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Sex, love, and religion in adolescent romantic couples. Catherine M. Grello University of Tennessee.

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Presentation on theme: "Sex, love, and religion in adolescent romantic couples. Catherine M. Grello University of Tennessee."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sex, love, and religion in adolescent romantic couples. Catherine M. Grello University of Tennessee

2 Research on Adolescent Sexual Behaviors Relies primarily on individual self-report. Most adolescents transition to intercourse by the end of HS. Most transition within the context of a romance.

3 Religiosity and Adolescent Sexual Behavior Delayed transition. Less frequent sexual behaviors. Decrease in contraception use.

4 Love Styles Eros Passionate love, high on intimacy, intense. Ludus Game playing love, low intimacy, unreciprocated. Storge Friendship love, stable and compassionate. Mania Obsessive, jealous, emotional. Pragma Practical, shopping list approach, compatibility is important. Agape Altruistic, selfless love.

5 Purpose Examine the complex relationship among of couple members religiosity, approach/attitudes towards love, and the frequency of sexual behaviors in their romantic relationships.

6 The data for this project comes from The Study of Tennessee Adolescent Romantic Relationships (STARR), funded by NICHD.

7 Sample 211 adolescent dating couples couples between yrs old Mode: females = 15 males = couples between yrs old Mode: females = 18 males = 18 Couples dating a minimum of 4 weeks (range: 4 weeks – 260 weeks; mean: 44 weeks) 1 Couples recruited from a previous study of 2201 high school students from 17 different high schools representing geographic (rural, urban, suburban) and economic diversity

8 Measures Affectionate Sexual Behaviors Number of times in previous month couple hugged, kissed, and held hands (alpha =.85). Genital Sexual Behaviors Number of times in previous month couple engaged in fondling without clothes, oral sex and intercourse (alpha =.82).

9 Measures Religiosity attendance of religious services, importance of religion, involvement, and restriction of behavior by religion. Love Styles (Hendrick & Hendrick, 1986) 36 items designed to measure attitudes towards love (alphas:.56 to.85).

10 Partner Differences in Religiosity Age 14-17: t = 3.579, p =.000Age 17-21: t = 3.147, p =.002

11 Gender Differences in Love Styles Younger Couples (age 14-17). Males: higher Eros and Agape. Females: higher Pragma. Older Couples (age 17-21). Males: higher Ludus, Mania, and Agape. Females: higher Pragma.

12 Eros Agape Her Religiosity His Religiosity Affectionate Sexual Behavior Her Love Style His Love Style Ludus Pragma Storge Mania Eros Agape Ludus Pagma Storge Mania import restrict involv attend import restrict involv attend Model predicting affectionate behaviors of younger adolescent couples. (Standardized Solution; N=102) CMINDF = 1.763, CFI = **.557**.816**.796** **.651**.768**.691** **.644* *.351*.759**.733** -.388** *.438**

13 Eros Agape Her Religiosity His Religiosity Affectionate Sexual Behavior Her Love Style His Love Style Ludus Pragma Storge Mania Eros Agape Ludus Pagma Storge Mania import restrict involv attend import restrict involv attend Model predicting affectionate behaviors of older adolescent couples. (Standardized Solution; N=109) CMINDF = 1.763, CFI = **.791**.796**.731** **.570**.750**.801** **.535* -.329** ** **.534** -.356** ** **

14 Eros Agape Her Religiosity His Religiosity Genital Sexual Behavior Her Love Style His Love Style Ludus Pragma Storge Mania Eros Agape Ludus Pagma Storge Mania import restrict involv attend import restrict involv attend Model predicting genital behaviors of younger adolescent couples. (Standardized Solution; N=102) CMINDF = 1.759, CFI = **.556**.813**.799** **.654**.768**.685** **.647** **.366*.759**.740** -.356* ** **

15 Eros Agape Her Religiosity His Religiosity Genital Sexual Behavior Her Love Style His Love Style Ludus Pragma Storge Mania Eros Agape Ludus Pagma Storge Mania import restrict involv attend import restrict involv attend Model predicting genital behaviors of older adolescent couples. (Standardized Solution; N=109) CMINDF = 1.759, CFI = *.643**.719**.743** **.573**.741**.807** **.560** -.327* ** **.522** -.346* ** * -.416*-.093

16 Conclusions Partners were similar in their religiosity and their love styles. For younger couples: Females who are highly passionate and self-sacrificing engage in more frequent genital sexual behaviors with their romantic partners. For older couples: Females who are highly passionate and self-sacrificing engage in more frequent affectionate and genital sexual behaviors with their romantic partners. Females religiosity was associated with decreased frequency of genital sexual behaviors in older adolescent couples.

17 Conclusions Female religiosity decreased sexual behaviors. Female is the gatekeeper. Her love style was associated with increased sexual behaviors. Adolescent love is passionate and altruistic.


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