A review and critique of the Sexual Experiences Questionnaire (SEQ)

Law Hum Behav. 2004 Aug;28(4):457-82. doi: 10.1023/b:lahu.0000039335.96042.26.


This paper reviews and critiques the Sexual Experiences Questionnaire (SEQ), "... a self-report inventory representing the first attempt to assess the prevalence of sexual harassment in a manner that met traditional psychometric standards" (Fitzgerald, Gelfand, & Drasgow, 1995, p. 427). Widely used by its developers and others as a measure of sexual harassment, the SEQ is not a finished product, has a number of problems, and has weak psychometric properties. Because of inconsistencies (e.g., in time frame, number of items, wording of items), the SEQ lacks the advantages of standardized measures, such as the ability to assess changes over time. It defines sexual harassment very broadly, having the effect of distorting findings about sexual harassment. Most importantly, it is not clear what or whose definition of sexual harassment the SEQ assesses.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sexual Harassment / history
  • Sexual Harassment / psychology*
  • Sexual Harassment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*