College Students' Perceptions of and Intentions to Engage in Sexually Abstinent versus Not Abstinent Behaviors

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Title: College Students' Perceptions of and Intentions to Engage in Sexually Abstinent versus Not Abstinent Behaviors
Author: Bailey, Malissa Ann
Advisors: Patricia F. Horan, Chair
Rupert Nacoste, Member
Ann Schulte, Member
Abstract: The purpose of the following study was to assess college students' perceptions of sexual abstinence and to determine their likelihood of refraining from sexual behaviors in the future. Research conducted by Horan, Hagan, and Phillips (1998) indicates a need to clearly communicate to students what is meant by the term "abstinence," since a significant proportion of young adults appear to consider risky sexual behaviors as "abstinent". In the present study, using an anonymous self-report survey, students enrolled in various psychology courses at North Carolina State University were asked to report their previous sexual behavior, identify those behaviors they believe constituted sexual abstinence, and predict the likelihood that they will abstain from sexual intercourse in a one year period. The results suggest that there is a discrepancy between the CDC's definition of abstinence and college students' interpretation of this practice. This is especially true for behaviors related to oral sex. Implications of the research are provided.
Date: 1998-12-10
Degree: MS
Discipline: Psychology
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/368


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