Aims. To discover the latent psychosocial construct of female nurses' sensitivity to male genitalia-related care in the context of sexual conservativeness. Background. Many nursing activities involve direct exposure or contact with male external genitalia. In the sexually conservative culture and the predominance of female nurses, this area is the subject of continuing interest and investigation. Design. Methodological research design. Methods. An item pool related to male genitalia-related care was generated through a panel of experts and then reduced to a short form questionnaire, the Female Nurses' Sensitivity to Male Genitalia Related Care scale. Using data from a purposive sample of 588 female nurses, the structure of the questionnaire was examined using structural equation modelling. The validity was examined against existing scales. Results. The 13-item Female Nurses' Sensitivity to Male Genitalia Related Care scale has a two-factor structure with high internal consistency (α=0·87) and test-retest reliability of 0·90. Nearly all model fit measures reach the criteria of being an acceptable model fit except chi-squared statistics. Scores on Female Nurses' Sensitivity to Male Genitalia Related Care can be best predicted by that of brief Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale, Embarrassability Scale and Situational Susceptibility to Embarrassment Scale. Conclusions. The anxiety of projecting a positive image and the pursuit of sexual propriety may underpin female nurses' sensitivity to male genitalia-related care. This trait can be measured by the 13-item female nurses' sensitivity-male genitalia-related care scale with satisfactory psychometric properties including internal consistency, reliability, content validity and construct validity. Relevance to clinical practice. Particular attention shall be paid to the negative effects of social rules or norms including sexual propriety rules over (female) nurses' perceptions, attitudes and behaviours. Strengthening nursing education in this regard is important to overcome negative effects on female nurses of male genitalia-related care.
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