Religiosity and adolescents premarital sexual attitudes and behavior - an empirical-study of conceptual issues

Sheeran, Paschal and Abrams, Dominic and Abraham, Charles and Spears, Russell (1993) Religiosity and adolescents premarital sexual attitudes and behavior - an empirical-study of conceptual issues. European Journal of Social Psychology, 23 (1). pp. 39-52. ISSN 0046-2772. (doi: (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)


A review of the literature concerning the relationship between religiosity and premarital sexual attitudes and behaviour revealed in consistencies in research findings and problems with methodology and operationalizations of variables. A postal questionnaire to 527 16- to 18-year-olds examined the associations between six models of religiosity (religious upbringing, denominational affiliation, ritual/behavioural, self-attitude/self-schema and salience of religious identity) and personal sexual standards, attitudes towards sexually active others, virginal status, anticipation of sexual intercourse and frequency of both coitus and non-coital sexual experiences over the previous year. A negative relationship between religiosity and a number of sexual attitudes and behaviours was observed though non-significant relationships in the case of sexual experiences without intercourse suggested the maintenance of a technical virginity to accord with religious precepts. There was also some evidence that Catholic adolescents were more likely to be sexually active than non-Catholics when current religiosity was controlled for. The results lent strongest support to models which implicated self-conception either in terms of self-attitudes/self-schemas or the salience of religious identity. Implications of the study and suggestions for future research are outlined.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: O.O. Odanye
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2009 22:04 UTC
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2018 09:16 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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