“Spectatoring” refers to a cognitive self-absorption, wherein individuals fixate on and carefully monitor personal body parts and/or the adequacy of personal sexual functioning. To examine this process within a university population, undergraduate and graduate students (108 male and 140 female) filled out questionnaires that assessed body image, sexual knowledge, global sexual attitudes (i.e., liberal—conservative), general psychological adjustment, and frequency of sexual behaviors. Multiple regression analyses were used to determine if spectatoring, operationalized by measures of body image, would significantly predict sexually avoidant behavior. Results indicated that body image scores significantly predicted frequency of sexual behaviors for both genders, while general sexual knowledge and psychological adjustment did not predict sexual behavior. Overall, sexual attitude scores were the best predictors of sexual approach/avoidance behaviors for both genders. Implications are drawn for future research using the assessment of more global sex attitudes in the study of spectatoring.
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