Individualism and Attitudes toward Homosexual, Premarital, Adolescent, and Extramarital Sexual Behaviors
Browne, Heidi Frances
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The primary purpose of this research was to examine the relationship between individualism and attitudes toward four types of sexual behavior, specifically adolescent sex, premarital sex, extramarital sex, and homosexual sexual behavior. A secondary purpose was to add to the conceptual and methodological discussions of individualism. In the United States these behaviors are becoming more common and attitudes generally more accepting. What remains unclear and under theorized is why? I address this question from the frame of the intersection of sexuality studies with the study of deviance as these behaviors have been considered to fit normative, absolutists, statistical and/or reactive definitions of deviance. This research was informed by Hawdon's recent general model of deviant behavior. In brief, one of Hawdon's contributions to the study of deviance is his addition of the cultural value of individualism as an explanatory variable related to cross-cultural rates of drug use. The primary research question that guided this research was: Is individualism related to attitudes toward adolescent sex, premarital sex, extramarital sex, and homosexual sexual behavior? Utilizing data from the General Social Survey, this question was examined using a variety of conceptualizations of individualism to test the relationship between individualism and attitudes toward the various sexual behaviors for five time periods--1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006. Three major hypotheses were posed regarding the relationship between individualism and attitudes toward perceived sexual deviance. The analysis did not support the hypotheses. Reasons for this lack of support for the theoretical perspective were discussed.
- Doctoral Dissertations