The impact of religiosity on adolescent sexual behavior: A review of the evidence

Sharon Scales Rostosky, Brian L. Wilcox, Margaret Laurie Comer Wright, Brandy A. Randall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

235 Scopus citations


Longitudinal studies published between 1980 and 2001 (N = 10) are reviewed for evidence that the religiosity of adolescents is causally related to their sexual behaviors. Results indicate that religiosity delays the sexual debut of adolescent females. Findings are mixed for adolescent males. Although only half of the studies examined the effects of race and ethnicity, results of these studies reported similar effects for White and Black adolescents. These findings are discussed in light of their implications for researchers, educators, policy makers, and others concerned with adolescent sexual health and well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-697
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • Gender
  • Longitudinal
  • Religion
  • Religiosity
  • Sexual behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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