TITLE

University students' definitions of having sex, sexual partner, and virginity loss: The influence of participant gender, sexual experience, and contextual factors

AUTHOR(S)
Trotter, Eileah C.; Alderson, Kevin G.
PUB. DATE
March 2007
SOURCE
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality;2007, Vol. 16 Issue 1/2, p11
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Does everyone mean the same thing when they talk about having sex, losing their virginity, or who they would consider to be a sexual partner? The researchers were interested in (a) determining if students differ in their definitions of these terms; (b) examining the relationship between students' own sexual experience and their labelling of behaviours comprising these terms; and (c) determining whether such factors as orgasm, dating status, the sex of the partner, and the sex of the participant influence their definitions. One hundred fifty-five undergraduate students completed five questionnaires, three of which asked them to indicate whether they would consider a list of hypothetical behaviours as involving having sex, sexual partner, and a loss of virginity, and one of which asked them to indicate whether they had engaged in a list of parallel sexual behaviours with a member of the opposite or same sex. Students reported a broader definition of sexual partner than of having sex and a broader definition of having sex than of virginity loss. Students' definitions were more likely to include scenarios involving a longer dating status, an opposite-sex partner, and the presence of orgasm. Females reported a broader definition of having sex than males and no relationship was found between students' sexual experience and their sexual definitions.
ACCESSION #
26906583

 

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