Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 349–364

Older adolescents' engagement in casual sex: Impact of risk perception and psychosocial motivations

  • Ruth Andrea Levinson
  • James Jaccard
  • LuAnn Beamer

DOI: 10.1007/BF01537601

Cite this article as:
Levinson, R.A., Jaccard, J. & Beamer, L. J Youth Adolescence (1995) 24: 349. doi:10.1007/BF01537601


The relationship between attitudes for casual sex and casual sex behavior was investigated for a group of older adolescents between the ages of 17 and 19. In addition, factors that influence casual sex orientations were studied. Models of behavior that emphasize disease issues as a primary determinant of casual sex behavior were compared with models that emphasize a broader range of social-psychological motivations. Results showed that the relationship between attitudes and behavior was stronger for females than males. In addition, disease-related variables were found to be correlated with behavior in a direction opposite to what traditional disease models would predict. The results were interpreted in the context of a behavioral inference model. It was found that casual sex behavior is more heavily influenced by a broad range of social-psychological motivations as compared to disease-based variables. Implications for educational interventions were developed.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth Andrea Levinson
    • 1
  • James Jaccard
    • 2
  • LuAnn Beamer
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EducationSkidmore CollegeSaratoga Springs
  2. 2.Department of Psychology at the University at AlbanyState University of New YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity at Albany, State University of New YorkUSA

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