The sexual self concept and its relation to psychological well-being and sexual other-acceptance
The present study was designed to obtain a sexual self-discrepancy score and to examine if it correlates with other variables that are linked with self-discrepancy theory, such as anxiety, depression, self-acceptance, and other-acceptance (homonegativity). We developed a measure based on self-discrepancy theory that theoretically assessed a participant's level of discrepancy between sexual beliefs and practices. The questions on sexual beliefs were based on the "ideal/ought" dimensions of self-discrepancy theory, and the questions on sexual practices were based on the "actual" self. There were less than 10 participants of the 294 respondents who reported sizeable discrepancies between their sexual attitudes and actual behaviors. This was problematic in light of the original research hypothesis, so a decision was made to treat the present study as exploratory in nature and examine potential correlations between beliefs, behaviors, and the study variables, as well as examine potential gender differences in beliefs and behaviors. Using the available data, I elected to regress the study variables on the two constructs that were pivotal to this study: sexual beliefs and sexual behaviors. Taken together, the study variables significantly predicted sexual beliefs. The individual variables that contributed significantly to the prediction of sexual beliefs were (in order of magnitude): religiosity, attitudes toward gays and lesbians, and self-esteem. Higher levels of religiosity, prejudice toward gays and lesbians, and low self-esteem were associated with limited acceptance of sexual activity. Age, self-acceptance, and symptoms of maladjustment were not associated significantly with sexual attitudes.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Valentine, Kathryn H., "The sexual self concept and its relation to psychological well-being and sexual other-acceptance" (2009). HIM 1990-2015. 916.