The interrelationships between four sex variables and sixteen personality factors

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1979
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The primary purpose of this study was to determine whether any of sixteen personality factors was significantly related to level of sex information, position of sexual attitudes, degree of sexual behavior, and degree of sexual guilt. Subjects were 327 college students (135 males, 192 females) enrolled in a Human Sexuality, Marriage, and Family course at the University of Houston in the fall of 1977 Subjects anonymously completed an 173-item sex questionnaire and Cattell's 16PF. The sex questionnaire included a sex information test developed by McCary (1974), the Mosher "G" Inventory to assess sexual guilt, a number of questions concerning sexual attitudes and sexual behavior, and a number of items regarding demographic factors. Preliminary findings revealed college men were significantly more liberal in their sexual attitudes and more sexually active and had less sexual guilt than college women. For both college men and women, sexual guilt was related to sex information, sexual attitudes, and sexual behavior, sex information was related to sexual attitudes and sexual behavior, and sexual attitudes were related to sexual behavior. High sex information was related to being more intelligent, outgoing, expedient, forthright, and experimenting, and low sex information was related to being less intelligent, reserved, conscientious, shrewd, and conservative for both me and women. For men only, high sex information was related to having higher ego strength and being relaxed and low sex information was related to having lower ego strength and being apprehensive. Liberal sexual attitudes were related to being happy go-lucky, expedient, venturesome, imaginative, suspicious, forthright, and experimenting, and conservative sexual attitudes were related to being sober, conscientious, shy, practical, trusting, shrewd, and conservative for both men and women. For men only, liberal sexual attitudes were related to being assertive and self-sufficient and conservative sexual attitudes were related to being humble and group dependent. For women only, liberal sexual attitudes were related to being undisciplined and conservative sexual attitudes were related to being controlled. High sexual activity was related to being assertive, happy-go-lucky, venturesome, forthright, and experimenting, and low sexual activity was related to being humble, sober, shy, shrewd, and conservative for both men and women. For men only, high sexual activity was related to having higher ego strength and being placid and low sexual activity was related to having lower ego strength and being apprehensive. For women only, high sexual activity was related to being imaginative and low sexual activity was related to being practical. Low sexual guilt was related to being happy-go-lucky, expedient, suspicious, forthright, and experimenting, and high sexual guilt was related to being sober, conscientious, trusting, shrewd, and conservative for both men and women. For men only, low sexual guilt was related to being more intelligent, assertive, and self-sufficient and high sexual guilt was related to being less intelligent, humble, and group-dependent. For women only, low sexual guilt was related to being venturesome and undisciplined and high sexual guilt was related to being shy and controlled. Multiple regression analysis revealed that the single best predictor of sex information is intelligence for both men and women, of sexual attitudes is humble versus assertive for men and conservative versus experimenting for women, of sexual behavior is shy versus venturesome for men and conservative versus experimenting for women, and of sexual guilt is expedient versus conscientious for both men and women. When sexual guilt was considered, it was a much more powerful predictor of sex information, sexual attitudes, and sexual behavior than the above personality factors. Additional findings revealed that sexual guilt is a much more powerful predictor than religion and that frequency of church attendance is a better predictor than present religious interest of sex information, sexual attitudes, and sexual behavior. The results of this study indicate that the personality traits of college students are associated with and do contribute to the way they acquire and retain sex information, form and maintain sexual attitudes and sexual guilt, and conduct themselves sexually.

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