Title: Premarital sexual intercourse : a modified approach to axiomatic theory construction
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Title: Premarital sexual intercourse : a modified approach to axiomatic theory construction
Physical Description: xiv, 207 leaves. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Davidson, John Kenneth, 1939-
Copyright Date: 1974
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Subject: Sex customs -- United States   ( lcsh )
Sociology thesis Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Sociology -- UF   ( lcsh )
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non-fiction   ( marcgt )
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Thesis: Thesis -- University of Florida.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 193-205.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
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Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000582449
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oclc - 10472679

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PREMARITAL SEXUAL INTERCOURSE: A MODIFIED APPROACH
TO AXIOMATIC THEORY CONSTRUCTION














BY

JOHN KENNETH DAVIDSON, SR.


















A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY




UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

1974

































Copyright

1974

































To my wife, Josephine Frazier Davidson, whose steadfast
devotion and continuous encouragement made the task of
graduate school seem a little easier, and to my sons,
John Kenneth Davidson, Jr., and Stephen Wood Davidson, who
do not understand why their father had to be away most of
the time .















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


A formidable task exists with respect to conveying

sincere appreciation to the many individuals who contributed

of their budgets, talents, and time to the success of this

joint sex research project "Sex Attitudes and Behavior in a

Medical Milieu" under the auspices of River City College

and Southern Medical School. From this research project, a

portion of data was used for analytical purposes in this

dissertation. Individuals deserving recognition who imme-

diately come to mind are Joanne Atkins; John M. Chambers;

Richard L. Church; Josephine Frazier Davidson; Carole Earle;

Elizabeth Sikes Evans; Dr. Pierette Frickey; Dr. Robert E.

Frickey; Luetta McLimmons; Gloria Peebles; Robert E.

Reynolds, M.D.; Carmen Johnson Rogers; William A. Scoggin,

M.D.; and Preston Lea Wilds, M.D.

Two code clerks, Neville Riley Hudson and Karen Cross

Pinner,deserve special mention, as does a Southern Medical

School computer programmer, Clarence H. Manly, Jr. Without

their efforts, these research findings would have remained

largely unintelligible.

Sincere appreciation is hereby expressed for the valuable

suggestions provided by Drs. Ruth E. Albrecht and Joseph S.

Vandiver of the Department of Sociology and Mary H. McCaulley










of the Department of Psychology, who served as members of

the doctoral committee. Dr. Felix M. Berardo, in addition

to his efforts as a doctoral committee member, provided

valuable insight into the tedious process of theory construc-

tion in family sociology. Dr. Gerald R. Leslie, chairman

of the doctoral committee, deserves special recognition for

having provided direction, guidance, suggestions, and

valuable support in the writing of this dissertation.

Capable typing for various drafts of this dissertation

was provided by Stella Abner, Pamela Caggiano, and Jana

Agerton Henry. The laborious task of translating the

author's handwriting is gratefully acknowledged.

A debt of gratitude is owed to Joy Graham Osteen and

the Northeast Regional Data Center of the State University

System of Florida for computer services, and for the capable

manner in which the final data analysis was handled. Finan-

cial support provided by the Department of Sociology at the

University of Florida made this final data analysis possible.



















TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . .. .. .. .. . . iv

LIST OF TABLES .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. viii

ABSTRACT .. ... .. .. ... .. .. .. xii

CHAPTER

I. INTRODUCTION .. .. . .. .... .. 1

Purpose .. .. ... .. .. .. .. 1
Definition of Concept . . ... .. 10
Plan of the Dissertation .. .. ... 11

II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE .. .. .. .. 14

Current Status of Research .. .. .. 14
Review of the Literature .. . .... 21
Inventory of Empirical Propositions for
Never-Married Females . .. . .... 22
Studies Not Utilized . ... .. . 27
Methodological Problems in Current Litera-
ture .. ... . ... .. ... 28
Some Testable Propositions About Pre-
marital Sexual Intercourse Among Females 33

III. METHODOLOGY . . .. . .. . 38

Background .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 38
The Instrument .. .. .. ... .. 40
Analysis of the Data . ... .. ... 46
The Sample .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 41

IV. THE ANALYSIS OF THE DATA .. . .. ... 55

Description of the Respondents ... 55
The Menstrual Histories of the Respondents 69
The Sexual Histories of the Respondents . 80
Evaluation of Testable Propostions . .. 93
Some Related Findings ... .. .. .. 140












Page


CHAPTER

V. THEORIES OF PREMARITAL SEXUAL INTERCOURSE..

The Methodology of Theory Construction..
Empirical Propositions for Theory Construc-
tion . . . . . . . . .
Derived Propositions...........
Theoretical Propositions...... ..
Two Middle-Range Theories of Premarital
Sexual Intercourse ...........

VI. SUMMARY, IMPLICATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH,
AND CONCLUSIONS..............

Summary . . . . . . . .
Implications for Future Research.....
Conclusions .. .....


APPENDIX

I. FEMALE QUESTIONNAIRE AND ORGASM

Female Questionnaire....
Orgasm Rating Sheet....

II. TABLES . . . . .

REFERENCES ..............

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ..........


RATING SHEET


. . . .

















LIST OF TABLES


TABLE Page

1. Respondents by Sample Group and Sex .. .. 53

2. Age Distribution of Two Sample Groups .. .. 56

3. Class Standing of Two Sample Groups . .. .. 58

4. Dating Status of Two Sample Groups .. .. 59

5. Religious Preference of Two Sample Groups .. 61

6. Church Attendance of Two Sample Groups . .. 62

7. Father's Occupation of Two Sample Groups .. 64

8. Size of Place Where Reared of Two Sample Groups 66

9.Number of Children in Families of Orientation
of Two Sample Groups .. .. .. .. .. .. 67

10. Ordinal Position in Families of Two Sample Groups 68

11. Anticipation of Marriage in the Future of Two
Sample Groups . .... .. .. .. .. 70

12. Age at First Menstrual Period of Two Sample
Groups .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. 72

13. Regularity of Menstrual Period of Two Sample
Groups ... .. .. .. .. ... ... . 73

14. Length of Menstrual Cycle of Two Sample Groups 77

15. Quantity of Menstrual Flow of Two Sample Groups 78

16. Length of Menstrual Flow of Two Sample Groups 79

17. Experience with Sexual Intercourse of Two
Sample Groups .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 81

18. Age at First Act of Sexual Intercourse of Two
Sample Groups .. .. .. ... .. .. 83


V111












TABLE Page

19. Quality of First Act of Sexual Intercourse of
Two Sample Groups . .... .. .. .. 85

20. Frequency of Sexual Intercourse with First Sex
Partner of Two Sample Groups . .. .. .. 86

21. Number of Different Sex Partners of Two Sample
Groups ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 88

22. Experience with Orgasm of Two Sample Groups .89

23. Experience with Petting to Orgasm with Members
of Opposite Sex of Two Sample Groups .. 91

24. Experience with Orgasm While Having Sexual
Intercourse of Two Sample Groups . ... 92

25. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Recommended Age for Marriage o
Females .. ... .. .. .. .~.. .. . 96

26. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse by
Sample, and Age at First Menstruation . ... 97

27. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Age at Learning Where Babies
Come from ... .. . ... .. .. .. .. 99

28. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Attitude Toward Oral-Genital Sex 101

29. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Attitude Toward Masturbation . 104

30. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Attitude Toward Sexual Inter-
course During Menstrual Period . ... .. 106

31. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Ordinal Position in Family .. 108

32. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Employment Plans Following
Marriage ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 110

33. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Number of Children Desired .. 112

34. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and When First Child Desired in
Marriage .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. 113











TABLE


Page


35. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Employment Plans- After Chil-
dren Born .. .. .. .. ... .. .. 115

36. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and for Whom Sexual Intercourse
Pleasurable ... .. .. .. .. ... 117

37. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Experienced Orgasm . .. .. 118

38. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Age at First Orgasm .. .. 120

39. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Petted to Orgasm . .. .. 122

40. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Expressed Dissatisfaction with
Petting to Orgasm .. ... .. . 123

41. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Knowledge About Reproductive
Physiology ... .. .. .. .. .. .. 125

42. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Knowledgeable About Definition
of Female Orgasm ... .. .. .. .. 126

43. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Knowledgeable About Description
of Female Orgasm .. .. .. ... .. 128

44. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Contraceptive Technique
Thought To Be Effective . ... .. .. .. 131

45. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Current Dating Status . .. 132

46. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Academic Class Standing .. 134

47. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Religious Preference .. .. 135

48. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Frequency of Church Attendance 137

49. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Father's Occupation . ... 139











TABLE


Page


50. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Type of Personal Hygiene
Product Used During Menstrual Period .. .. 141

51. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Type of Menstrual Period Experi-
enced .. .. .. ... ... .. . 143

52. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Heard Pros-Cons About Oral-
Genital Sex. . .. ... ... . .. 190

53. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Heard Pros-Cons About
Masturbation ... .. .. . ... . 191

54. Experience with Premarital Sexual Intercourse,
by Sample, and Heard and/or Read About Sexual
Intercourse During Menstrual Period .. .. 192











Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

PREMARITAL SEXUAL INTERCOURSE: A MODIFIED APPROACH
TO AXIOMATIC THEORY CONSTRUCTION

By

John Kenneth Davidson, Sr.

December, 1974

Chairman: Dr. Gerald R. Leslie
Major Department: Sociology

This study is an empirical investigation of premarital

sexual intercourse, utilizing a modified axiomatic approach

to theory construction, to develop two middle-range theories

of premarital sexual intercourse among females. These

theories were grounded in previous empirical research and

existing theoretical frames of reference.

A comprehensive review of all relevant research litera-

ture involving premarital sexual intercourse among females

was made. After review of the available literature, a propo-

sitional inventory was developed from existing empirical

research.

Using this propositional inventory as a guide, a subse-

quent list of 22 empirical propositions about premarital

sexual intercourse among females was .formulated. A number

of previously unreported independent variables, such as

attitude toward oral-genital sex and attitude toward having










sexual intercourse during the menstrual period, were employed

in this investigation of premarital sexual intercourse.

A previously unanalyzed data base of 336 never-married

Caucasian college coeds, in River City, a Southern Metropoli-

tan Statistical Area containing a major medical complex, was

used to test the foregoing 22 empirical propositions to

determine their statistical significance.

The data were treated as two independent samples because

of the considerable difference in the percentages of

Allied Health coeds and River City coeds who reported having

had premarital sexual intercourse.

In the interest of contributing to the eventual elimina-

tion of some myths and old wives' tales frequently, associated

with the menstrual cycle, a description of the medical

menstrual history of the respondents is presented. A

o sexual profile of the respondents is also presented to

provide background information for evaluation of the proposi-

tions.

By use of a significance level of p = .05, 15 of the

original 22 empirical propositions tested were found to be

either statistically significant or with data in the stated

direction of the proposition for at least one of the inde-

pendent samples.

Those 15 empirical propositions found to be either

statistically significant or in the stated direction were

used to develop seven new derived propositions by the


X111











process of retroduction. A reapplication of the process of

retroduction led to the formulation of four theoretical

propositions. Through the utilization of the reference

group theory model and the exchange theory model, two of the

theoretical propositions were further developed in the

cultural milieu permissiveness theory (Theory I) and the

affection theory (Theory II) respectively.

These data suggest several new, unique independent

variables which have strong theoretical implications for

future empirical investigations of premarital sexual inter-

course among females.





CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION


Purpose


Writing in 1959, Goode issued a sweeping indictment of

family sociology for its lack of emphasis on theory building.

He concluded that the task of theory construction has, in

general, been largely neglected in family sociology, al-

though more research reports are published yearly in this

substantive area than in almost any other branch of sociology.

Most family sociologists have seemed content with working

at the descriptive level rather than at the theoretical level

(Goode, 1959:179).

This project focuses upon one aspect of family behavior,

premarital sexual intercourse. There has been a distinct

lack of concern for the utilization and/or development of

theory in most empirical investigations of premarital sexual

intercourse. In the past, most researchers have been in-

clined merely to ascertain the level of lifetime participa-

tion in premarital sexual intercourse among their respondents.

Christensen, in his discussion of theory development

in family sociology, has delineated a typology of scholarly

sophistication used in the study of the family. This

typology can be readily applied to the existing levels











of sophistication in research that is concerned with pre-

marital sexual intercourse (Christenson, 1969:211-212).

This typology can be applied to studies of premarital

sexual intercourse in the following manner:

Argument by assertion. Value judgments are combined

with moralistic impressions as to how things are thought to

exist in reality. Some of the earlier, moralistically toned

research monographs on premarital sexual intercourse, such

as the work of Exner (1915), fit into this category.

Argument by reason and logic. This category can, in

essence,be labeled as armchair philosophizing, with no

attempt being made to: utilize any empirical evidence. A

recent notable example of this approach is Bell's Premarital

Sex in a Changing Society (1966).

Empirical proof-seeking. This procedure attempts to use

empirical evidence to substantiate preconceived notions of,

or existing relationships among, variables. An outstanding

example of this particular procedure is a study by Bromley

and Britten (1938) which acknowledged "the universality of

the current sex revolution across all educational and social

classes."

Empirical truth-seeking. This mode includes a heavy

reliance upon the scientific method. Empirical evidence is

utilized with an absence of bias in the interpretation of

data. Clayton's (1969) investigation of the relationship

between religious orthodoxy and premarital sexual intercourse

may serve as a primary example of this mode.











The publication of Sexual Behavior in the Human Male

(Kinsey, Pomeroy, and Martin, 1948) and, subsequently,

Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin,

and Gebhard, 1953) provided the major impetus for research

on premarital sexual intercourse to move from Christensen's

category of empirical proof-seeking to the category of

empirical truth-seeking. Prior to these publications, most

research on premarital sexual intercourse could be classified

in the category of empirical proof-seeking. Most researchers

attempted only to substantiate their own beliefs regarding

the extent of lifetime premarital sexual intercourse and the

variables found to be associated with participation in pre-

marital sexual intercourse. The following year, Alfred M.

Mirande (1968) published a paper using reference group

theory as a theoretical perspective for the study of premari-

tal sexual intercourse. For the third annual Burgess Award

Lecture in 1968, Harold T. Christensen outlined his newly

developed "theory of relative consequences" for the study of

premarital sexual intercourse. Thus far, the efforts of

Reiss, Mirande, and Christensen have represented the major

thrust in the area of theory building for the study of

premarital sexual intercourse.

Reiss developed a series of seven propositions relat-

ing to premarital sexual permissiveness. These propositions

are as follows:

1. The lower the traditional level of sexual per-
missiveness in a group, the greater the likelihood
that social forces will alter individual levels of
sexual permissiveness. (Reiss, 1967:160)











White females, for example, will be particularly affected by

such independent variables as church attendance, love affairs,

and romantic love.

2. The stronger the amount of general liberality in
a group, the greater the likelihood that social
forces will.maintain high levels of sexual per-
missiveness. (Reiss, 1967:161)

This general liberality trait includes liberality on such

questions as political, economic, and religious issues.

Persons possessing high degrees of general liberality will

be, typically, more receptive to social attitudes that may

encourage and maintain high levels of sexual permissiveness.

3. To the extent that individual ties to the marital
and family institutions differ, individuals will
tend to display a different type of sensitivity of
permissiveness to social forces. (Reiss, 1967 :161)

Males and females will tend to exhibit fundamental differences

in the effect of courtship patterns upon sexual permissiveness.

Women will tend to utilize romantic love as a justification

for a particular level of sexual permissiveness.

4. The higher the overall level of permissiveness in
a group, the greater the extent of equalitarianism
within the abstinence and double standard classifi-
cations. (Reiss, 1967:162)

Increased permissiveness will lead to greater equality be-

tween the sexes with respect to participation in premarital

sexual intercourse.

5. Differences in the potential for permissiveness in
a basic set of parentally derived values are a key
determinant of the number, rate, and direction of
changes in premarital sexual standards and behavior.
(Reiss, 1967:163)










6. There is a general tendency for the individual to
perceive parents' permissiveness as a low point on
a permissiveness continuum and peers' permissive-
ness as a high point, and to place himself closer
to peers, particularly to those regarded as close
friends. (Reiss, 1967:162)

Those individuals who perceive themselves as similar to

parents in values will tend to be low on a scale of permissive-

ness whereas those more similar to peers will tend to be high

in permissiveness.

7. The greater .the responsibility for other family
members and/or the less the courtship participation,
the greater the likelihood that the individual will
be low on permissiveness. (Reiss, 1967:163)

It .follows from this proposition that the more emotionally

involved one becomes with the courtship partner, the less

influence parents will have in the final determination of

sexual behavior.

From the foregoing propositions, Reiss formulated the

following theory of premarital sexual permissiveness:

The degree of acceptable premarital permissiveness in a
courtship group varies directly with the degree of
autonomy of the courtship and with the degree of accep-
table premarital sexual permissiveness in the social
and cultural setting outside the group. (1967:164)

Each person has a biological sex drive which encourages

sexual activity and physical release. In an autonomous

courtship system, a greater likelihood exists that this bio-

logical sex drive will find expression through premarital

sexual intercourse. The youth of today, according to Reiss

(1967), have both a sense of adventure and a general liberal-

ity toward sex. Reiss, however, cautions the reader against





assuming that autonomy of courtship necessarily promotes

promiscuity. Females are known to place certain limitations

on their sexual activity in line with the degree of serious-

ness of the courtship stage.

It is unfortunate .that Reiss has chosen the term per-

missiveness for the development of his theory, as this term

carries value connotations for many persons. Nevertheless,

Reiss has made a major contribution to theory building in the

study of premarital sexual intercourse.

Reference group theory, according to M~irjnaei, suggests

that the behavior of a person will be consistent with the ex-

pectations of the group which the individual uses as a refer-

ence point. Mirande argues that reference group theory should

be applied to the study of premarital sexual behavior in

hopes of promoting further understanding of the various pat-

terns of sexual activity exhibited by college students.

Mirande has hypothesized that "The sexual behavior of an in-

dividual will tend to' be a function of the expectations of

his peer reference group, irrespective of the direction of

the influence" (Mirande, 1968:573). This hypothesis has been

substantiated through empirical investigation using college

students as respondents. One is able to c~onclude from Mirandes

data that students are influenced byt~h~e behavior and expec-

tations of close associates. While persons are influenced

by all their peers, the evidence indicates that they seek out

peer groups which reinforce their own predispositions toward

sexual activity. While this theory seems plausible in light











of the available evidence, much additional research is needed

to justify using the reference group perspective, by itself,

in attempts to explain premarital sexual intercourse.

Christensen's theory of relative consequences consists

of six propositions*, as -follows:

1. Certain relationships among variables in the sexual
realm verge upon universality, while others tend to
be culture bound. (Christensen, 1969:216)

This proposition assumes that cultural norms are viewed as a

confounding variable, that is, operating to alter the behavior

itself as well as the consequences of such behavior.

2. Sexual norms influence behavior, making for essen-
tial consensus and conformity within a given society;
yet there is always some individual deviation, and
this occurs at the levels of both attitudes and
behavior. (Christensen, 1969:216)

In a permissive society one would expect to find permissive

behavior, and in a restrictive society one would expect to

find nonpermissive behavior. One should thus be able to

hypothesize that some persons may exist in the society whose

behavior is out of step with their own standards. In other

words, a value-behavior discrepancy is said to exist-for

such persons.

3. Movement toward greater permissiveness in sexual
norms tends to converge both attitudes and behavior
as between males and females but to encourage the
persistence of certain subcultures. (Christensen,
1969:216)

Females appear to be much more receptive to shifts toward

liberality of attitudes than males. The sexual attitudes

and behavior of females have more and more tended to approxi-

mate those of males, particularly in Scandinavian countries.











In societies where the range of tolerance for sexual behavior

is great, subcultures play a much greater role in the deter-

mination of such behavior than in restrictive societies such

as that of the Mormons in Utah.

4. Deviations from an arbitrarily assumed restrictive
sex standard decrease with restrictiveness in the
culture except where love and/or commitment inter-
vene. (Christensen, 1969:217)

One may expect that approval of premarital sexual intercourse

would increase as the level of love and/or commitment be-

tween potential sex partners increased.

5. Deviations from actual sex norms, as these are pre-
scribed by existing societies and internalized
within their constituent members, increased with
restrictiveness in the culture. (Christensen, 1969:
218)

As the restrictiveness of the culture increases, violations

of one's own standards concerning premarital sexual inter-

course are likely to increase. Christensen has termed this

phenomenon value-behavior discrepancy.

6. Negative consequences deriving from premarital
coitus are positively related to these behavioral
deviations from norms, which means that they in-
crease with restrictiveness in the culture.
(Christensen, 1969:218)

The negative consequences of guilt--the hurried weddings upon

discovery of pregnancy, and later divorce because of pre-

marital' pregnancy--would be expected to be much more frequent

in restrictive cultures.

Christensen derived from the aforementioned propositions

the following theory of relative consequences:

Both the behavior itself and the resulting effects of.
premarital sexual intimacy are in part dependent upon
differing cultural norms, plus the conversion of these










norms into individual values; and the negative con-
sequences are greatest in restrictive societies,
where behavior is most deviant from existing standards.
(Christensen, 1969:219)

In a recent publication entitled A Decade of Family

Research and Action (Cannon and Long, 1971), an intellectual

challenge was issued for the development of further theory

relating to premarital sexual intercourse. After a thorough

and comprehensive review of research reports on premarital

sexual intercourse published during the decade of the 1960s,

Cannon and Long surmised that, with the notable exceptions

of Reiss and Christensen, little attempt has been made to

base research on existing theoretical orientations. Un-

fortunately, many existing propositions lack any integration

and linkage with~propositional statements developed in other

areas of sociology. To this list of theorists in the sub-

stantive area of premarital sexual intercourse, it would seem

appropriate to add the names of Clayton (1969, 1972) and

Mirande (1968).

Later studies have consistently failed to support the

propositions contained in Reiss's theory (Heltsley and

Broderick, 1969; Middendorp, Brinkman, and Koomen, 1970;

Maranell, Dodder, and Mitchell, 1970). However, in rejoinders

to these published reports, Reiss has argued that methodologi-

cal problems in the research designs have resulted in the

propositions not being subjected to adequate testing (Reiss,

1969, 1970). Christensen's theory has, as yet, not under-

gone completely adequate field testing to determine its

theoretical value.











The purpose of this dissertation is to develop theoreti-

cal propositions about premarital sexual intercourse using

the retroduction process as a technique of theory construc-

tion, as suggested by the works of Berardo (1969) and

Zetterberg (1965). This approach is also somewhat comparable

to the work of Bartz and Nye (1970).in studying early mar-

riages. Bartz and Nye listed at least two distinct advan-

tages to this approach in theory building. First, theory

constructed in this manner will be based upon existing re-

search. Secondly, this technique allows easy pinpointing

of gaps in available research (Zetterberg, 1965; Bartz and

Nye, 1969).

This approach, suggested by the works of Zetterberg,

Berardo, and Bartz and Nye, should lead to the development of

one or more partial or middle-range theories (Gibbs, 1972;

Merton, 1957).


Definition of Concept

Premarital sexual intercourse, for the purpose of this

dissertation, will be defined as the intromission of the

penis by a never-married male into the vaginal tract of a

never-married female. The absence of orgasm on the part of

the male and/or female does not preclude the use of this

definition. Any form of heterosexual, noncoital sex is,

however, specifically excluded by this particular definition.

From a semantic standpoint, the use of the term premarital

creates certain terminological problems (Gibbs, 1972;





Zetterberg, 1965). By definition, this term is usually

interpreted to mean that which precedes marriage; yet, not

all persons in an unmarried state who engage in sexual inter-

course with each other eventually marry. The term nonmarital

coitus might seem to be a more appropriate descriptive term.

However, conventionality of usage in the sociological litera-

ture dictates the use of the term premarital sexual inter-

course. Further terminological confusion results when

"premarital sexual intercourse" is used to describe a never-

married person who is having sexual intercourse with a married

person. Conventionality would seem to indicate that for the

former it is "premarital" and for the latter it is "extra-

marital" sexual intercourse. Since we shall be .dealing with

the sexual behavior of the unmarried person only, that

problem need not concern us (Gibbs, 1972).


Plan of the Dissertation

This dissertation will consist of four parts. In the

first part, a thorough review of all reported research

literature relevant to the stated problem will be made. A

comprehensive list of empirical propositions will then be

made using each of the independent variables referred to in

the research literature. It is expected that, in many cases,

empirical propositions will have to be extracted from the

existing reported data, because formally stated propositions

may not appear in the research reports. If more than one










citation is found for the same proposition, a notation will

b~e made as to whether the additional citations lend support

to, or tend to refute, the proposition. Only empirically

based research will be used to pinpoint independent variables

for inclusion in the list of empirical propositions.

The second part will consist of subjecting certain of

these empirical propositions to further empirical test.

An unanalyzed data base of 336 never-married Caucasian

females, which consists of 140 River City College coeds and

196 Allied Health Science coeds from River City College,

Southern Medical School, and River City Hospital's School

of Nursing, is available for this purpose.* These data will

be treated, for the purpose of this data analysis, as two

independent samples. Appropriate statistical techniques will

be utilized to determine the level of significance and the

degree of association between the independent variables and

the dependent variable of premarital sexual intercourse found

in each of the empirical propositions.

In the third part of the dissertation, those empirical

propositions found to be statistically significant will be

combined into theoretical propositions using the process of

retroduction. This process involves the level of abstraction

of the independent variable, thus permitting certain proposi-

tions with commonality of concepts to be combined.


*In the interest of preserving the anonymity of respon-
dents, the foregoing pseudonyms will be used throughout this
dissertation.






13



The fourth part will consist of ascertaining the re-

semblance of these theoretical propositions to any existing

theoretical frames of reference in sociological theory.

"...[T~he goal of theory construction is the creation or

identification of order, and success can be judged by the

predictive power of the theory" (Gibbs, 1972 :305). If any

empirical regularities are discovered, they will be treated

and viewed as the establishment of possible theoretical

perspectives for the study of premarital sexual intercourse,

rather than as models of causation or explanation.







































































~


CHAPTER II

REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

Current Status of Research


Over the years, a number of different independent vari-

ables have been utilized to study the likelihood of partici-

pation in premarital sexual intercourse. Some of the more

frequently used variables will be briefly explored to demon-

strate their relevance for a study of premarital sexual inter-

course.

Age has been one of the most frequently employed vari-

ables. A basic assumption in the use of this variable has

been that the older the person, the more lifetime exposure

he or she has had to the possibility of participating in

premarital sexual intercourse. Early studies indicated

that, as age increased, the incidence of premarital sexual

intercourse increased (Terman, 1938; Kinsey et al., 1948;

Kinsey et al, 1953). Other more recent studies have con-

sidered the age of the individual per se as an oversimplifi-

cation of the possible relationship with premarital sexual

intercourse. A more logical approach seems to be to con-

sider age at marriage. After all, the length of the life-

time exposure pattern is, essentially, a function of the

age of a person at the time of marriage. Chilman (1966),

in using this approach, found that early marriage for females











was associated with a greater likelihood of ever engaging in

premarital sexual intercourse, but that late marriage for

males was associated with a greater likelihood. While this

variable has been used in several studies, no consistent

direction has been established.

Terman (1938j found that early age at menstruation was

associated with a higher incidence of premarital sexual inter-

course among females. The rationale was that early maturing

females would experience physiological desire for sexual

intercourse earlier; therefore they would have a longer life-

time interest and exposure to the possibility of premarital

sexual intercourse. Another possible interpretation of

these data is that females who reach physiological maturity

early change their reference groups, thereby creating the

possibility of having peer group approval for sexual inter-

course prior to marriage.

Individuals who begin to date at a very early age also

were found to have participated in premarital sexual inter-

course in greater proportions than persons who begin to

date at a later age (Bell and Chaskes, 1970). Again, lifetime

exposure to the possibility of sexual experience appears to

be a key element in this finding.

In more recent years, considerable research interest

has been directed toward the theoretical typology of pre-

marital sexual standards constructed by Ira Reiss. Persons

accepting premarital sexual intercourse as a personal stan-

dard of behavior have tended to exhibit higher rates of











participation in premarital sexual intercourse. Females, in

particular, have exhibited a higher incidence of premarital

sexual intercourse if their personal standards included

sexual intercourse before marriage (Christensen and Gregg,

1970).

Many persons opposing the dissemination of contraceptive

information have argued that such information leads to an

increased incidence of premarital sexual intercourse; yet only

one author has chosen to use this variable for research pur-

poses. Davis (1929) found higher rates of premarital sexual

intercourse among females with contraceptive information.

Another variable appearing in some form in much recent

research has been the courtship stage of the respondent.

Numerous studies have indicated that females associate love

and affection with potential participation in premarital

sexual intercourse. As they progress toward more serious and

meaningful relationships with dating partners, they become

much more receptive to the idea of engaging in premarital

sexual intercourse. Using the courtship stage as a variable

in the incidence of premarital sexual intercourse has taken

a.variety of forms. Long engagements have been found to be

associated with a higher incidence of premarital sexual inter-

course for females (Burgess and Wallin, 1953). Courtship

stage was used as a variable in a study reproted by Bell

and Blumberg (1959). As the seriousness of the dating

relationship increased, the incidence of premarital sexual

intercourse among females increased geometrically.











In a later study, Bell and Chaskes (1970) reported that,

as the number of times females had gone steady increased,

the probability that they had participated in premarital

sexual intercourse greatly increased. They also found that

the greater the number of different boys females have dated,

the greater the probability that they have engaged in pre-

marital sexual intercourse. A greater number of different

dating partners increased the likelihood of a serious rela-

tionship developing for females, along with an increase in

the absolute number of emotionally involved lifetime situa-

tions (going steady) in which premarital sexual intercourse

might occur. A variation in the usual findings relative to

the stage of courtship as a variable was reported by Kanin

(1960). He found that a short period of exclusive dating

was more likely to lead to premarital sexual intercourse than

a long period of exclusive dating. The existence of an

engagement versus the nonexistence of an engagement greatly

increased the probability that premarital sexual intercourse

would occur for females (Freedman, 1965).

Presence of strict parental discipline in the home was

associated with a low incidence of premarital sexual inter-

course for females in data reported by Terman (1938:335). It

is of interest to note that, apparently, no other sex re-

searcher has utilized this variable in studies of premarital

sexual intercourse. Based on other nonsexual data, many

researchers would argue that strict parental discipline seems











more likely to increase the incidence of premarital sexual

intercourse among females than to lessen the likelihood of

its occurrence.

The educational level of the respondent has been fre-

quently used as a variable in research cm premarital sexual

intercourse. Some researchers argue that educational level

should not be considered as a variable distinct from that of

socioeconomic status. However, its separate usage can be

justified in terms of its apparent opposite effect for males

and females. Males with low levels of educational achieve-

ment have generally indicated higher participation rates for

premarital sexual intercourse than females with low levels

of educational achievement (Kinsey, 1953:293-296).

Clayton found that male fraternity members had higher

rates of participation in premarital sexual intercourse than

independent males. Sorority members, though, had a lower

incidence of premarital sexual intercourse than did indepen-

dent females (Clayton, 1969:471-473). The sorority members

were very concerned about the image and reputation of their

organizations on the campus where the survey had been conducted.

They had elaborate sets of procedures for handling deviations

from their organizational norms.

Happiness of the parents'. marriage was found to be

associated with the incidence of premarital sexual inter-

course by Christensen and Carpenter. This variable was

significant in the stated direction for Intermountain and

Midwestern University samples only. Students who reported





19



happy parental marriages tended to have lower rates of par-

ticipation in premarital sexual intercourse when contrasted

with students who reported unhappy parental marriages

(Christensen and Carpenter, 1962:67-69). This variable seems

to imply that young people found in unhappy home environments

will likely turn to other sources of attention and affection.

Kaats and Davis concluded from their data that physical

attractiveness on the part of females increased the likeli-

hood that they would participate in premarital sexual inter-

course. Physical attractiveness would appear to increase

the theoretical number of life chances females may have to

participate in premarital sexual intercourse (Kaats and Davis,

1970:395-396).

The variable of religion has been used down through the

years in investigations of the general incidence of pre-

marital sexual intercourse. The traditional religious

breakdown of Protestant, Catholic, and Jew has been employed

most frequently in studying the relationship between pre-

marital sexual intercourse and religious affiliation. Most

studies have indicated the highest incidence of premarital

sexual intercourse for male and female Catholics (Bell and

Blumberg, 1959; Peretti, 1969). With one or two notable

exceptions, Jews have tended to exhibit the lowest incidence

of premarital sexual intercourse (Hohman and Schaffner, 1947).

These findings could possibly be a function of the avail-

ability of eligible dating and marriage partners according

to one's religious preference. Courtship folklore supports





the claim that often Jewish males seduce Gentile females

to preserve the Jewish females' virginity for marriage. The

available data do not permit either acceptance or rejection

of this contention. The data do, however, indicate that

Jewish females' virginity is more often preserved until

marriage, whatever the reasons may be.

Numerous attempts have been made to ascertain a rela-

tionship between premarital sexual intercourse and religiosity.

One of the major difficulties with this variable is the

measurement of the concept of religiosity. Frequency of

church attendance has been-used in many instances as an index

of devoutness in religious faith. Yet, researchers have

argued down through the years that church attendance itself

is a poor index of religiosity. These considerations not-

withstanding, frequency of church attendance has been asso-

ciated with a low incidence of premarital sexual intercourse

(Burgess and Wallin, 1953:339). Using the Putney and Middle-

ton Likert-type scale of religious orthodoxy (defined herein

as religiosity), .Clayton found that high religious orthodoxy

scores were associated with low incidences of premarital

sexual intercourse for independent males and females but not

for male and female members of Greek-letter social organiza-

tions (Clayton, 1969:470-472). Burges-s and Wallin, among

others, also noted that persons with no religious preference

indicated the highest incidence of premarital sexual inter-

course (Burgess and Wallin, 1953:339).





Early researchers used the variable of rural-urban

residence in studies of premarital sexual intercourse.

A higher incidence of premarital sexual intercourse was found

to be associated with an urban background (Kinsey et al., 1948:

455 ). Today, with the gradual diminution of previous

rural-urban differences, this variable is no longer considered

relevant by most researchers.

While considerable variation exists in the particular

technique used in evaluating social class, most researchers

are in agreement that the incidence of premarital sexual

intercourse is much greater among persons from the lower

class as contrasted with persons from the middle class

(Kinsey et al., 1953; Diamant, 1970; Hohman and Schaffner,

1947; Kanin, 1960). Bell and Chaskes (1970), however, have

recently reported that no significant differences exist in

the incidence of premarital sexual intercourse among re-

spondents when using father's occupation and father's educa-

tional level as indices of social class.


Review of the Literature

Beginning with the year 1915, all available empirical

research concerned with premarital sexual intercourse has

been carefully reviewed. This comprehensive review of the

relevant research literature has provided a somewhat lengthy

inventory of empirical propositions. In many instances,

it has been necessary to formally construct empirical propo-

sitions from the independent variables appearing in the











research reports, as many authors chose not to place variables

in a propositional format.

For the sake of clarity, consistency in the wording of

the empirical propositions has been utilized wherever pos-

sible. This structural requirement has led to a rewording

of many existing propositions. Nevertheless, the integrity

of each proposition has been maintained by not altering the

stated direction of the independent variable. The cited

reference for each empirical proposition indicates where

support, and/or lack of support, may be found in the research

literature for a particular independent variable.


Inventory of Empirical Propositions for
Never-Married Females

1. There is a direct relationship between age and having

had premarital sexual intercourse (supported by Bergen,

1972; Kinsey et al., 1953; Ramsey, 1943; Vener, Stewart,

and Hager, 1972; not supported by Eastman, 1972).

2. There is an inverse relationship between age at marriage

and having had premarital sexual intercourse (supported

by Chilman, 1966).

3. There is an inverse relationship between age at first

menstruation and having had premarital sexual inter-

course (supported by Terman, 1938).

4. There is an inverse relationship between age at first

date and having had premarital sexual intercourse (sup-

ported by Bell and Chaskes, 1970; Freeman and Freeman,

1966).





5. There is a direct relationship between having a personal

standard which includes premarital sexual intercourse

and having had premarital sexual intercourse (supported

by Christensen and Gregg, 1970; Freeman and Freeman,

1966).

6. There is, a direct relationship between contraceptive

knowledge and having had premarital sexual intercourse

(supported by Davis, 1929).

7. There is a direct relationship between perceived norms

of sexual permissiveness among others in general and

having had premarital sexual intercourse (supported by

Teevan, 1972; not supported by Clayton, 1972).

8. There is a direct relationship between perceived norms of

.sexual permissiveness and having had premarital sexual

intercourse (supported by Freeman and Freeman, 1966;

Teevan, 1972; not supported by Clayton, 1972).

9. There is a direct relationship between involvement in a

love relationship and having had premarital sexual inter-

course (supported by Bell and Blumberg, 1959; Bergen,

1972; Christensen and Gregg, 1970; Eastman, 1972;

Freedman, 1965; Freeman and Freeman, 1966; Kanin, 1960;

Karen, 1959; Locke, 1951; Prince and Shipman, 1960).

10. There is a direct relationship between length of engage-

ment and having had premarital sexual intercourse (sup-

ported by Burgess and Wallin, 1953).





.1. There is a direct relationship between the number of
different boys dated and having had premarital sexual

intercourse (supported by Bell and Chaskes, 1970).

12. There is an inverse relationship between having had

strict discipline in the home and having had premarital

sexual intercourse (supported by Bergen, 1972; Terman,

1938).

13. There is a direct relationship between educational level

and having had premarital sexual intercourse (supported

by Bergen, 1972; Kinsey et al., 1953).

14. There is an inverse relationship between grade point

average and having had premarital sexual intercourse

(supported by Bergen, 1972; Freeman and Freeman, 1966).

15. Females enrolled in Colleges of Arts and Sciences are

more likely to have had premarital sexual intercourse

than are females enrolled in Colleges of Education

(supported by Bergen, 1972).

16. Independents are more likely to have had premarital

sexual intercourse than are sorority members (supported

by Clayton, 1969).

17. There is a direct relationship between being estranged

from parents and having had premarital sexual inter-

course (supported by Teevan, 1972).

18. There is a direct relationship between living alone and

having had premarital sexual intercourse (supported by

Arafat and Yorburg, 1973).





19. There is a direct relationship between having parents

with an unhappy marriage and having had premarital

sexual intercourse (supported by Christensen and Carpen-

ter, 1962).

20. There is a direct relationship between physical attrac-

tiveness and having had premarital sexual intercourse

(supported by Kaats and Davis, 1970).

21. Protestant females are more likely to have had pre-

marital sexual intercourse than are Jewish females

(supported by Althoff and Nussel, 1971; Arafat and

Yorburg, 1973; Freeman and Freeman, 1966).

22. Catholic females are more likely to have had premarital

sexual intercourse than are Protestant females (sup-

ported by Bell and Blumberg, 1959; Freeman and Freeman,

1966; Bergen, 1972; Peretti, 1969; not supported by

Arafat and Yorburg, 1973; Kinsey et al., 1953).

23. There is an inverse relationship between church atten-

dance and having had premarital sexual intercourse

(supported by Bauman, 1973; Bergen, 1972; Burgess and

Wallin, 1953; Freeman and Freeman, 1966; Kinsey et al.,

1953; Prince and Shipman, 1960).

24. There is an inverse relationship between sex guilt and

having had premarital sexual intercourse (supported by

Mosher and Cross, 1971).

25. There is a direct relationship between urban residential

background and having had premarital sexual intercourse

(supported by Bergen, 1972; Kinsey et al., 1953).





26. Females from the East are more likely to have had

premarital sexual intercourse than are females from

the Deep South (supported by Bergen, 1972).

27. Females from the East are more likely to have had

premarital sexual intercourse than are females from

the Midwest (supported by Bergen, 1972).

28. Females from the Far West are more likely to have had

premarital sexual intercourse than are females from

the Deep South (supported by Bergen, 1972).

29. Females fran the Far West are more likely to have had

premarital sexual intercourse than are females from

the Midwest (supported by Bergen, 1972).

30. There is a direct relationship between lower-class

values and having had premarital sexual intercourse

(supported by Kinsey et al., 1953, for females when

using level of education an an index; not supported by

Bell and Chaskes, 1970; Bergen, 1972, for females when

using level of education as an index).

31. There .is an inverse relationship between father's social

class and having had premarital sexual intercourse

(supported by Vener et al., 1972).

32. There is a direct relationship between use of marijuana

and having had premarital sexual intercourse (supported

by Arafat and Yorburg, 1973; Bell and Clavan, 1973;

Milman and Su, 1973; Walters, Goethals, and Pope, 1972).





33. There is a direct relationship between use of alcoholic

beverages and having had premarital sexual intercourse

(supported by Bell and Clavan, 1973; Milman and Su,

1973).

34. There is a direct relationship between use of narcotics

(LSD, heroin, etc.) and having had premarital sexual

intercourse (supported by Arafat and Yorburg, 1973;

Milman and Su, 1973; Walters et al., 1972.


Studies Not Utilized


A number of available sources could not, logically, be

utilized for the purpose of extracting empirical propositions

for this dissertation. Among those sources not included was

the frequently cited work of Ira Reiss entitled The Social

Context of Premarital Sexual Permissiveness (1967). This

work was not selected because of the rather unusual stance

that Reiss takes with regard to the attitude versus behavior

dilemma. "Hopefully, by this time in the development of

social science we have discarded the primitive notion that

behavior rather than attitude is more of a 'true' measure of

a relationship" (Reiss, 1967:11). He then proceeds to equate

attitude with behavior, thus assuming that one can ascertain

behavior by asking about attitude.

Several sources were not included because of cultural

variation in the data which make meaningful comparisons with

data from the United States methodologically unsound










(Bock and lutaka, 1970; Chesser, 1956; Hobart, 1972; Slater,

1951; Schofield, 1965). A substantial number of sources

were rejected because no specific independent variables were

utilized in the research designs (Achilles, 1923; Bromley

and Britten, 1938; Cuber and Harroff, 1965; Herz, 1970;

Hughes, 1926; Kanin, 1957, 1969; Landis and Landis, 1953;

Macklin, 1972; Packard, 1968; Peterson, 1938; Robinson, King,

Dudley and Clune, 1968; Robinson, King, and Balswick, 1972).

Still other sources were not used because of the atypical

nature of samples, such as respondents being physically

handicapped (Landis and Bolles, 1942; Merrill, 1918; Schwartz,

1971; Strakosch, 1934).~ Finally, a large number of sources

were omitted from further consideration because of serious

methodological problems such as small "N", absence of statis-

tical tests of significance, or nonrepresentative sampling

procedures (Burchinal and Bock, 1959; Dickinson and Beam,

1934; Exner, 1915; Greene, 1964; Hamilton, 1929; Kirkendall,

1961; Kronhausen and Kronhausen, 1960; Lower, 1972; Luckey

and Nass, 1969; Pearl, '1925; Peck and Wells,1923; Taylor,

1933).


Methodological Problems in Current Literature

Considerable difficulty exists with respect to uni-

formity of definitions employed in gathering and reporting

empirical data on premarital sexual intercourse. Some

authors have questioned the idea of whether fellatio and

and cunnilingus may be appropriately counted as sexual





intercourse since these two sexual techniques are often found

in heavy petting (Freedman, 1965). Should homosexual ex-

periences that have led to orgasm on the part of the respon-

dent (Kinsey et al., 1948) be counted as part of the total

sexual intercourse experience? Is the true incidence of

premarital sexual intercourse somewhat underestimated by

virtue of the exclusion of fellatio, cunnilingus, and homo-

sexual experiences which result in orgasm for the respondent?

The use of the terms virgin and nonvirgin often provoke

a maze-like effect in the research. To report a female as

a nonvirgin after she has had sexual intercourse only one

time as part of lifetime behavior raises some serious theo-

retical questions. Should researchers be interested pri-

marily in current behavior or in total lifetime behavior?

Or should data be gathered on both lifetime and current

rates of participation in premarital sexual intercourse?

If only current behavior is studied, the percentage of

college females reporting participation in premarital sexual

intercourse drops drastically (Clayton, 1969).

There is a general lack of agreement as to the meaning

of the term technical virgin, and thus it is variously used

by many authors. Does it mean (Bromley and Britten, 1938)

caressing the breasts, manipulation of the genital area, or

any and all types of sexual stimulation leading to an orgasm,

except intromission of the penis into the vagina?





Often in the design of the research project, previous

research either has been ignored, or not properly applied,

in the development of the research design. Many of the early

researchers made no effort at all to review the relevant

literature in formulating the research design (Davis, 1929;

Dickinson and Beam, 1934).

Another critical problem in research~on premarital sexual

intercourse has been the inability and/or unwillingness on

the part of researchers to utilize representative samples in

their work. Most of the existing data on premarital sexual

intercourse are concerned with white college students, and

the samples are largely nonrepresentative and nonrandom.

Often one is unable even to generalize the data to other

students at the same college or university, not t'o mention

the prospect of other colleges and universities (Kirkendall,

1961; Kanin, 1960). A recurring problem is that of small

sample size, particularly when the data are categorized and

tabulated. Percentages often are calculated based on small

Ns, with the results being very misleading to an untrained

and unsophisticated reader (Freedman, 1965).

Many of the problems associated with nonrepresentative

and nonrandom sampling .can be attributed directly to the

lack of financial and administrative support from colleges

and universities for research about premarital sexual inter-

course. Consequently, most researchers have chosen to use

whatever sample groups they have immediate access to,





regardless of size and/or characteristics. Thus, the rather

extensive practice of utilizing volunteer subjects in the

gathering of data on premarital sexual intercourse still

exists today. A crucial question (Kaats and Davis, 1970)

then becomes, to what extent are respondents "coerced" into

participating in surveys against their wills? Does a

student in a classroom setting feel compelled to participate

in such a study if requested to do so by his instructor?

Would he or she fear that grade reprisal would occur if they

refused to cooperate?

Additional problems in sampling may be introduced if

students are told to report to a certain location at a par-

ticular time. One could argue that students who spend their

own time participating in a study are likely to be atypical

with respect to interest and/or participation in sexual

activity (Kirkendall, 1961). Peretti suggests that personal

contact be made in the respondent's own social setting,

assuming that anonymity can be preserved (Peretti, 1969).

Some researchers have chosen to pay respondents and the

recruiters of respondents. Bias in the selection process

may be a factor in the data collected under such circumstances

(Luckey and Nass, 1969; Kinsey et al., 1948; Kinsey et al.,

1953). Original respondents have been permitted to recruit

their friends for participation in some studies of premarital

sexual intercourse. Would these recruiters (Hamilton, 1929;

Kinsey et al., 1948; Kinsey et al., 1953) be likely to choose







































































~


other respondents who are similar in terms of their own be-

havior patterns?

A number of researchers have used mail questionnaires in

gathering data on premarital sexual intercourse (Packard,

1968; Davis, 1929; Burgess and Wallin, 1953). The obvious

question of collusion on filling out the questionnaire can

be raised, even though complete anonymity of the respondent

can be preserved using this data-gathering technique. Other

researchers have distributed questionnaires to groups for

completion and later gone back and retrieved them (Reiss,

1967; Exner, 1915).

The interview, eliminating anonymity in one sense of the

word, does make for greater rapport with the respondent,

which should result in more accurate and complete data

(Hamilton, 1929; Kinsey et al., 1948; Kinsey et al., 1953).

Many early studies did not employ any type of statis-

tical tests of significance in reporting the data. The data

were usually reported in percentages and left to the reader's

interpretation (Kinsey et al., 1948; Bromley and Britten,

1938; Dickinson and Beam, 1934; Davis, 1929).

Another frequent problem that has occurred in reported

findings in the literature is that the number of cases re-

ported in the final tabulations differs significantly from

originally reported sample size, without explanation; yet

the original sample size-is what is most often referred to

in reviews of the literature about premarital sexual inter-

course (Packard, 1968; Locke, 1951; Ross, 1950).











The reporting of findings in the literature has often

been confusing and unclear. The reader is, sometimes, unable

to accurately evaluate the author's conclusions (Cuber and

Harroff, 1965; Reiss, 1967). At other times, it is even

necessary to combine categories and calculate descriptive

statistics in order to compare the data with other studies

(Terman, 1938; Kinsey et al., 1948; Peretti, 1969).

As discussed in Chapter I, there has been a general lack

of concern for theory building in the research on premarital

sexual intercourse. Most recent researchers, with the excep-

tion of Christensen, have avoided making statements regard-

ing the utilitarian value of their findings (Christensen,

1969; Christensen and Gregg, 1970).

Research on premarital sexual intercourse has come a

long way since the early days of Exner and Davis. If the

same degree of progress in research on premarital sexual

intercourse can be made during the decade of the 1970s as

during the decade of the 1960s, family researchers will be

able to look with admiration upon the research efforts de-

voted to the study of premarital sexual intercourse.


Some Testable Propositions About Premarital
Sexual Intercourse Among Females

After a careful consideration of all available research

findings, one must conclude that most studies of premarital

sexual intercourse lack a theoretical orientation. The

current state of knowledge in sociology does not permit the











application of some grand theory which would apply to the

study of premarital sexual intercourse in the majority of

societal situations.

The independent variables used in previous research seem

to suggest three different theoretical orientations for

future studies, depending upon the nature of the data. These

three theoretical orientations are: the exchange orienta-

tion; the reference group orientation, which is a component

part of the symbolic interaction orientation; and the struc-

tural-functional orientation. The exchange orientation in-

volves social interaction in which one gives something of

value in order to get something valued in return (Blau, 1964).

The reference group orientation involves groups of which one

is a member and groups of which one is not a member, be-

coming focal points of reference for the shaping of attitudes,

values, and behavior (Merton, 1957:281). The structural-

functional orientation is concerned with the consequences of

any social activity which occurs for the adaptation or adjust-

ment of a given social structure or its component parts

(social actors) (Coser and Rosenberg, 1964; Merton, 1957;

Radcliffe-Brown, 1952).

Through the application of the foregoing three frames

of reference to the existing research literature, and to a

previously unanalyzed data base of 336 never-married females,

the following propositions will be subjected to test:










































































I


1. There is a direct relationship between recommended age

for the marriage of females and having had premarital

sexual intercourse.

2. There is an inverse relationship between age at first

menstruation and having had premarital sexual intercourse.

3. There is an inverse relationship between -the age at

which one learns where babies come from and having had

premarital sexual intercourse.

4. There is a direct relationship between a positive atti-

tude toward oral-genital sex and having had premarital

sexual intercourse.

5. There is a direct relationship between a positive atti-

tude toward masturbation and having had premarital

sexual intercourse.

6. There is a direct relationship between having encoun-

tered a positive attitude toward sexual intercourse

during the menstrual period and. having had premarital

sexual intercourse.

7. There is an inverse relationship between ordinal posi-

tion in the family and having had premarital sexual

intercourse.

8. There is a direct relationship between planning to be

employed after marriage and having had premarital sexual

intercourse.

9. There is an inverse relationship between number of

children desired and having had premarital sexual inter-

course.











10. There is a direct relationship between desire to bear

children later in marriage and having had premarital

sexual intercourse.

11. There is a direct relationship between planning to be

employed after children are born into a marriage and

having had premarital sexual intercourse.

12. There is a direct relationship between viewing sexual

intercourse as equally pleasurable for males and females

and having had premarital sexual intercourse.

13. There is a direct relationship between having petted to

orgasm with a member of the opposite sex and having had

premarital sexual intercourse.

14. There is a direct relationship between expressed dis-

satisfaction with petting to orgasm and having had

premarital sexual intercourse.

15. There is a direct relationship between self-classification

as knowledgeable about reproductive physiology and

having had premarital sexual intercourse.

16. There is a direct relationship between being knowledge-

able about the female orgasm and having had premarital

sexual intercourse.

17. There iis a direct relationship between contraceptive

knowledge and having had premarital sexual intercourse.

18. There is a direct relationship between commitment to a

serious dating relationship and having had premarital

sexual intercourse.





19. There is a direct relationship between college academic

class standing and having had premarital sexual inter-

course.

20. There is a direct relationship between expressed prefer-

ence for a liberal Protestant demonination and having

had premarital- sexual intercourse.

21. There is an inverse relationship between church atten-

dance and having had premarital sexual intercourse.

22. There is an inverse relationship between father's social

class by occupation and having had premarital sexual

intercourse.

If any of these propositions are found to be associated

with premarital sexual intercourse, hopefully theoretical

propositions can be formulated by the process of retroduction.

The subsequent empirical testing of these propositions should,

thus, contribute to the further development of sociological

theory associated with premarital sexual intercourse.
















CHAPTER III

METHODOLOGY


Background


In 1968, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

at Southern Medical School was conducting a research project

concerned with the menstrual cycles of rhesus monkeys under

the direction of Chester B. Martin, M.D., and funded by the

Carnegie Foundation. Martin subsequently became interested

in whether human females tend to exhibit an increased

interest in sexual intercourse during the menstrual period

(Hamilton, 1929; Masters and Johnson, 1966; Terman, 1938).

In an attempt to clarify this question, Martin and Eugene M.

Long, a senior medical student, collected data on the

subject and later published preliminary findings (Martin and

Long, 1969). The total sample consisted of only 25 married

medical student couples, which made the data somewhat limited

in adequacy and applicability. After further analysis of

the preliminary-findings, the scope of this human sexuality

research project was expanded to include a more comprehen-

sive view of sexual attitudes and behavior in a medical

milieu. At this point in time, the author was invited to

become research consultant to the Department of Obstetrics

and Gynecology at Southern Medical School, for the purpose










of giving advice and counsel concerning the sociological

implications of the impending sex research project.

It was decided that a new pilot survey should focus on

three broad questions in the field of human sexuality. These

questions were related to attitudes toward, and the extent

of, participation in sexual intercourse during the menstrual

period; the independent variables associated with premarital

sexual intercourse in a medical milieu; and whether persons

in a medical milieu accept folklore beliefs about human

sexuality.

Available medical evidence appears to indicate that the

peak of physiological sexual desire fluctuates for most women

during the menstrual cycle due to changes in the levels of

progesterone and estrogen present in their bodies. A number

of leading medical authorities in recent years have indi-

cated that, for a number of females, the achieving of orgasm

during the menstrual period can aid in the alleviation of

abdominal cramps often associated with painful menstruation.

Despite the apparent therapeutic value of sexual activity

during the menstrual period for many females, religious

proscriptions against such activity persist in American

society (Birenbaum, 1970; Martin and Long, 1969; Masters

and Johnson, 1966; Larsen, 1965).

Many folklore beliefs also exist in our culture regard-

ing the adverse effects of sexual activity during the men-

strual period, and of human sexuality in general. Given










the availability of scientific knowledge about human sexuality

in a medical milieu, will persons who are members participat-

ing in this milieu subscribe to religious and folklore be-

liefs about sexuality rather than to existing medical knowl-

edge?(Brill, 1939; Burnap and Golden, 1967; Calderone, 1966;

Coombs, 1968; Hastings, 1963; Lief, 1963, 1964, 1965;

McCreary-Juhasz, 1967).

Many males who date nurses and/or nursing students per-

ceive these females as being more willing to engage in

sexual intercourse before marriage than females of other

occupational types. Available evidence suggests that males

with such perceptions tend to behave accordingly on dates

with nurses or nursing students. Does the medical milieu

affect the willingness of these females to engage in pre-

niarital sexual intercourse, or is this suggested difference

merely medical student hearsay?(Ellis and Fuller, 1950;

Skipper and Nass, 1966; Woods and Natterson, 1967).

The Instrument

Description

A thorough and detailed questionnaire was constructed

which contained questions on relevant background variables,

sexual histories, attitudes toward and participation in

sexual intercourse during the menstrual period, attitudes

toward masturbation and oral-genital sexual stimulation,

knowledge about human sexuality, and knowledge about contra-

ception. A cover letter specifying the sponsorship and the





purposes of the study, why the respondent should participate,

and a guarantee of anonymity constituted the first page of

the questionnaire.

The author decided to have two versions of the question-

naire, one for females and one for males, because of ques-

tions concerned with the medical menstrual history. The only

difference between the two versions was that a medical men-

strual history was included for female respondents. When the

data gathering was approximately 9 percent completed, a new

question was added at the end of the questionnaire. This

new item sought a self-perceived evaluation of what happens

mentally and physically when a female achieves orgasm. The

purpose of this question was to determine whether females can

experience orgasm without being aware that it is happening.

Considerable use was made of open-ended questions to

permit freedom of expression by the individual respondent.

In many other cases, it was impossible to ascertain all of

the possible answer categories before collecting the data.

In other cases, closed-form questions were used. A complete

copy of the female version of this questionnaire can be

found in Appendix I.


Pretest

The initial research instruments were drafted during the

winter and spring quarters of 1969 and subsequently went

through two draft revisions prior to being judged' ready for

protesting. The first pretest was carried out during May of











1969 using male and female students from River City College.

These respondents were enrolled in introductory sociology

and sociology of the family courses. They completed the

anonymous questionnaire under the supervision of a student

assistant whose primary duty was to make sure that no ques-

tionnaires, either completed or uncompleted, left the premises

of the sociology laboratory. Upon completion of the ques-

tionnaire, it was placed in a sealed, ballot-type box per-

sonally by the respondent. No record was kept of the re-

spondents, and no identifying marks or labels of any type

appeared on the research instrument itself, thus assuring

complete anonymity for the respondents.

The results of this first pretest were carefully

checked, analyzed, and evaluated. In some instances, the -

intent of the question had been misunderstood, and the sub-

sequent answer obtained was not applicable. The question-

naires were then redrafted, incorporating the changes sug-

gested by the pretest. A second pretest of the questionnaires

was conducted to determine if any additional changes in

wording were necessary or desirable. Again the respondents

were volunteers from introductory sociology and sociology of

the family courses. By this date, the academic quarter had

been completed and a new one had begun, thus providing a

new source of volunteers who would not be repeaters from the

first pretest. An analysis of the results of the second

pretest indicated that only minor changes were needed in











the final versions of the research instruments. These re-

visions were subsequently made, and the research instruments

were ready for administration by August of 1969.

It should be noted that the principal investigator of

this research project resigned from Southern Medical School

to accept an offer from the Medical School of the University

of California at Los Angeles, effective July 1, 1969. After

this untimely development, the author was appointed principal

investigator for the research project.


Administration

In order that absolute control be maintained over the

integrity of the questionnaires and the anonymity of re-

spondents, the principal investigator decided that all

administrations of the questionnaires would be carried out

in group-type settings. For the student respondents, the

questionnaires were administered in the classroom under

supervision of the principal investigator and/or a student

assistant. In the case of wives of medical students

(Medical Dames) and the wives of residents and interns, the

questionnaires were administered at regularly scheduled

meetings of the organizations under the supervision of the.

principal investigator. For licensed practical nurses and

registered nurses, an elaborate schedule for administration

during working hours was arranged with the help of the

director and assistant director of nursing at each of the

respective hospitals included in the samples.











Data collection stations were set up on each floor of

two of the hospitals and operated simultaneously to mini-

mize any discussion of the contents of the questionnaire.

Nurses were then rotated to the data collection stations

during their working hours. These data collection stations

were under the immediate supervision of student assistants

and the departmental secretary, with overall supervision

provided by the principal investigator. In one of these

hospitals, the collecting of data was carried on continuously

for a period of 24 hours to insure coverage of all three

shifts. In the other ,hospital, the data collecting was

carried on for a period of 36 continuous hours to provide-

coverage for all three shifts, plus those persons who had

had a day off on the first shift the preceding day.

The third hospital involved in the research project was

a custodial psychiatric hospital. The foregoing data collec-

tion procedure was both impractical and undesirable from

the standpoint of hospital security. After lengthy dis-

cussions with the director and assistant director of nursing,

the principal investigator decided to set up one centralized

data collection station in the main wing of the hospital.

Nurses were then relieved from their duty stations, accord-

ing to a predetermined plan, to come to the data collection

station. This data collection station was under the imme-

diate supervision of the departmental secretary and/or

student assistants at varying times, with overall supervision












provided by the principal investigator. It was later learned

that at this hospital all nurses had been required to come

to the data collection station and at least look at the

questionnaire. Previous public relations efforts had been

made to fully inform all nursing staffs of the nature and

purpose of the research project and that participation was

to be strictly volunteer. The assistant nursing director

had simply been over-zealous in her attempt to cooperate with

the researchers. Due to the extremely small number of nurses

on duty during the third shift, only nurses on the first two

shifts were included in this sample.

The actual procedure for administration of the question-

naires was the same for all respondents. A brief written

statement was read concerning the nature, purpose, and

anonymity of the responses to the questionnaire each time a

new group of potential respondents was involved. They were

then asked to read the cover letter and to complete the

questionnaire. If, at some point after beginning to answer,

they decided not to complete the questionnaire, they were

told to merely fold their questionnaire like a letter and

deposit it in a box at the front of the room as everyone

else would do upon completion. A sealed, ballot-type box

had been provided for deposit of the completed questionnaires.

As previously stated, no identifying marks or labels appeared

on the questionnaires (Barnett, 1965). Using this approach,

only three questionnaires out of a total of 887 questionnaires










collected could not be used. In all three cases, the re-

spondents were married female nurses over 50 years of age.

The actual collection of data began, in August of 1969,

with students enrolled in the diploma program in nursing at

River City University Hospital and was concluded with female

students enrolled at River City College, in May, 1970.


Analysis of Data

Code Book

A random selection of questionnaires from all subsamples

was taken by the principal investigator to determine pos-

sible answer categories for the various questions. After

recording the different possible answers for each question,

a code book was prepared to permit the data to be transferred

from the questionnaires to data-processing cards. The

column numbers were assigned in such a manner as to permit

additional answer categories to be added as the necessity

arose. Examples were indicated in parentheses after many

of the answer categories for the open-ended questions, to

aid the coders in deciding on the appropriate category.

A female student assistant, who was a senior at River

City College, was trained as a code clerk by the principal

investigator. She had previously worked with the develop-

ment of the questionnaires and subsequent protests and was

well versed in all matters pertaining to the research pro-

ject. A meeting was held daily to determine what problems,

if any, had arisen concerning the coding of answers that











were particularly difficult to interpret. After discussion,

a consensus on the proper answer category would be reached

for each problem response. This code clerk was able to code

about 60 percent of the questionnaires prior to her gradua-

tion from River City College. About three months before her

work termination, she began training another senior female

student assistant to take over her duties as code clerk.

The second code clerk was subsequently trained by the first

code clerk and by the principal investigator. As part of

the training procedure for both code clerks, the principal

investigator would code, independently, randomly selected

questionnaires that had previously been coded and compare

the results. This technique proved to be an effective

training method as well as an aid in maintaining quality

control .

A coding log book was maintained for the purpose of

recording new answer categories that were added, and the

interpretations given to answers in order that they might

be coded. This procedure involved recording the date, the

answer category added and/or chosen for use in a particular

case, and the basis and/or criteria utilized in the decision.

This technique provided a valuable supplement to the coding

process.

A unique aspect of the coding process was the manner in

which questions related to describing the male and female

orgasms were coded. A panel of five female judges, working











independently, was asked to rate the descriptions of the

male and female orgasms as knowledgeable, slightly knowl-

edgeable, or not at all knowledgeable. A composite score

value was then obtained from their ratings and converted

to a coding category. A copy of this composite form appears

in Appendix I. The judges were selected on the basis of the

following criteria: married, 30 to 39 years of age, and

sexually responsive, i.e., orgasmic. All of the judges were

known to the principal investigator and were not utilized

as actual respondents in this survey. The sexual- respon-

siveness of the judges was determined by using selected

parts of the questionnaire and through personal interviews.

To the author's knowledge, no one has ever before used this

particular technique to quantify data about the male and

female orgasm.


Data Processing

The data-processing cards were punched from standard

80-column code sheets especially designed for coding data

of this type. These cards were subsequently verified to

check for punching errors. After the necessary corrections

were made, the cards were edited for coding errors using

an edit program developed by the computer staff of Southern

Medical School. The data-processing cards were then cor-

rected based on the computer output from the edit program.

It is herein acknowledged by the author that an edit











program will only ascertain certain kinds of coding errors.

A second computer run was later made using the same edit

program to check for further errors. Further corrections

were made in the data cards contained in this data base,

using the second edit output. It was then concluded that

the data cards were relatively free of errors after the

second set of corrections had been made.

A frequency distribution program was developed using

COBOL, since Southern Medical School was without a programmer

who could program in FORTRAN. This approach proved to be

both costly and time consuming, but, nevertheless, a work-

able 25,000-card program was devised that would perform the

necessary operations for computing frequencies and per-

centages for each subsample group. These frequency dis-

tributions provided the basis for subsamples to be later

collapsed and for cross tabulations to be performed using

the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) at

the Northeast Regional Data Center of the State University

System of Florida.


SIssue of Nonresponse

It is always appropriate in a survey of this nature to

consider the issue of nonresponse to specific questions. As

was anticipated, the highest rate of nonresponse was for

questions concerning attitudes toward sexual intercourse

during the menstrual period and toward oral-genital sex.

Given the size of the independent samples, it is the opinion











of the author that the overall trends of the data were not

adversely affected by nonresponse. Whenever a significant

number of nonresponses appears, however, the issue will be

explored as it related to the particular variable under

consideration, in Chapter IV.

A well-established premise in sociological research is

that it is exceedingly difficult to gather specific sexual

data with a questionnaire. The procedure of assuring com-

plete anonymity to the respondents greatly aided in minimiz-

ing any potential difficulty in this area (Cowden and Motse,

1970; Ehrmann, 1954; Oppenheim, 1966). The technique of

asking a number of related questions to permit the filtering

of answers for controversial issues was also utilized.

Often, such answers could be cross tabulated to determine

whether a person described the same action or behavior dif-

ferently in different parts of the questionnaire (Young,

1966). The results of such comparisons were, generally,

reassuring.


Statistical Treatment of the Data

Given the nonrandom manner in which the respondents

were obtained in the subsample, their subsequent combination

into two independent samples, and the levels of measurement

utilized, the chi-square test for two independent samples

was found to be the most appropriate method for determin-

ing the significance of the differences between respondents





having had premarital sexual intercourse and respondents

not having had premarital sexual intercourse (Siegel, 1956).

The contingency coefficient,C,was chosen as a measure

of association since it is based on the computational values

of chi square. This statistic is a general purpose measure

of association with wide applicability to quantitative data

(Siegel, 1956).


SThe Sample

All respondents were associated either directly or in-

directly with a major southern medical complex which is

located in a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area of

250,000 population. The respondents constituted the universe

for each of the following groups: licensed practical nurses

and registered nurses from two Veterans Administration

Hospitals and the teaching hospital of Southern Medical

School; students enrolled in diploma nursing programs at

River City College and at River City University Hospital;

students enrolled in five different baccalaureate degree

programs in the health-related professions at Southern

Medical School; the sophomore and junior classes of medical

students enrolled at Southern Medical School; members of

the Women's Auxiliary of the Student American Medical

Association (Medical Dames); members of the interns and

residents wives club; and students enrolled in the bacca-

laureate degree program in nursing at Southern Medical

School. Additionally, female students enrolled in











nonrandomly selected upper and lower division courses in

the Departments of Anthropology and Sociology; Psychology;

Physics; History, Political Science, and Philosophy; English;

Biology; and Education at River City College were surveyed.

The professors in these courses consented to allocate an

entire regular class period for completion of the question-

naire. The total number of respondents found in each sub-

sample category can be found in Table 1.

The categories and figures in Table 1 show that there

were 16 possible separate samples. Most of these samples

were too small, however, for separate statistical analysis.

Therefore, frequency distributions for the variables of age,

size of place in which reared, class standing, dating status,

position of child in the family, number of children in

family, participation in premarital sexual intercourse,

father's occupation, level of education, religious prefer-

ence, age at first menstrual period, and quantity of menstrual

flow were checked by inspection to determine whether all

student samples might logically be combined into one large

sample.

The most glaring finding was that considerable varia-

tion exists between the River City coeds and all of the

other female student sample groups on the dependent variable

of having had premarital sexual intercourse. Consequently,

ali of the student samples, except the River City coeds,

were combined into a single sample hereafter referred to as


















Sex
Male Female Totals
Sample Group Number Number Number
Dental hygiene 0 23 23
Medical illustration 9 1 10
Medical records 0 23 23
Radiologic technology 11 17 28
Medical technology 2 22 24
River City University Hospital
student nurses 0 46 46
River- City College student
nurses 0 20 20
Southern Medical School
Hospital nurses 4 129 133
Veterans Hospital medical
nurses 2 47 49
Veterans Hospital psychiatric
nurses 2 46 48
Southern Medical School
student nurses 2 92 94
Southern Medical School
sophomores 60 2 62
Southern Medical School
juniors 40 2 42
Medical Dames 0 46 46
Residents' and interns' wive's 0 25 25
River City College coeds 0 211 211

Totals .132 752 884


TABLE

Respondents by Sample Group and Sex











Allied Health Science coeds. This factor necessitates con-

sidering the data as consisting of two independent samples

for the purpose of testing the empirical propositions from

Chapter II. It also complicates the evaluation of the

statistical significance of the various relationships under

analysis.

It should be noted here that only four respondents in

the student samples were 25 years of age or older. Interest-

ingly enough, these respondents had not participated in

premarital sexual intercourse at the time of the survey.

The respondent who had participated in premarital sexual

intercourse was in the Allied Health coed sample.





CHAPTER IV

THE ANALYSIS OF THE DATA


Description of the Respondents




The Allied Health sample was slightly older, on the

average, than the River City sample, as reflected in mean

ages of 20.4 years for the former and 19.3 years for the

latter. The data indicated that 64.3 percent of Allied

Health coeds and 43.6 percent of River City coeds were

between the ages of 20 and 24 (see Table 2). This age

variation stems primarily from the fact that a relatively

high percentage of the Allied Health coeds have tradition-

ally transferred to Southern Medical School from other

liberal arts colleges at the beginning of the junior year.

Southern Medical School requires certain freshman and

sophomore liberal arts courses, as prerequisites for its

Allied Health Science curriculum, that are unavailable on

its campus. Since the two samples are to be treated as

independent of each other, this age factor will not affect

the data analysis.


Race

All non-Caucasians were eliminated from the samples

to avoid the possibility of having race operating as an

































.5


.5


100.0


100.0


~


TABLE 2

Age Distribution of Two Sample


Allied Health
No. Percent


67 34.2


126 64.3


Groups


River City
No. .Percent


78 55.7


61 43.6


1 .7


Age


15-19 years


20-24 years


25-29 years


30-34 years


35-39 years


Totals











intervening variable and subsequently creating possible

spurious relationships among other variables (Sutker and

Gilliard, 1970).


Academic Class Standing

The age differences between the two samples were also

reflected in academic class standings for the respondents

(see Table 3). These data indicate that 67.9 percent of

Allied Health coeds were classified as upper-classmen, as

contrasted with only 37.2 percent of River -City coeds. It

should be recalled that those River City College coeds who

were enrolled in the two-year nursing program at River City

College (associate degree program) were included in the

Allied Health sample group. These respondents, however,

comprised only 7 percent of the total Allied Health sample.

Were it not for these students, the percentage differences

for upper-classmen would have been even greater.


Dating Status

The most prevalent dating status category reported was

"casual dating" for both the Allied Health and River City

coeds (see Table 4). The term going steady appears to be

declining in usage among college students who seem to prefer

the term dating steadily. Approximately one-third of the

respondents in both sample groups were either seriously

contemplating marriage or were already engaged at the time

of the survey.











TABLE 3

Class Standing of Two Sample Groups


Allied Health River City
Class Standing No. Percent No. Percent

Freshman 31 15.8 46 32.8


Sophomore 32 16.3 42 30.0

Junior 65 33.2 34 24.3


Senior 68 34.7 18 12.9


Totals 196 100. 0 140 100. 0





TABLE 4

Dating Status of Two Sample Groups


Allied Health
No. Percent

4 2.0


85 43.4


38 19.4


9 4.6


River City
No. Percent


10 7.1


51 36.5


28 20.0


8 5.7


Dating Status

Not dating


Casual dating


Dating steadily


Going steady


Engaged- to- be-
engaged


Engaged


No response .


Totals


15.3


13.8


1.5


100.0


16.4


14.3





100.0











Religious Preference

As might be expected, the Protestant demoninations of

Baptist and Methodist accounted for about two-thirds of the

respondents in both the Allied Health and River City sample

groups (see Table 5). The religious conservatism of both

sample groups was further reflected by the fact that only

a total of three respondents in the two samples combined

gave "agnostic" as their religious preference.


Church Attendance

The continuing interest in religion on the part of

college students was reflected in the finding that only 12.8

percent of Allied Health and 10.7 percent of River City

coeds did not attend church or synagogue at least once per

month. The modal frequency of church attendance for both

sample groups was three to four times per month (see Table

6). The River City coeds were shown to be more religiously

active than the Allied Health coeds. This finding can be

accounted for, in great part, by the high percentage of

River City coeds who were "local girls," whereas the same

was not true for Allied Health coeds. It is thus rea-

sonable to assume that River City coeds received more overt

familial pressure to attend worship services at their

church or synagogue when contrasted with Allied Health

coeds.





ABLE 5

Religious Preference of Two Sample Groups


Religious
Preference

Baptist

Methodist

Episcopal

Presbyterian

Catholic

None

Lutheran

Jewish

Agnostic

Nondenominational
Christian

Christian Missionary

Church of God

Bahai Faith

Church of Christ

Greek Orthodox

Moslem

Unitarian

No response

Totals


Allied Health
No. Percent

79 40.3

52 26.5

14 7.2

14 7.2

11 5.6

9 4.6

6 3.1

4 2.0

2 1.0


River City
No. Percent

57 40.7

33 23.6

12 8.6

11 7.9

12 8.6

3 2.1

4 2.9



1 .7


.5

100.0


100.0













TABLE 6

Church Attendance of Two Sample Groups


Church Attendance Allied Health River City
by Month No. Percent No. Percent

None 25 12.8 15 10.7


1-2 times 61 31.1 35 25.0


3-4 times 74 37.8 42 30.0


5-6 times 20 10.2 15 10.7


7-8 times 5 2.5 8 5.7


9-10 times 0 -- 8 5.7


11-12 times 2 1.0 13 9.3


No response 0 --1 .7


Not applicable 9 4.6 3 2.2


Totals 196 100.0 140 100.0











Father's Occupation

Support was found for two assumptions often made with

regard to the social class backgrounds of commuter-college

students and those of students choosing Allied Health

Science as a career. It has generally been assumed in the

past that most college students from working-class families

attend commuter colleges. These data supported that con-

tention (see Table 7). The most frequently cited occupation

for fathers, among River City coeds, was "skilled."

Many persons assume that females from working-class

families typically view the fields of medicine and the

health-related professions, with their uniforms of white,

as an opportunity for upward social mobility. This point

of view was reflected in the data, as the most frequently

cited occupation for fathers of Allied Health coeds was

"skilled. "

The apparent similarity of the two samples was reflected

in the findings that 21.9 percent of Allied Health coeds'

fathers and 22.2 percent of River City coeds' fathers were

categorized as "professionals." Further support was pro-

vided by the fact that 17.9 percent of the fathers of both

Allied Health and River City coeds were "business execu-

tives."


Size of Place Where Reared

A considerable disparity existed between the Allied

Health and River City coeds with regard to the size of places












TABLE 7

Father's Occupation of Two Sample Groups


Father 's A~llied Health River City
Occupation No. Percent No. Percent

Skilled worker 49 25.0 38 27.2


Professional worker 43 21.9 31 22.2


Business executive 35 17.9 25 17.9


White-collar worker 33 16.8 29 20.7


Small businessman 19 9.7 10 7.1


Semiskilled worker 7 3.6. 2 1.4


Farmer 6 3.-1 2 1.4


Unskilled worker 2 1.0 1 .7


History unavailable 0O -- 2 1.4


No response 2 1.0 0 -


Totals 196 100.0 140 100.0











in which they grew up. A total of 48.0 percent of Allied

Health coeds grew up in places of less than 25,000 popula-

tion as contrasted with only 30.7 percent of River City

coeds (see Table 8). These data further indicated that 54.3

percent of River City and 39.8 percent of Allied Health

coeds grew up in places having 50,000 or more population.

The Allied Health coeds may be expected to be more con-

servative if the rural-urban continuum of conservatism is

still operative.


Number of Children in Family of Orientation

The term family of orientation was defined for the pur-

poses of this investigation as ego, her sisters and brothers,

and her parents (Leslie, 1973:14). Using this concept, little,

if any, variation existed between the two sample groups with

regard to the number of children in the family of orienta-

tion (see Table 9). The most frequently cited family size

was three to four children for both Allied Health and River

City coeds. About one-sixth of the respondents in both

sample groups were from families with five or more children.


Ordinal Position in Family

As was evidenced by the data, 46.4 percent of Allied

Health and 40.7 percent of River City coeds represented the

first child born into their families of orientation. The

data further indicated that 29.6 percent of Allied Health

and 37.1 percent of River City coeds were the second children

born to their parents (see Table 10).












TABLE 8

Size of Place Where Reared of Two Sample Groups


Allied Health River City
Size of Place No. Percent No. Percent

Under 2,500 23 11.7 10 7.1


2,500-24,999 71 36.3 33 23.6


25,000-49,999 20 10.2 17 12.1


50,000-99,999 20 10.2 41 29.3


100,000 or more 58 29.6 35 25.0


No response 2 1.0 4 2.9


Not applicable 2 1.0 0 -


Totals 196 100.0 140 100.0


~_

















Number of Allied Health River City
Children No. Percent No. Percent

1-2 children 70 35.7 51 36.4


3-4 children 85 43.4 67 47.9


5-6 children 28 14.3 19 13.6


7-8 children 5 2.5 2 1.4


9-10 children 1 .5 0 -


No response 7 3.6 1 .7


Totals 196 100.0 140 100.0


TABLE 9

Number of Children in Families of
of Two Sample Groups


Orientation












TABLE 10

Ordinal Position in Families of Two Sample Groups


Ordinal Allied Health River City
Position No. Percent No. Percent


First child 91 46.4 57 40.7


Second child 58 29.6 52 37.1


Third child 24 12.3 23 16.5


Fourth child 8 4.1 5 3.6


Fifth child 4 2.0 1 .7


Sixth child 1 .5 0 -


Seventh child 1 .5 1 .7


Eighth child 1 .5 0 -


No response 8 4.1 1 .7


Totals 196 100.0 140. 100.0






































































II_


Anticipation of Marriage in the Future

Evidently, neither of the sample groups had, at the

time of the data collection, joined the supposedly increas-

ing numbers of college coeds who have renounced marriage as

a way of life. It is noteworthy that 97.9 percent of

Allied Health and 98.6 percent of River City coeds anticipa-

ted marriage at sometime in the future (see Table 11). Sup-

plementary data, not reported in Table 11, indicated that

32.1 percent of Allied ~Health and 26.4 percent of River City

coeds planned to continue working after they had given

birth to children. These data were somewhat behind the

national trend in this direction.


The Menstrual Histories of the Respondents

Given the uniqueness of some of the data collected from

the female respondents in the overall pilot study entitled

"Sex Attitudes and Behavior in a Medical Milieu," a brief

presentation of data associated with the respondents' men-

strual cycles is deemed appropriate. These data should help

to eliminate some of the myths and old wives' tales often

associated within menstrual cycles.


Age at First Menstrual Period

Researchers have generated considerable controversy over

whether an evolutionary trend toward an earlier age for

menarche (i.e., first menstrual period) has come to exist

for American females.






70




TABLE 11

Anticipation of Marriage in the Future of Two Sample Groups


Anticipation of Allied Health River City
Marriage No. Percent No. Percent


97.9


98.6


4 2.1


No response


140 100.0


Totals


100.0











In an early comparative study of southern mothers and

daughters, researchers found that the mean age for menarche

was 14.0 years for mothers and 13.7 years for daughters

(Gould and Gould, 1932:1349-1351). A later publication by

Kroth argued, while reviewing past research reports, that

the menarche usually began between 12.6 to 13.7 years for

American females (Kroth, 1968:801). Auger, in a more recent

study of female graduate students found the menarche to be

12.0 years (Auger, 1967:149).

The mean age for menarche was 12.3 years for Allied

Health and River City coeds (see Table 12). These findings

lend further credence to the argument that American females

begin menstruation earlier than their mothers and grand-

mothers.


Regularity of Menstrual Period

The findings, when recalculated to eliminate nonresponses,

show 78.5 percent of Allied Health and 89.5 percent of River

City coeds were experiencing regular menstrual periods (see

Table 13). The possibility of contamination of these data

could provide a possible explanation for the variation be-

tween River City and Allied Health coeds' data. It was

ascertained that 18.4 percent of Allied Health and 10.1

percent of River City coeds were using oral contraceptives

for contraceptive and/or medicinal purposes at the time of

completing the questionnaire. Thus, this usage pattern












TABLE 12

Age at First Menstrual Period of Two Sample Groups


Age at First
Menstrual Allied Health River City
Period No. Percent No. Percent

8-9 years 1 .5 1 .7


10-11 years 44 22.5 34 24.3


12-13 years 129 65.8 83 59.3


14-15 years 17 8.7 20 14.3


16-17 years 5 2.5 1 .7


No response 0 -- 1 .7


Totals 196 100.0 140 100.0












TABLE 13

Regularity of Menstrual Period of Two Sample Groups


Regularity of
Menstrual Allied Health River City
Period No. Percent No. Percent

Regular 132 67.3 94 67.2


Irregular 35 17.9 15 10.7


Amenorrhea 1 .5 0 -


No response 28 14.3 31 22.1


Totals 196 100.0 140 100.0











could account for a portion of the variation between the two

sets of data. This contention would seemingly be supported

by Auger's data, in which 42.5 percent of respondents re-

ported they were using oral contraceptives (Auger, 1967:149).

For some unexplained reason, 14.3 percent of Allied

Health coeds and 22.1 percent of River City coeds chose to

leave this particular question blank. Yet prior and sub-

sequent questions about the menstrual periods achieved a much

lower rate of nonresponse. For example, a later question

concerned with quantity of menstrual flow had a nonresponse

rate of 0.0 percent for Allied Health and 1.4 percent for

River City coeds. Lack of recall would not seem to present

a plausible explanation, so the question of nonresponse re-

mains unanswered.

The question of menstrual regularity has been a con-

tinual concern for many females, especially if they are

sexually active. A late and/or missed menstrual period is

usually taken as the first presumptive sign of pregnancy.

Data obtained from airline stewardesses concerning their men-

strual periods prior to involvement with air flights indi-

cated that 53.2 percent had been experinecing regular men-

strual periods. These data were secured prior to the wide-

spread availability and usage of the oral contraceptive. More

recent data on menstrual periods may have the usage of oral

contraceptives appearing as an intervening variable (Cameron,

1969:1021-1022). Auger had stated that 87.5 percent of her re-

spondents had regular menstrual periods (Auger, 1967:149).





Length of Menstural Cycle

One of the most potentially disastrous myths asso-

ciated with menstruation is the mistaken impression that a

regular menstrual cycle consists of only 28 days. Many

marriage manuals help to perpetuate this myth in explana-

tions of how the rhythm method of contraception functions.

Typically, a 28-day menstrual cycle has been used to illus-

trate that ovulation occurs 14 days prior to the beginning

of the next menstrual period (Hastings, 1972; Preston,

Bateman, Short and Wilkinson, 1973; Moos, Kopell, Melges,

Yalon, Lunde, Clayton, and Hamburg, 1969). Many naive

readers thus conclude that most menstrual cycles are of a

28-day length and, secondly, that ovulation can be calculated

by taking the length of the menstrual cycle and dividing by

two. Numerous pregnancies will likely occur if this incor-

rect method is relied upon to determine when ovulation may

have occurred.

Israel stated that the normal menstrual cycle for fe-

males was 21 to 35 days in length (Israel, 1967:776-777).

Preston et al. found, in a recent study of 29 airline

stewardesses, the mean length of the menstrual cycle to be

29.0 days if two respondents with highly irregular menstrual

cycles were omitted from the computation (Preston et al.,

1973:440-442). All respondents started keeping log books of

their menstrual cycles upon beginning initial flight duties

with the airline company. Their menstrual cycles had a mean










of 28.1 days. A review'of Auger's data showed the mean

length of the menstrual cycle to be 28.6 days (Auger, 1967:

.149).

A slight variation in length of the menstrual cycel

was found to exist between Allied Health and River City

coeds (see Table 14). The mean length of the menstrual

cycle for Allied Health coeds was 29.0 days and 27.9 days

for River City coeds. These differences were not, however,

statistically significant. It is interesting to note that

the reported data from Auger's study fell midway between

that of the Allied Health and the River City coeds.


Intensity of Menstrual Flow

An analysis of current data finds that 20.9 percent of

Allied Health and 19.6 percent of River City coeds reported

having heavy menstrual flows (see Table 15). The percen-

tage for River City coeds was recalculated to remove two

nonresponses. ~Similar data cited from the Cameron study

indicated a much higher percentage of females, 30.3 percent,

with heavy menstrual flows (Cameron, 1969:1021).

Could this variation be attributed to the fact that

none of the female respondents in the Cameron study were

reported as using oral contraceptives? (Auger, 1967).


Length of Menstrual Flow

Both Allied Health and River City coeds had menstrual

flows for a greater number of days when compared with data

from other studies (see Table 16). The reported mean

















Length of
Menstrual Allied Health River City
Cycle No. Percent No. Percent

22 days or less 6 3.1 64.3


23-25 days 12 6.1 13 9.3


26-28 days 66 33.7 49 35.0


29-31 days 61 31.1 34 24.3


32-34 days 18 9.2 8 5.7


35-37 days 10 5.1 4 2.9


38-40 days 3 1.5 0 .-


41 days or more 4 2.0 5 3.5


No response 14 7.2 16 11.4


Not applicable 2 1.0 5 3.6


Totals 196 100.0 140 100.0


TABLE 14

Length of Menstrual Cycle of Two


Sample Groups


















Quantity of Allied Health River City
Menstrual Flow No. Percent No. Percent


TABLE 15

Quantity of Menstrual Flow of Two


Sample Groups


Light


Median


11. 2


67.9


20.9


7 .2


72.1


19.3


1.4


100.0


Heavy


No response


Totals


100.0

















Length of Allied Health River City
Menstrual Flow No. Percent No. Percent

1-2 days 5 2.6 2 1.5


3-4 days 50 25.5 34 24.3


5-6 days 106 54.1 78 55.7


7-8 days 31 15.8 21 15.0


9 days and over 1 .5 2 1.4


No response 2 1.0 3 2.1


Not applicable 1 .5 0 -


Totals 196 100.0 140 100.0


TABLE 16

Length of Menstrual Flow of Two


Sample Groups











length of the menstrual flow was 5.2 days for Allied Health

and 5.3 days for River City coeds. Cameron reported a mean

length of 4.6 days, while Auger reported a mean length of 4.8

days for the menstrual flow (Cameron, 1969:1022; Auger, 1967:

149). The central issue would again seem to be complicated

by the lack of usage of oral contraceptives by Cameron's

respondents.


The Sexual Histories of the Respondents

Ever Had Sexual Intercourse

Only 34.7 percent of Allied Health and 19.3 percent of

River city coeds had experienced premarital sexual intercourse

(see Table 17). These data would, at first, appear to be

highly inconsistent with other reported research data- about

premarital sexual intercourse among college students. For

example, Bergen found that 49 percent of her total female

sample group had participated in premarital sexual intercourse.

However, only 38.4 percent of the females in the Deep South

were reported as having participated in premarital sexual

intercourse (Bergen, 1972:76). Using data collected at the

University of Maryland in nine undergraduate sociology

classes, Thomas found that 49.9 percent of female respondents

had participated in premarital sexual intercourse (Thomas,

1972:48).

In a recent study at the University of Wisconsin at

Waukesha, only 28.4 percent of female respondents had engaged

in premarital sexual intercourse (Burgess, 1973:127-128). This



















Experience with Allied Health River City
Sexual Intercourse No. Percent No. Percent


Yes 68 34.7 27 19.3


No 128 65.3 113 80.7


Totals 196 100.0 140 100.0


TABLE 17

Experience with Sexual Intercourse
of Two Sample Groups











finding would support th'e contention that at a more "local"

rather than "cosmopolitan" campus a much lower rate of

female participation in premarital sexual intercourse would

be found to exist. Finally, at a major state university

located in the same state as River City College and Southern

Medical School, Robinson et al. ascertained that 37.3

percent of female respondents had participated in premarital

sexual intercourse (Robinson et al., 1972:190).


Age at First Sexual Initercourse

The mean age for first participation in premarital

sexual intercourse was 18.6 years for Allied Health and 17.9

years for River City coeds (see Table 18). It seems some-

what paradoxical that River City coeds would have had pre-

marital sexual intercourse at earlier ages and yet still

exhibit an overall lower rate of lifetime participation in

premarital sexual intercourse than Allied Health coeds.

This variation in the mean ages for first sexual inter-

course between Allied Health and River City coeds would

appear to be attributable to the smaller number of River

City coeds who have had premarital sexual intercourse.

The data for Allied Health coeds coincided with the

data of Bergen, which indicated the mean age for first

participation in premarital sexual intercourse to be 18.6

years for female respondents (Bergen, 1972:76). Earlier

unpublished findings for females at Oberlin College, however,

indicated a mean age of 19.9 years for first participation



















river City
Percent




11.1


44.5


40.T





3.7


100.0


Age at E
Sexual Inte

10-12 years


13-15 years


16-18 years


19-21 years


22-24 years


No response


Totals



aSee TJ


'


TABLE 18

Age at First Act of Sexual Intercourse
of Two Sample Groups


First Allied Health R:
coursee No. Percent No.

1 1.5 0


1 1.5 3


26 38.2 12


; 38 55.8 11


1 1.5 0


1 1.5 1


a ~68 100.0 27



`able 17.










in premarital sexual intercourse (Wachtel, Cooprider, and

Taylor, 1968:10).

Quality of First Sexual Intercourse

The respondents were asked to evaluate their initial

act of sexual intercourse on a continuum ranging from very

pleasurable to very unpleasurable. The possible answer

choices were: very pleasurable, pleasurable, unpleasurable,

and very unpleasurable. Thus, a subjective evaluation was

required on the part of the respondent. Approximately one-

half of Allied Health and River City coeds cited their

initial act of sexual intercourse as pleasurable (see Table

19). A higher proportion of the respondents in both sample

groups rated their first act of sexual intercourse as very

unpleasurable .rather than very pleasurable.

Frequency of Sexual intercourse with First Sex Partner

Of the two sample groups, 17.6 percent of Allied Health

and 18.6 percent of River City coeds replied that they did not

ever have premarital sexual intercourse with thier initial sex

partner again (see Table 20). These findings contrasted

sharply with those of Bergen, who reported that only 7.2 per-,
cent of female respondents stated that they did not ever en-

gage in premarital sexual intercourse with the initial sex

partner again (Bergen, 1972:78). It is of further importance

to note that only 41.2 percent of Allied Health and 40.8 per-

cent of River City coeds indicated having had suxual inter-

course with their first sex partner 12 or more times.


















Quality of
First Sexual Allied Health River City
Intercourse No. Percent No. Percent


Very pleasurable 9 13.2 2 7.4


Pleasurable 24 35.3 12 44.5


Unpleasurable .119 27.9 9 33.3


Very unpleasurable 12 17.7 4 14.8


No response 4 5.9 0 -


Totalsa 68 100.0 27 100.0


aSee Table 17.


TABLE 19

Quality of First Act of Sexual Intercourse
of Two Sample Groups




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