Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 42, Issue 8, pp 1395–1405 | Cite as

Premarital Sexual Standards and Sociosexuality: Gender, Ethnicity, and Cohort Differences

  • Susan Sprecher
  • Stanislav Treger
  • John K. Sakaluk
Original Paper


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.


Sexual attitudes Sexual standards Sociosexuality Gender differences Ethnic differences 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Sprecher
    • 1
  • Stanislav Treger
    • 2
  • John K. Sakaluk
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Sociology & AnthropologyIllinois State UniversityNormalUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyDePaul UniversityChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

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