Content Frame

Self-Test: Do You Avoid Touch?

Content Frame

Self-Test: Do You Avoid Touch?

Test Yourself. Do You Avoid Touch?

This instrument is composed of 18 statements concerning how you feel about touching other people and being touched. Please indicate the degree to which each statement applies to you by indicating whether you:

1 = strongly agree, 2 = agree, 3 = are undecided, 4 = disagree, 5 = strongly disagree.

____ 1. A hug from a same-sex friend is a true sign of friendship.
____ 2. Opposite-sex friends enjoy it when I touch them.
____ 3. I often put my arm around friends of the same sex.
____ 4. When I see two friends of the same sex hugging, it revolts me.
____ 5. I like it when members of the opposite sex touch me.
____ 6. People shouldn't be so uptight about touching persons of the same sex.
____ 7. I think it is vulgar when members of the opposite sex touch me.
____ 8. When a member of the opposite sex touches me, I find it unpleasant.
____ 9. I wish I were free to show emotions by touching members of same sex.
____ 10. I'd enjoy giving a massage to an opposite?sex friend.
____ 11. I enjoy kissing a person of the same sex.
____ 12. I like to touch friends that are the same sex as I am.
____ 13. Touching a friend of the same sex does not make me uncomfortable.
____ 14. I find it enjoyable when my date and I embrace.
____ 15. I enjoy getting a back rub from a member of the opposite sex.
____ 16. I dislike kissing relatives of the same sex.
____ 17. Intimate touching with members of the opposite sex is pleasurable.
____ 18. I find it difficult to be touched by a member of my own sex.

How did you do? To score your Touch Avoidance Questionnaire:

Reverse your scores for items 4, 7, 8, 16, and 18. Use these reversed scores in all future calculations.

To obtain your same-sex touch avoidance score (the extent to which you avoid touching members of your sex), total the scores for items 1, 3, 4, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 16, and 18.

To obtain your opposite-sex touch avoidance score (the extent to which you avoid touching members of the opposite sex), total the scores for items 2, 5, 7, 8, 10, 14, 15, and 17.

To obtain your total touch avoidance score, add the subtotals from steps 2 and 3.

The higher the score, the higher the touch avoidance – that is, the greater your tendency to avoid touch. In studies by Andersen and Leibowitz (1978), who constructed this test, average opposite sex touch avoidance scores for males was 12.9 and for females 14.85. Average same sex touch avoidance scores were 26.43 for males and 21.70 for females. How do your scores compare with those college students in Andersen and Leibowitz's study? Is your touch avoidance likely to be higher when interacting with persons who are culturally different from you? Can you identify types of people and types of situations in which your touch avoidance would be especially high? Especially low?

What will you do? Are you satisfied with your score? Would you like to change your touch avoidance tendencies? What might you do about them?

From Andersen, Peter A., & Leibowitz, Ken (1978). The development and nature of the construct touch avoidance. Environmental Psychology and Nonverbal Behavior 3, 89-106.

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