The purpose of this study was to determine whether students classified as low in sexual permissiveness could be differentiated from students classified as high permissive, using variables reflecting socio-economic status, reported sexual behavior and/or knowledge of human sexuality. One hundred twenty-four unmarried undergraduate students at The University of Tennessee were evaluated as to their sexual attitudes, knowledge and behavior. Using Reiss's Permissive Attitude Scale, 71 of the subjects were classified as high permissive, 20 as low permissive. The remaining 33 subjects, classified as being neither high nor low in permissiveness, were not considered for further analysis. A two-group discriminant analysis revealed overall discrimination between the low and high permissive group (p<.01), with the variables participation in sexual intercourse within the past year, and age at initial sexual intercourse contributing (p<.01) to discrimination. The derived discriminant functions were found to correctly classify 97.1 percent of the subjects, with no misclassifications occurring in the low permissive group. The low permissive group was found to be remarkably homogenous with respect to agreement of subjects' religion with that of the parents', and experience with sexual relations. The high permissive group showed considerably more variability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-711
Number of pages9
Issue number52
StatePublished - 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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