Learning about sex outside the gutter: Attitudes toward a computer Sex-Expert system

Document Type



In an ongoing research program investigating the utility of Sexpert, an expert computer system designed to counsel couples about their sexual relationships, we tested whether sexually active couples' attitudes concerning computerized sexual counseling could be affected by interacting with Sexpert. Eighty-one young heterosexual couples drawn from the university and general community were assigned to one of three sources of feedback about couple sexual functioning (Sexpert, a video, a self-help book) or a control condition. Attitudes toward all counseling sources used in the study were assessed through semantic differential and similarity-dissimilarity questionnaires. Subjects in the Sexpert condition showed significant improvements in their attitudes toward computerized sexual counseling and evaluated Sexpert significantly better and more similar to a human therapist as a result of exposure. Subjects in the other three conditions showed no significant changes in attitudes. This study provides strong evidence for the acceptability of a computerized sex-expert system.


Mental health counseling; Psychology; Applied; Sex therapy; Sexual disorders


Community-Based Research | Counseling Psychology | Health Psychology | Medicine and Health | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychology


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Publisher Citation

Ochs, E. P., Meana, M., Paré, L., Mah, K., & Binik, Y. M. (1994). Learning about sex outside the gutter: attitudes toward a computer sex-expert system. Journal of sex & marital therapy, 20(2), 86-102.

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