How Much Does Gender Explain in Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors? A Survey of Canadian Adults

Abstract

While it is common for gender to be included as a predictor variable in studies of sexuality, this is not the case for other demographic variables. This study examined the predictive value of gender, along with other demographic variables, including age, marital status, education, religiosity, and geographic region using data from a national survey of Canadian adults over the age of 18 (N = 1479). The survey was conducted by the COMPAS survey organization using computer assisted telephone technology. The outcome variables examined included frequency of sexual thoughts, oral sex, age at first intercourse, number of sexual partners, and casual sex intentions. For each of the variables, men were more sexually permissive and more sexually active than were women. Other demographic variables increased the explanatory power of the models but gender still remained a significant predictor of sexual attitudes and behaviors despite statistical control for other demographic variables. The findings demonstrate the influence of gender on sexuality but also illustrate the value of taking into account other demographic variables when analyzing gender differences in sexuality.

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Correspondence to Dayna S. Fischtein.

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Fischtein, D.S., Herold, E.S. & Desmarais, S. How Much Does Gender Explain in Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors? A Survey of Canadian Adults. Arch Sex Behav 36, 451–461 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-006-9157-9

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Keywords

  • Gender
  • Sexual behaviors
  • Sexual attitudes
  • Canada