TITLE

WHAT IS SEX? STUDENTS' DEFINITIONS OF HAVING SEX, SEXUAL PARTNER, AND UNFAITHFUL SEXUAL BEHAVIOR

AUTHOR(S)
Randall, Hilary E.; Byers, E. Sandra
PUB. DATE
June 2003
SOURCE
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality;2003, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p87
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
In this study 164 heterosexual Canadian university students were asked about their definitions of the terms having sex, sexual partner, and unfaithful. Students were asked to indicate which from a list of 18 sexual behaviours they would include in their definition of each of the three terms. Significantly more behaviours were included in students' unfaithful definition than were included in the sexual partner definition and significantly more behaviours were included in the sexual partner definition than in the having sex definition. For example, while less than 25% of participants considered oral genital behaviour to be having sex, more than 60% thought that the giver or receiver of oral sex was a sexual partner, and more than 97% considered a partner who had oral sex with someone else to be have been unfaithful. Similarly, while masturbating to orgasm in the presence of another was considered to be having sex by less than 4% of participants, 34% reported that this behaviour was sufficient to consider that person a sexual partner and 95% considered it to be unfaithful. Students were more likely to include a behaviour in their definitions if orgasm occurred than if orgasm did not occur. There were no significant gender differences. Multiple regression analyses revealed that older and less sexually experienced students reported a broader definition of sexual partner than did younger and more sexually experienced students. The implications of these findings for sex research and sexual health promotion are discussed.
ACCESSION #
12395957

 

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