Premarital Sexual Standards and Sociosexuality: Gender, Ethnicity, and Cohort Differences
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In this article, we present results from a “cohort-longitudinal” analysis of sexual attitudes and behaviors based on a large sample of young adults (N = 7,777) obtained from a university setting over a 23-year period. We investigated gender, ethnicity, and cohort differences in sexual permissiveness, endorsement of the double standard, and sociosexuality. Compared to women, men had more permissive attitudes, particularly about sex in casual relationships, endorsed the double standard to a greater degree, and had a more unrestricted sociosexuality. Black men were generally more permissive than White, Hispanic, and Asian men, whereas ethnic differences were not found among women. Participants from the 1995–1999 cohort were slightly less permissive than those from the 1990–1994 and 2005–2012 cohorts. Although prior meta-analytic studies (e.g., Petersen & Hyde, 2010) found reduced gender differences in sexuality over time, our cohort analyses suggest that gender differences in sexual permissiveness have not changed over the past two decades among college students.
KeywordsSexual attitudes Sexual standards Sociosexuality Gender differences Ethnic differences
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