Religiosity, self-control, and virginity status in college students from the "Bible Belt": A research note

Alexander T. Vazsonyi, Dusty D. Jenkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using a sample of college students (N = 904) from the " Bible Belt," this study examines the effect of religiosity and self-control on late adolescents' delay in initiating sexual intercourse or oral sex. Findings from logistic regressions provide evidence that for each one unit increase in self-control, the odds of a male remaining a virgin or of delaying oral sex increased by a factor of 1.82 and 2.84, respectively, while for females, the odds of not engaging in oral sex increased by a factor of 1.67. In addition to the effect of self-control, a one unit increase in religiosity results in the odds of a male remaining a virgin by a factor of 3.86 and 3.30, respectively. For females the odds are increased by a factor of 4.13 and 2.60, respectively. Mediation tests also provided evidence that self-control mediated the effects by religiosity on both dependent measures. Thus, both religiosity and self-control independently and additively function as key social control mechanisms that promote late adolescent health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-568
Number of pages8
JournalJournal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Volume49
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies

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