Examining Predictors of Sex Guilt in Multiethnic Samples of Women

Arch Sex Behav. 1991 Oct;20(5):471-85. doi: 10.1007/BF01542409.


Previous research has shown that attitudes, including sex guilt, may influence the nature and type of sexual practices in which a person engages. This study examined the relationship of socioeconomic status (SES), ethnicity, and religiosity to sex guilt and aspects of sexual permissiveness that relate to sexual attitudes. Subjects were random samples of 126 African American women and 122 white American women in Los Angeles County. They were interviewed face-to-face and completed the Mosher Forced Choice Sex Guilt subscale. Results indicated that while the association between church attendance and sex guilt was stronger for white than for black women, no significant differences in sex guilt across attendance levels was found for black women. Overall, contrary to previous reports, black women had higher levels of sex guilt than their white peers. The importance of understanding factors including SES and religiosity as they relate to African American and white American women's sexual attitudes and behaviors is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • Guilt*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Los Angeles
  • Religion and Psychology
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Socioeconomic Factors