College Students' Sexual Knowledge and Attitudes

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Martin, Jean Claude; Mak, Jennifer Y
student issues; sexual knowledge; health promotion; Business; Education; Educational Leadership
article description
There is currently a controversy in this country about college students’ perceived sexual knowledge and attitude. The purpose of the study was to identify and examine: 1) students' sexual knowledge, sexual attitude, and students' main source of sexual knowledge; 2) the differences between sociodemographic variables of gender, age, and self-perceived sexual knowledge in relation to sexual knowledge and sexual attitude; and 3) the relationship between sexual knowledge and sexual attitude. Participants were college students (n=201) of a Mid-Atlantic university. The students achieved an average score of 83% on the sexual knowledge test with all (100%) students having either an ambivalent or progressive/open-minded attitude toward sex as opposed to a traditional view of human sexuality. The top two sources of students' sexual knowledge came from friends and personal experience. Results indicated that a significant difference was found between students' self-perceived sexual knowledge and their actual sexual knowledge test scores. Students who rated themselves as having excellent sexual knowledge achieved the highest test score. A significant difference was also found between male and female students in their sexual attitude. Female students were significantly more progressive/open-minded than male students in their attitude. Males were more ambivalent.