measures based on a traditional Big Five model of personality. This finding was also observed when Honesty-Humility was assessed by familiar acquaintances of the target persons. The applicability of the HEXACO model within industrial and organizational psychology was then discussed.
Article
This paper investigates the impact of the HEXACO model of personality structure in predicting political ideology and voting. Five-hundred and seventeen participants provided responses for measures of the HEXACO and the Five Factor Models, ideological orientation, and past voting. Results showed that Conscientiousness was linked to voting for right-wing parties, whereas Honesty–Humility, Agreeableness and Openness were related to voting for left-wing parties. Ideological orientation mediated the relationship between personality traits and voting. Hierarchical tests indicated that the HEXACO outperformed the Five Factor Model in predicting ideological orientation.
Article
Previous evidence for both the Big Five and the alternative six-factor model has been drawn from lexical studies with relatively narrow selections of attributes. This study examined factors from previous lexical studies using a wider selection of attributes in 7 languages (Chinese, English, Filipino, Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, and Turkish) and found 6 recurrent factors, each with common conceptual content across most of the studies. The previous narrow-selection-based six-factor model outperformed the Big Five in capturing the content of the 6 recurrent wideband factors. Adjective markers of the 6 recurrent wideband factors showed substantial incremental prediction of important criterion variables over and above the Big Five. Correspondence between wideband 6 and narrowband 6 factors indicate they are variants of a "Big Six" model that is more general across variable-selection procedures and may be more general across languages and populations.
Article
This article describes the development and validation of a new measure, the Attitudes about Sadomasochism Scale (ASMS). Exploratory factor analysis with 213 participants yielded four subscales (Socially Wrong, Violence, Lack of Tolerance, and Real Life). Confirmatory factor analysis with a different sample (n = 258) indicated that this four-factor model fit the data well. Validation analyses using all 471 participants showed that the ASMS positively correlated with other measures of social and sexual conservatism (right-wing authoritarianism, attitudes about lesbians and gay men, sexual conservatism, rape myth acceptance). However, a multiple regression analysis showed that the majority of the variance in the ASMS was not explained by the four measures of conservatism, indicating that the ASMS measures a unique attitudinal construct. Further validation analyses revealed that participants who had prior knowledge about sadomasochism (SM), participants who have engaged in SM, and participants who knew a friend involved in SM all endorsed more positive attitudes on the ASMS. Thus, this study presents a reliable and valid measure of stereotypical and prejudicial attitudes about individuals involved in these nontraditional sexual practices.
Article
Two studies tested the correspondence between six dimensions obtained in lexical studies of personality structure and the proposed HEXACO personality framework. Study 1 examined the English personality lexicon using 449 adjectives selected according to rated frequency of use in personality description. Six validimax-rotated factors derived from adjective self-ratings showed strong convergent and weak discriminant correlations with questionnaire markers of the HEXACO factors; the six adjective dimensions were also recovered from peer ratings. In Study 2, lay judges rated the conceptual similarity between HEXACO factor descriptions and adjective lists summarizing the six indigenous lexical personality factors of each of 12 languages. Across languages, a pattern of strong convergent and weak discriminant similarity ratings was observed; similarity ratings for the English factors of Study 1 were comparable to those for other languages' factors. Results indicate that the six dimensions of the HEXACO framework are recovered from the personality lexicons of various languages.
Article
Recent research suggests that, for most women, high sex drive is associated with increased sexual attraction to both women and men. For men, however, high sex drive is associated with increased attraction to one sex or the other, but not to both, depending on men's sexual orientation (Lippa, R. A., 2006, Psychological Science, 17, 46-52). These findings were replicated in a very large BBC data set and were found to hold true in different nations, world regions, and age groups. Consistent with previous research, lesbians differed from other women in showing the male-typical pattern, that high sex drive is associated with attraction to one sex but not the other. Bisexual women and men were more similar to same-sex heterosexuals than to same-sex homosexuals in their pattern of results. The correlation between same-sex and other-sex attraction was consistently negative for men, was near zero for heterosexual and bisexual women, and negative for lesbians. Thus, same-sex and other-sex attractions were, in general, more bipolar and mutually exclusive for men than for women. The current findings add to evidence that sexual orientation is organized differently in women and men and suggest a biological component to this difference.
A billion wicked thoughts: What the Internet tells us about sexual relationships. Plume Books
  • O Ogas
  • S Gaddam
Demographic and psychosocial features of participants in bondage and discipline
  • J Richters
  • De
  • R O Visser
  • C E Rissel
  • A E Grulich
  • A M A Smith
Richters, J., De Visser, R. O., Rissel, C. E., Grulich, A. E., & Smith, A. M. A. (2008). Demographic and psychosocial features of participants in bondage and discipline, "Sadomasochism" or dominance and submission (BDSM): Data from a national survey. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 5(7), 1660-1668. https://doi.org/10. 1111/j.1743-6109.2008.00795.x