A study of relationships between sex information scores and selected personality variables : Needs and defensiveness



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The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between sex information, personality needs, and defensiveness. The sample consisted of 780 students at the University of Houston, who were enrolled in a Marriage and the Family/ Sex Education course, and were considered representative of the entire student body. The test instruments used were: 1) The Sex Information Test, 2) The Sex Information Inventory, 3) Selected scales from the Edwards Personal Preference Schedule, 4) A sentence completion test that measured defensiveness, 5) The Sex Opinion Survey, also measuring defensiveness, and 6) The Student Personal Data Sheet, which obtained biographic and demographic data from the subjects. Scores obtained from the above instruments were analyzed through the use of Pearson correlation techniques and multiple linear regression. The following variables were positively related to the level of sex information in the correlational analysis: 1) age, 2) college classification, 3) SAT-Verbal scores, 4) grade point average, and from the Sex Opinion Survey, the following categories: 5) intellectualization, and 6) no conflict-no defense. These variables were negatively related to the level of sex information: 1) age when first learned about sex, 2) socioeconomic status, 3) n Abasement, 4) n Nurturance; and from the sentence completion defensiveness format, the following categories: 5) conflict-no defense, 6) number of categories of defenses used; and from the Sex Opinion Survey, the following categories: 7) repression, 8) conflict-no defense, and 9) no conflict-no defense. The following variables did not predict the level of sex information in the correlational analysis: 1) sex, 2) n Autonomy, 3) n Change, 4) n Deference, 5) n Exhibition, 6) n Heterosexuality, 7) n Succorance; in the sentence completion format, the following categories: 8) intellectualization, 9) projection, 10) repression, 11) no conflict- no defense, 12) total number of defenses used; and from the Sex Opinion Survey, the following categories: 13) projection, 14) total number of defenses used, and 15) number of categories of defenses used. When multiple regression was applied to the data the following conclusions were reached: both n Abasement and n Nurturance were significantly and negatively related to sex information scores, and sex differences consistently showed no relationship with sex information scores on all needs and defenses. SAT-Verbal score had a consistently high positive relationship with sex information scores. When SAT-Verbal score was controlled, the following variables were observed to have a minor effect on sex information scores: repression and intellectualization. However, when interaction terms were added, the significant relationship between intellectualization and sex information was no longer found, and the interaction term, n Change X intellectualization, was instead significantly related to sex information. Recommendations were made for future studies in sex research.



Sex instruction, Personality, Defensiveness (Psychology)