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College Virgins: How Men and Women Perceive Their Sexual Status

Susan Sprecher and Pamela C. Regan
The Journal of Sex Research
Vol. 33, No. 1 (1996), pp. 3-15
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3813491
Page Count: 13
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College Virgins: How Men and Women Perceive Their Sexual Status
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Abstract

Whereas the sexual lives of college students have been the focus of many research studies, there is very little research on those young adults who have chosen to remain virgins. In this study, 97 virgin men and 192 virgin women from a Midwestern U.S. university were surveyed about the reasons they were virgins, their affective reactions to their virginity status, and other aspects of their virginity (e.g., the social pressure they received to remain a virgin vs. to become sexually active). As hypothesized, women rated more reasons for virginity (particularly interpersonal ones) as important and had more positive reactions (were more proud and happy and less embarrassed and guilty) about being a virgin than did men. Women reported more social pressure than did men to remain a virgin, and men were more likely than women to expect to become a nonvirgin in the near future. Associations among the reasons, affective reactions, and other aspects of virginity were examined for men versus women. Because data were collected from cohorts of virgin students over six years (1990-1995), differences in perceptions of virginity over time were also examined. More recent cohorts of virgins felt more pride about their virginity status and were more likely to report that fear of AIDS and STDs were reasons they remained chaste.

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