Sexuality Research and Social Policy

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 77–92

An Investigation of Sexuality-Related Attitudinal Patterns and Characteristics Related to Those Patterns for 32 European Countries


DOI: 10.1007/s13178-011-0038-1

Cite this article as:
Lottes, I.L. & Alkula, T. Sex Res Soc Policy (2011) 8: 77. doi:10.1007/s13178-011-0038-1


The major purpose of this study was to identify the sexuality-related attitudinal patterns and variables related to those patterns for 32 European countries. Data came from the 1999 to 2000 wave of the European Values Survey which included questions about attitudes toward adultery, abortion, casual sex, divorce, and homosexuality. Cluster analysis produced six patterns with the largest cluster containing 13 mostly Western European countries and the smallest cluster containing only the country Malta. Additional patterns included two clusters of former Soviet Bloc countries, a cluster with Ireland and Northern Ireland, and one with mostly Nordic countries. Applying Reiss’s conceptualization of sexual ideologies and Inglehart and Welzel’s modernization theory related to value change, variables hypothesized to be related to sexual attitudes included level of economic development, religiosity, dominant religious background, and degree of gender empowerment and traditional gender role attitudes. Findings are discussed with respect to hypothesis support and implications for future research.


Sexual attitudes European values Sexual ideology 

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore CountyBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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