The influence of parents, church, and peers on the sexual attitudes and behaviors of college students

Arch Sex Behav. 1984 Aug;13(4):351-9. doi: 10.1007/BF01541907.


Male and female undergraduate students were surveyed concerning their sexual attitudes, sexual behaviors, and contraceptive behavior. In addition, the general attitudes about sexuality the students perceived as communicated to them by their parents, their church, and their peers were assessed. It was found for female students that general attitudes about sexuality, as defined on an erotophilia-erotophobia dimension, and sexual behaviors were correlated with the perceived attitudes of peers, rather than those of parents and church. However, male students' attitudes and some sexual behaviors were correlated with the perceived attitudes of their parents, rather than the views of their peers and church. Church attitudes were not found to be related to any of the measures. None of the sources of influence, parents, peers, or church attitudes, or erotophilia-erotophobia was related to contraceptive behavior.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude*
  • Contraception
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Peer Group
  • Religion and Sex
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Students / psychology*