Skip to main content

Exploring Latino College Students’ Sexual Behaviors in Relation to Their Sexual Attitudes, Religiousness, and Spirituality

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between religiosity, spirituality, sexual attitudes, and sexual behaviors among Latino and non-Latino college students. The sample included 230 undergraduate college students enrolled at a mid-sized University in the western USA. Sexual behaviors among Latinos were significantly correlated with sexual attitudes and spiritual disclosure in close relationships. However, sexual behaviors for non-Latino respondents were only significantly related to sexual attitudes, not indices of religiousness or spirituality. Sexual educators, health educators, college-level instructors, and counselors can use these results to help Latino and non-Latino students alike understand the relationship between their religious and spiritual beliefs, sexual attitudes, and sexual behaviors.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Ahrold, T. K., & Meston, C. M. (2010). Ethnic differences in sexual attitudes of U.S. college students: Gender, acculturation, and religiosity factors. Archives of Sexual Behaviors, 39, 190–202. doi:10.1007/s10508-008-9406-1.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Beckwith, H. D., & Morrow, J. A. (2005). Sexual attitudes of college students: The impact of religiosity and spirituality. College Student Journal, 39, 357–366.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brelsford, G., Luquis, R., & Murray-Swank, N. (2011). College students’ permissive sexual attitudes: Links to religiousness and spirituality. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 21(2), 127–136. doi:10.1080/10508619.2011.557005.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Brelsford, G. M., & Mahoney, A. (2008). Spiritual disclosure between older adolescents and their mothers. Journal of Family Psychology, 22, 62–70.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Burris, J. L., Smith, G. T., & Carlson, C. R. (2009). Relations among religiousness, spirituality, and sexual practices. Journal of Sexual Research, 46, 282–289.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Davidson, J. K., Moore, N. B., Earle, J. R., & Davis, R. (2008). Sexual attitudes and behavior at four universities: Do region, race, and/or religion matter? Adolescence, 43, 189–220.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Edwards, L. M., Haglund, K., Fehring, R. J., & Ruszynski, J. (2011). Religiosity and sexual risk behavior among Latina adolescents: Trends from 1995 to 2008. Journal of Women’s Health, 20(6), 871–877.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fetzer/National Institute on Aging Work Group. (1999). Multidimensional measurement of religiousness/spirituality for the use in health research: A report of the Fetzer/National Institute on Aging Working Group. Kalamazoo, MI: Fetzer Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gonzalez, R. G. (2008). College student spirituality at a Hispanic serving institution. Journal of College and Character, 9(4), 1–26.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gurman, T., & Borzekowski, D. L. G. (2004). Condom use among Latino college students. Journal of American College Health, 52(4), 169–178.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hatch, R. L., Burg, M. A., Naberhaus, D. S., et al. (1998). The spiritual involvement and beliefs scale: Development and testing of a new instrument. Journal of Family Practice, 46, 476–486.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Hendrick, C., Hendrick, S. S., & Reich, D. A. (2006). The brief sexual attitudes scale. Journal of Sexual Research, 43, 76–86.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Herlitz, C., & Ramstedt, K. (2005). Assessment of sexual behaviors, sexual attitudes, and sexual risk in Sweden (1998–2003). Archives of Sexual Behaviors, 34, 219–229.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kim, S., De La Rosa, M., Trepka, M. J., & Kelley, M. (2007). Condom use among unmarried students in a Hispanic-serving university. AIDS Education and Prevention, 19(5), 448–461.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lefkowitz, E. S., Gillen, M. M., Shearer, C. L., & Boone, T. L. (2004). Religiosity, sexual behaviors, and sexual attitudes during emerging adulthood. Journal of Sexual Research, 41, 150–159.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Luquis, R., Brelsford, G., & Rojas-Guyler, L. (2012). Religiosity, spirituality, sexual attitudes, and sexual behaviors among college students. Journal of Religion and Health, 51(3), 601–614. doi:10.1007/s10943-011-9527-z.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Moore, N. B., & Davidson, J. K. (2006). College women and personal goals: Cognitive dimensions that differentiate risk-reduction sexual decisions. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 35, 577–589.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Murray-Swank, N. A., Pargament, K. I., & Mahoney, A. (2005). At the crossroads of sexuality and spirituality: The sanctification of sex by college students. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 15, 199–219.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Penhollow, T., Young, M., & Bailey, W. (2007). Relationship between religiosity and “hooking up” behavior. American Journal of Health Education, 38, 338–345.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Penhollow, T., Young, M., & Denny, G. (2005). The impact of religiosity on the sexual behaviors of college students. American Journal of Health Education, 36, 75–83.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pew Hispanic Center (2012). Hispanic student enrollments reach new highs in 2011: Now largest minority group on four-year college campuses. Retrieved from http://www.pewhispanic.org/2012/08/20/hispanic-student-enrollments-reach-new-highs-in-2011/

  • Pew Hispanic Center & Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. (2007). Changing faiths: Latinos and the transformation of American religion. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rostosky, S. S., Wilcox, B. L., Comer Wright, M. L., & Randall, B. A. (2004). The impact of religiosity on adolescent sexual behavior: A review of the evidence. Journal of Adolescent Research, 19, 677–697.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Underwood, L. G., & Teresi, J. A. (2002). The daily spiritual experience scale: Development, theoretical descriptions, reliability, exploratory factor analysis, and preliminary construct validity using health-related data. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 24, 22–33.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • U.S. Census Bureau. (2011). The Hispanic population: 2010. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-04.pdf

  • Vasilenko, S. A., Duntzee, C., Zheng, Y., & Lefkowitz, E. S. (2013). Testing two models of religiosity and sexual behavior. Journal of Adolescence, 36(4), 667–673.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Weeden, J., & Sabini, J. (2007). Subjective and objective measures of attractiveness and their relationship to sexual behavior and sexual attitudes in university students. Archive of Sexual Behavior, 36, 79–88.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Raffy R. Luquis.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Luquis, R.R., Brelsford, G.M. & Pérez, M.A. Exploring Latino College Students’ Sexual Behaviors in Relation to Their Sexual Attitudes, Religiousness, and Spirituality. J Relig Health 54, 1345–1357 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-014-9929-9

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-014-9929-9

Keywords

  • Sexual behaviors
  • Sexual attitudes
  • Latino college students
  • Spirituality
  • Religiosity