Religious orientation and sexual behavior of college students Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/2z10ws744

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  • The purpose of this study was to clarify the relationship between religiosity and sexual behavior of college students by using a measure of religious orientation to define religiosity. Religious orientation refers to individuals' motivations for religious involvement and personal faith. Religious orientations are characterized as being extrinsic, intrinsic, indiscriminately proreligious or nonreligious. Four null hypotheses were formulated. It was hypothesized that there would be no significant difference in rates of premarital sexual intercourse or participation in oral-genital sexual activity between subjects of differing religious orientation. It was also hypothesized that the demographic variables of gender, grade point average, academic classification and ethnicity were not significantly related to religious orientation and virginity or religious orientation and participation in oral-genital sexual activity. The sample consisted of 235 never married, heterosexual college students aged 17 to 24, enrolled at a west coast independent university. Subjects completed three selfreport instruments: the Religious Orientation Scale, the Lifetime Sexual Behaviors Scale and a demographic survey. Data were analyzed using Pearson chi square, Fisher two-tail tests, t-tests and logistical regression. Results indicate that there are significant differences in the sexual behavior of students of differing religious orientations. Intrinsic students were significantly less likely to participate in premarital sexual intercourse or oral-genital sexual activity. For females, students with GPA's of 3.0 or less, non-first year students, first year students and sophomores grouped together, seniors, nonseniors, Roman Catholics, non-Agnostics, non-Atheists, Caucasians, non-African-Americans, non-Latinos and non- Asian/Pacific Islanders, the relationship between intrinsic religious orientation and virginity is significant. The relationship between participation in oral-genital sex and intrinsic religious orientation is significant for non-first year students, non-Roman Catholics, non-Agnostics, Caucasians, non-African Americans and non-Latinos. Other findings indicate that students stating that religion was an important factor in their lives were less likely to engage in premarital sexual intercourse. Intrinsic students were significantly more likely to be virgins than nonvirgins. Scores on the Intrinsic Scale of the Religious Orientation Survey and acadeniic class were significant predictors of virginity when combined with intrinsicness.
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