The relationship between adult sexual adjustment and childhood experiences regarding exposure to nudity, sleeping in the parental bed, and parental attitudes toward sexuality
- Cite this article as:
- Lewis, R.J. & Janda, L.H. Arch Sex Behav (1988) 17: 349. doi:10.1007/BF01541812
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The relationship between adult sexual functioning and childhood experiences with exposure to nudity, sleeping in the parents' bed, and parental attitudes toward sexuality was examined. Although a variety of experts have provided their opinion on this issue, empirical research on this topic has been lacking. In this study, male and female college students were asked to retrospectively report on the frequency of sleeping in the parental bed as a child, the frequency of seeing others nude during childhood, and parental attitudes regarding sexuality. Information on current sexual functioning and adjustment was also obtained. The results suggest that childhood experiences with exposure to nudity and sleeping in the parental bed are not adversely related to adult sexual functioning and adjustment. In fact, there is modest support that these childhood experiences are positively related to indices of adjustment. Results also suggest that a positive attitude toward sexuality can be beneficial for a child's comfort with his/her sexuality. Finally, examination of gender differences revealed that male and female experience paternal attitudes toward sexuality differently but are similar in their perceptions of maternal attitudes.