Journal of Adult Development

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 100–110 | Cite as

Associations Between Sexual Behavior, Sexual Attitudes, and Marital Horizons During Emerging Adulthood

  • Brian J. Willoughby


Using a sample of 1,134 emerging adults, this study explores how the importance place on marriage, ideal marital timing, and criteria for marriage readiness varies by sexual experience. Sexual experience groups were created using cluster analysis techniques that incorporated both sexual behaviors and attitudes. Results from this study indicate that high rates of sexual experience were related to an increased personal belief that marriage is an important goal and a belief that being single holds more advantages over being married. Emerging adults with high rates of sexual experience were also more likely to believe that sexual experience and cohabitation are important criteria for marriage readiness.


Sexual behavior Marriage Cohabitation Attitudes Emerging adulthood 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Family LifeBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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