A survey of sexual attitudes and behaviors of selected undergraduates at Ball State University

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McCarty, Judith A., 1941-
Carroll, Charles R.
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Thesis (Ed. S.)
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The thesis was designed to determine sexual attitudes, as measured by the Reiss 12 Item Sexual Permissiveness Scale, and sexual practices, as measured by an eight item sexual behavior inventory, of undergraduate students at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.The sample for the study consisted of 617 undergraduate students selected using the method of stratified random sampling with proportional allocation of five percent from each of the four college levels. A biographical questionnaire was mailed to each of the subjects with a total return of 60 percent. Due to the low rate of return the respondents were declared to be the population of the study and no longer a randomly selected sample.Reliability coefficients were obtained through use of the Kuder-Richardson formula Number 20 on the sexual permissiveness scales and on the sexual behavior inventory. The reliability coefficient of the sexual permissiveness scale was found to be .8676, and .9215 was found to be the coefficient of the sexual behavior inventory.The returned questionnaires were subdivided into males and females and data were reported for each respondent on the scale that was the same sex as the respondent (women on the female scale and men on the male scale). For each group, the data were analyzed, through use of the chi-square test, according to age, academic field, college year, membership in fraternities or sororities, religious affiliation, whether religiously active or inactive, place of residence, cumulative grade point average, yearly income of parents, and marital status to determine their independency of the dependent variables of sexual attitudes and sexual behavior. Findings revealed that although some significant (.05) differences were found in the permissive attitudes of the students in relation to their biographical variables, there is little evidence from the study that would generally support a true dependency of sexual permissiveness on the biographical variables of the students, with the exceptions of the variables of sex and religious activity. Males were found to be more permissive in attitude than females, and the more permissive individuals were found to be religiously inactive rather than religiously active. In relationship to permissive behavior on the part of the subjects, although some significant (.05) differences were found, there is little evidence from the study that would support a true dependence of premarital coital experience on the biographical variables of the students. The investigation revealed that over 50 percent of the females studied and over 68 percent of the males studied had experienced premarital sexual intercourse.The relationship between sexual attitudes and sexual behavior was determined through use of the point biserial correlation. Findings revealed that there is evidence of some significant (.05) negative attitudes and what they stated as their actual sexual behavior. The significant negative findings indicated that there was a tendency for more males and females to be in accordance with permissive attitudes than were actually experiencing the behavior.