Sexuality & Culture

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 833–846 | Cite as

How Gendered Attitudes Relate to Women’s and Men’s Sexual Behaviors and Beliefs

  • Eva S. LefkowitzEmail author
  • Cindy L. Shearer
  • Meghan M. Gillen
  • Graciela Espinosa-Hernandez
Original Paper


This study examines associations between endorsement of a sexual double standard, gender role attitudes, and sexual behaviors and beliefs. First year university students in the northeastern United States (N = 434; 52 % female; 33 % Black, 29 % Latino, 39 % White; ages 17–19) participated during their first year of college. Endorsement of a sexual double standard was associated with more conventionally gender-stereotyped sexual behaviors and beliefs, specifically, more sexual partners and fewer perceived barriers to condom use for young men, and more perceived barriers to condom use for young women. Women who were more conventional about men’s roles in society tended to use condoms less, whereas women who were more conventional about women’s roles tended to use condoms more. Men who were more conventional about men’s roles tended to have fewer sexual partners. Findings suggest the importance of examining gender’s role in sexual behaviors and beliefs by assessing multiple gendered attitudes, rather than simply considering biological sex.


Gendered attitudes Sexual behaviors and beliefs Sexual double standard College students Condoms 



This work was supported by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Grant #R-01 HD 41720 to Eva S. Lefkowitz. We are grateful to Shelley Hosterman, Eric Loken, Susan McHale, Lisa Meyer, Kristie Patton, Lyndsey Sturm, and Amber Thompson for their help with study design, data collection, data scoring and entering, data cleaning and statistical analyses.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eva S. Lefkowitz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cindy L. Shearer
    • 1
  • Meghan M. Gillen
    • 1
  • Graciela Espinosa-Hernandez
    • 1
  1. 1.Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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