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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”

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Morality of Premarital Sex by Religiosity and Generation

Katie L. Simon

http://www.southernct.edu/organizations/hcr/2002/nonfiction/premarsex.htm

Abstract

            Premarital sex is an issue that most teenagers and young couples face as they enter new phases of their relationship.  The purpose of this study is to determine if there is a correlation between acceptance of sexual relations before marriage and religiosity or generation.  This study is a cross-sectional, secondary analysis of the variables PREMARSX, RELPERSN, and COHORT (which was recoded into three generation categories), which were extracted from the 1998 General Social Survey (GSS).  Data analysis of the three variables was performed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 10.0, applying Pearson's chi-square as the test of statistical significance and Cramer's V as the measure of association.  The results of this study indicate that very religious people are more inclined to view premarital sexual relations as always wrong.  When compared to the three generation categories, no significant correlation existed.

 

Introduction

            Most couples have asked themselves whether or not sex is the next step in their relationship.  It enters into both teenage and adult relationships, creating pressure for teenagers to be considered cool by peers and pressure for adults to make a commitment.  For some, sex is the basis of the relationship; for others, it is not even an issue until marriage vows are proclaimed.  One may conclude that people's views of premarital relations stem from their parents' teachings, from their siblings' influences, from their peer or social groups, from their religious background, or from the era in which they were raised. (“Teenage Sex, Friends and Family,” 1994, p51) 

            As sexually transmitted diseases plague America, conversation about sex and its consequences has reached new heights.  As the [Catholic] church's view of sexual relations before the sacrament of marriage has not changed over the years, neither has its followers' view.  According to the Church, “the Bible tells you to wait, so you need to wait…sexual relationships are only for married couples”(Stafford, 1999, p55).  Historically, generations have been noted as having specific characteristics unique to their era, and not until recent generations was premarital sex even mentioned. As there are many views on whether or not sexual intercourse is acceptable before the commitment of marriage, what is important to note are the viewer's religiosity and generation classification.

Review of Literature

            The issue of premarital sex has spanned many centuries and has sparked much controversy between different religious and generational classification groups.  According to recent studies, the number of women engaging in premarital sex and giving birth to a child before marriage has risen from 18% in the early 1970's to 41% in the early 1990's.  A Census Bureau analyst examining women's marriage and child-bearing patterns considers the increasing tendency of women to delay marriage in favor of education and career, as well as the prevalence of cohabitation before marriage.  According to the same analyst, this increase of likelihood [to delay marriage] … may also have been derived from social changes that occurred from the late 1960's to the late 1980's—meaning that the women were less likely to marry the father of their child simply because they were pregnant.  This social revolution may have led to a more liberal era in which more young people were engaging in premarital sex at an earlier age and were not more inclined to marry simply because it was recommended by family members.  As the times changed and progressed, their views followed, and likelihood to engage in sexual relations before marriage has almost doubled within the past forty years. (Gerstein, 2000, p99-101)

            The [Catholic] church defines premarital sex as a mortal sin.  According to the church, God's view of sex is simple: sex is wonderful within marriage, and outside the marriage, it's an offense to the inventor (God).  The ideal of sex within a marriage is, as the Bible sees it, total nakedness, total unity, total love, total sexual satisfaction within marriage, and not before (Stafford, 2001, p35).  The church warns that those who already are engaging in premarital sexual intercourse before the sacrament of holy matrimony have need of repenting their sin before meeting their maker (God).  The church suggests that those couples who are currently cohabiting and wish to engage in the sacrament of marriage take certain measures before the ceremony is performed.  They suggest that one should move out, that the two no longer have sexual intercourse until the marriage, and that both go to confession the day before the wedding, so as not to receive the sacrament in the state of mortal sin.  Some priests also suggest a waiting period until signs of repentance for sin are evident (Greely, 2001, p24).  Waiting until marriage to engage in sexual intercourse, according to the church, is well worth it.  In combination with the sacrament of marriage, waiting to give one's self sexually allows for a bond that is truly ideal, holy, and wholly.  As the bible says in Mathew 19:6 about the sacrament of marriage completed with consummation, “Since they are no longer two but one, let no one separate them, for God has joined them together”(Stafford, 2001, p35).

            A generation can be defined as a group of people who possess similar interests, aspirations, attitudes towards social and economic standings both current and past, and a common understanding of the sociological circumstances in which the generation grew up.  Due to the fact that generations share a specific time and place in history, and are affected by events and experiences of that time period, they develop a particular personality all their own.  Some people are exemplary of their generation, while others strive to disassociate themselves from its specific traits.  However, despite attempts to break free of a generational classification, all people are affected by their own generation.  A generation's unique personality allows for a unity among all those who grew up in that time period, regardless of race, gender, economic stability, culture, and religion.

            Within the past eighty years there have been three separate generation categories, all with their own unique characteristics and personalities.  These three categories are broken down as follows:

·        The Silent Generation (1930-1947)—those born prior to World War II.  They are very hard-working, economically conscientious, and trusting of the government.  They are very optimistic about the future and hold a strong set of moral values.

·        The Baby Boomers (1948-1965)—those born during or after World War II.  They have a strong set of ideals and traditions, and are very family-oriented.  They are fearful of the future, politically conservative and active, and fairly socially liberal.

·        Generation X (1966-1983)—those born after the baby boom.  They like to experiment and look for immediate results.  They are selfish, cynical and question authority  (“Definitions of Generations,” 2001, p1).

Note: Because there are no set markers of where one generation ends and the other begins, and these time periods may overlap by a couple of years, those born in an indefinite period between generations tend to side with the generation of their choice—the one they identify with more personally and closely.

 

            The Silent Generation has the smallest reputation and is the most underestimated and understood.  The Silent Generation has brought civil rights, a national wealth in the arts and commerce, and unimaginable advances in sciences and technology (“The Silent Generation,” 2001, p1).  This generation is very hard-working and believes in the value of a dollar.  The Silent Generation also places very high hopes in the future and believes that it only holds the best for them.  This generation is very strongly morally obligated and believes in keeping personal matters private (“Definitions of Generations,” 2001, p1).    [For people born in this generation,] premarital sex was never discussed, and unwed mothers were shunned.  Most young women were forced to marry if found pregnant or to face social humiliation, disappointment, chastising, and shunning.

            The Baby Boomers were raised in an era of post-World-War-II optimism, full of affordable homes and terrific career opportunities.  They are credited with providing dramatic social change: women's liberation, global peace and sexual freedom.  Civil unrest and increasing divorce rates characterize the period [that defined them].  President John F. Kennedy played a major role in providing optimism for this generation (Bedard, 2001, p1).  This generation felt much  more free about sexual intercourse before marriage …  [and] was much more liberal and less harsh toward those who engaged in premarital sex, [including unwed mothers].

            Generation X'ers are also referred to as the “Lost Generation.”  Generation X'ers distrust the government and big business.  Due to the AIDS epidemic and the Shuttle disaster, this generation feels that medicine and technology have failed (Bedard, 2001, p1).  This generation was the first to be represented within television in the forms of many shows such as Party of Five, My So-Called Life, and Melrose Place.  This is the first generation to experience MTV and the Fox Network, and, as a result, it is much more aware of America's diversity.  Because of this awareness, this generation is highly accepting of others and their differences (“Defining Generation X TV,” 2001, p1).  Generation X is also the generation most notable for its feelings towards love-making.  [Because they were born during or after] the peace movement in the late 1960's and 1970's, Generation X'ers are very accepting people who choose to engage in sexual intercourse before marriage, even when a pregnancy results.  Women of this generation are much more liberal. Premarital sex is discussed and is accepted as fairly normative (Gerstein, 2000, p99-101).

            Premarital sex is a controversial issue within religion[s] and across the generations.  Within a couple's own maturing relationship, the issue of premarital sex is brought up on a regular basis.  In order to understand the choices made within  relationships, one must examine the role of religion and the generation with which individuals identify—the two variables that affect a person's view of whether or not premarital sex is acceptable.

 

Hypothesis

            Currently, as compared to during previous centuries, premarital sex is assumed to be acceptable.  This study will use data from the 1998 General Social Survey to determine if, in fact, this assumption is true.  This study is a cross-sectional study with two focuses: (1) to determine if the degree of a person's religion (very religious, moderate, etc.) affects a person's view on sexual relations before marriage, and (2) to examine the relationship between generational affiliation and its affect on the acceptability of premarital sex.

            The first hypotheses of this study states that people who are very religious will view sexual intercourse before the sacrament of marriage as “always wrong.”  The second hypothesis of this study suggests that people classified in the Silent Generation category will also view premarital sexual relations as “always wrong.”

Methodology

Sample

            The data for this study were obtained from the 1998 General Social Survey.  The General Social Survey (GSS) is a personal interview survey of approximately ninety minutes.  The survey began in 1972 and is conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC).  Since then, there have been over 40,000 respondents who have answered more than 3,500 question (“Introduction to the GSS,” 2001, p1).  Each of the 785 respondents in this study were randomly selected and interviewed for an hour and a half.  This study's sample consists of 612 whites (78%), 411 females (52.4%), and 269 respondents who have earned a college degree (34.3%).(Appendix B)

Hypothesis

            Three variables were extracted from the 1998 General Social Survey.  The first variable taken was PREMARSX.  This variable asked the question, “There's been a lot of discussion about the way morals and attitudes about sex are changing in this country.  If a man and woman have sex relations before marriage, do you think that it is always wrong, almost always wrong, wrong only sometimes, or not wrong at all?”  We can observe in the Table 6: “Sex Before Marriage” (Appendix C) that the majority of the respondents felt that premarital sex was not wrong at all (46.8%), followed by the response that premarital sex was always wrong (23.3%), then sometimes wrong (20.4%), and finally almost always wrong (9.6%).  The variable PREMARSX was recoded to eliminate all missing cases and invalid responses (such as the response “I don't know”).

            The second variable used in this study was RELPERSN.  This question asked, “To what extent do you consider yourself a religious person?”  Responses were measured as very religious, moderately religious, slightly religious, and not religious at all.  We can observe in the Table 7: “Respondent Considers Self A Religious Person” (Appendix C) that the majority of respondents identified themselves as moderately religious (41.8%), followed by slightly religious (26.8%), then very religious (16.2%), and lastly not religious at all (15.3%).  This variable was also recoded to eliminate invalid responses and missing cases.

            The last variable used in this study was COHORT.  This variable recorded the respondents' birth year.  For the purpose of this study, COHORT was recoded to create a generation variable (GENCAT). Then, those respondents born between 1930-1947 were categorized as the Silent Generation (25.1%), those born between 1948-1965 were categorized as the Baby Boomers (45.6%), and those born between 1966-1983 were categorized as Generation X (29.3%). (See Table 8: “Generation Category” in Appendix C for the frequency.)  In the recoding process, those respondents born before 1930 and after 1983 were recoded as missing since they did not fit into the aforementioned categories.  GENCAT was also recoded to eliminate all missing cases.

Note: All variables were filtered for the year 1998, and all missing cases were eliminated before frequencies were run.  Observe these frequency tables in Appendix C.

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Method of Analysis

            All variables used within this study were taken from the 1998 General Social Survey into an SPSS data file using a syntax program (Appendix A).  Frequencies were then run on the variables to obtain a univariate analysis of each variable used within this study (Appendix B).  A bivariate crosstab analysis was then used on the variables PREMARSX, RELPERSN, and the recoded COHORT into GENCAT (I will refer to the recoded variable of COHORT as GENCAT from here on).  In these crosstabulations, Pearson's chi-square was used to determine significance and Cramer's V was used to determine the level of association.  The level of association is measured as follows:  <.1 – negligible, .1-.3 – weak, .3-.45 – moderate, >.45 – strong.  The first relationship examined was that of PREMARSX and RELPERSN.  In this crosstabulation, the dependent variable was PREMARSX, and the independent variable was RELPERSN.  The second relationship examined was between PREMARSX and GENCAT.  The dependent variable was PREMARSX, and the independent variable was GENCAT.

Note:   … Refer to Appendix D for additional crosstabulations of interest – these findings are not specific to this study's major focus.

 

Findings

            The first research question in this study asked, “Do people who are more [rather than less] religious tend to feel that premarital sex is always wrong?”  The relationship between the variable PREMARSX and RELPERSN can be observed in Table 1.

Table 1: Morality of Premarital Sex by Religiosity

n=785

 

Very Religious

Moderately Religious

Slightly Religious

Not Religious At All

Always Wrong

64.57

22.56

7.62

9.17

Almost Always Wrong

11.81

11.59

7.14

5.83

Sometimes Wrong

11.02

25.91

22.38

11.67

Not Wrong at all

12.60

39.94

62.86

73.33

n=

127

328

210

120

Chi-Square = 210.39, df = 9, p<.05; Cramer's V= .298

We can observe in Table 1 that 64.57% of the respondents who considered themselves very religious feel that premarital sex is always wrong as compared to those who considered themselves to be moderately religious (22.56%), those who are slightly religious (7.62%) and those who are not religious at all (9.17%). There is a 42.01% difference between those who are very religious and those who are moderately religious, a 14.94% difference between the moderately religious and the slightly religious, and a 1.55% difference between the slightly religious and the not religious at all; therefore, the table indicates that religiosity does effect one's view on premarital sex. We can also observe that 73.33% of those who feel that they are not religious at all feel that premarital sex is not wrong at all. This further supports the idea that there is a relationship between religiosity and a person's view of premarital sex. The chi-square value for this relationship is 210.39 and is significant on the .05 level. The Cramer's V value for this relationship is .298, indicating that there is a moderate association.

            The second research question in this study was “Does the generation in which a person is classified affect the person's view of premarital sex?”  We can observe the results of the crosstabulation of the variables PREMARSX and GENCAT in Table 2.

Table 2: Morality of Premarital Sex by Generation

(n = 785)

 

1930-1947: Silent

1948-1965: Baby Boomers

1966-1983: Generation X

Always Wrong

25.38

23.74

20.87

Almost Always Wrong

10.15

9.50

9.13

Sometimes Wrong

25.38

17.88

20.00

Not Wrong At All

39.09

48.88

50.00

n=

197

358

230

Chi-Square = 7.973, df = 6, p>.05; Cramer's V = .071

 

We can observe in Table 2 that 25.38% of the Silent Generation felt that premarital sex is always wrong as compared to the Baby Boomers (23.74%) and Generation X (20.87%).  There was a 1.64% difference between the Silent Generation and the Baby Boomers and a 2.87% difference between the Baby Boomers and Generation X.  39.09% of the Silent Generation believed that premarital sex was not wrong at all, as compared to the Baby Boomers (48.88%) and Generation X (50%).  There was a 9.79% difference between the Silent Generation and the Baby Boomers and a 1.12% difference between the Baby Boomers and Generation X.  This data shows that the generation in which one is classified does not affect a person's view of premarital sex due to the miniscule and insignificant percentage (of the PREMARSX responses) differences between the generation categories.  The chi-square value for this relationship is 1.973 and is not significant at the .05 level.  The Cramer's V value is .071 and therefore has a negligible association.  It can thus be concluded that there is no relationship between a person's generational characterization and a person's view on premarital sex.

Note: You may wish to observe Tables 1 and 2 in 3D bar chart form as Figures 1 and 2.  I urge you to refer to Appendix E for these figures.

Discussion and Conclusion

            As new relationships develop, most people find themselves questioning if sex is the nest step.  This study asks what the major influences in the formation of the opinion of premarital sex are.  The focus of this study was to determine if a person's religiosity will affect a person's view of sexual relations before marriage and to examine the relationship between generational affiliation and attitude toward premarital sex. It was hypothesized that people who consider themselves very religious will view sexual intercourse before the sacrament of marriage as “always wrong” and that people classified in the silent generation category will also view premarital sexual relations as “always wrong.”  After analysis of the data extracted from the 1998 General Social Survey, it can be concluded that people who are very religious view sexual relations before marriage as “always wrong.”  It can also be concluded that there is no relationship between a person's generational category and his or her view of premarital sex, and therefore the null hypothesis is accepted for this portion of the study.

            One of the major limitations of this study is that the high percentage of those who are “very religious” and view premarital sex as “always wrong” may be attributed to a personal fear to give the incorrect answer in the eyes of the [Catholic] church.  Possibly, people who considered themselves highly religious knew that in accordance with the church it was their obligation to report negative feelings toward premarital sex, rather than commit sin by answering truthfully.  It is also possible that these people felt that they had to respond “always wrong” because they knew that premarital sex is a mortal sin and were afraid of going to hell if they did not respond in the proper way.  The church may have served as a personal pressure in those cases where the respondent was “very religious” and their response was that premarital sex is “always wrong.”

            Another limitation of this study exists within the generational category.  A person's response to how he or she views premarital sex may have resulted from [the influence of] the present time period.  I originally thought that those who are categorized in the Silent Generation would feel that premarital sex is “always wrong,” and that the successive generations would gradually progress down the scale to “not wrong at all.”  However, I was very surprised to find that there is no real significant [difference] in view across the generations.  In fact, what is found is a similar proportion in each generation for each view of premarital sex (always wrong, almost always wrong, etc.).  It is plausible that the reason why there is such uniformity between the grouped generations is because of the present threat of HIV, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.  Thus all respondents viewed premarital sex as always wrong due to fear of contracting a severe or fatal illness.  It would be interesting to ask the respondents how they felt about premarital sex when they were teenagers or in their early twenties.  I am curious to see if this specification would sway the responses to show different results. (Baby Boomers,for example, might change their response as free love was a predominant view as this generation grew up.) 

Another reason for this uniformity may be the present time period again, [in particular], its liberal nature.  The present time places much focus on freedom of speech and acceptance of very liberal concepts, and this open-mindedness may have swayed the respondents to answer differently than if it was 1930 and premarital sex was not even discussed [in polite society].  I suggest that further research be done to see if, when the question is asked differently, it produces the same results.  For example, it might be asked as “When you were a teenager or young adult (early twenties), what was your view of premarital sex?”  Another way to ask the question might be, “If there was no present threat of sexually transmitted disease, how would you view premarital sex?”  It would be interesting to test respondents with a host of differently worded questions about premarital sex, controlling for generation, and compare the results.  Thus, from the aforementioned limitations, it is obvious that the results of this study can reasonably be questioned.

            It is customary to believe that those who are religious are automatically against premarital sex.  However, one must not necessarily assume that all those who believe that premarital sex is wrong are religious and vice versa.  There are some cases in which one will find a person who is religious and also believes that premarital sex is not wrong at all.  Although the findings of this study confirm the assumed [relation between] religiosity and premarital sex views, it is important to note that in this study, not every “very religious” respondent believed that sexual relations before marriage was “always wrong.”

            The notion of what exactly premarital sex is in the eyes of the religious is key to understanding exactly how their opinion of sexual relations before marriage is formulated.  Stressed as a mortal sin and described as a temptation testing one's resilience, premarital sex is deemed unacceptable to the [Catholic] church, and one must confess this tragic flaw before entering into eternal life (Stafford, 2001, p35-36).  As pointed out previously, this [belief] does pose a threat to validity—is a person's response true, or is it influenced by God's power, so as not to burn in hell?  What is important to note, however, is not the bias, but to see how this notion may influence their true feeling of the opinion.  As research shows, those who are more religious must live by the guidelines laid down before them.  If one wanders away, one must face the consequences and must seek redemption (Greely, 2001, p24).  [Although, as noted above, there are exceptions, ] … a person who is religious most likely derives his or her opinions on controversial issues—such as premarital sex—directly from the teachings of the church.  Therefore, as this study and others prove, religion does affect the personal view of premarital sexual relations of those who consider themselves to be religious—perhaps for fear of punishment by a higher power.

            The generation with which one identifies him- or herself explains a great deal of why a person thinks the way that he or she does.  As the Silent Generation dealt with World War II, they were able to take away a superior optimism that led them to rebuild the country and restore good hope within its people (“The Silent Generation,” 2001, p1).  The Baby Boomers gave way to a social revolution that allowed women to work and thus instilled a newfound liberalism with the country (Bedard, 2001, p1).  Generation X [was born during] the age of technology, … forever changed by the computer, the cellular phone and the internet (“Defining Generation X TV,” 2001, p1).  The question remains—can the history that surrounds the generation form opinions in those who identify themselves with that category?  Yes, and this is obvious in generational views of government, war, technology, money and the value of a dollar, and work ethic.  Thus, I hypothesized that this would hold true in the area of premarital sex.  However, in this study… the null hypothesis is accepted, and possible reasons for this [are explained] in the aforementioned paragraphs.

            This study shows that premarital sex is affected by a person's religiosity, and not by the time period in which they were born.  It is important to note that this study is not very statistically significant, and the results [show not  a] strong association, but a only moderate and negligible [one].  However, this study does show that there are various pieces that contribute to the formation of a person's view of controversial issues.  Although the generation with which a person identifies himself or herself plays an important role in the formation of that person, it is also important to note that this may not hold true in the formation of opinion on every issue.  And, as this study shows, premarital sex is one of those views that is only negligibly associated with generation … 

  ☼

            This study concludes with deliberation: What is the true [origin] of opinion formation, and who or what forms such a strong notion within a person on the issue of premarital sex?  One reason lies in religion…as the findings prove that there is a correlation between religiosity and a person's view of premarital sex.  One can rule out generation as a contributing factor to the premarital sex opinion… as the findings also prove that there is no relationship between generation and view of sexual relations before marriage.  It is plausible that a host of contributing factors lead to the formation of the opinion. 

 

Appendix A: SPSS Syntax

 

 

FILE HANDLE GSSIN NAME = ‘C:\Program Files\spss\datasets\gss72-2000.SAV'.

FILE HANDLE GSSOUT NAME = ‘C:\myfiles\hon280.sav'.

GET FILE GSSIN.

SAVE OUTFILE = GSSOUT/map/compressed/

KEEP=YEAR, PARTYID, COHORT, PREMARSX, RELPERSN, DEGREE, RACE, SEX.

GET FILE GSSOUT.

FINISH.


 

Appendix B: Sample Descriptors

Table 3: "Race of Respondent"

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

White

612

78

78

78

Black

104

13.2

13.2

91.2

Other

69

8.8

8.8

100

Total

785

100

100

 

 

Table 4: "Respondent's Sex"

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Male

374

47.6

47.6

47.6

Female

411

52.4

52.4

100

Total

785

100

100

 

 

Table 5: "Respondent's Highest Degree"

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Less Than High School

89

11.3

11.3

11.3

High School

427

54.4

54.4

65.7

Junior College

61

7.8

7.8

73.5

Bachelor

139

17.7

17.7

91.2

Graduate

69

8.8

8.8

100

Total

785

100

100

 


 

Appendix C: Frequencies

(PREMARSX)  Table 6: “Sex Before Marriage”

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Always Wrong

183

23.3

23.3

23.3

Almost Always Wrong

75

9.6

9.6

32.9

Sometimes Wrong

160

20.4

20.4

53.2

Not Wrong At All

367

46.8

46.8

100

Total

785

100

100

 

 

 

(RELPERSN)  Table 7: “Respondent Considers Self

A Religious Person”

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Very Religious

127

16.2

16.2

16.2

Moderately Religious

328

41.8

41.8

58

Slightly Religious

210

26.8

26.8

84.7

Not Religious At All

120

15.3

15.3

100

Total

785

100

100

 

 

 

(COHORT recoded into GENCAT)

Table 8: “Generation Category”

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid percent

Cumulative Percent

1930-1947: Silent Generation

197

25.1

25.1

25.1

1948-1965: Baby Boomers

358

45.6

45.6

70.7

1966-1983: Generation X

230

29.3

29.3

100

Total

785

100

100

 


 

Appendix D: Additional Tables of Interest

Preface to Appendix D Tables:

Note: This appendix is solely designed as an additional piece for interested readers; these findings are not specific to this study's major focus.  … [I]t is additional analyses that were performed but were not included in the major findings.

In most cases, premarital sex opinions stem from many contributing factors.  Although the major purpose of this study was to consider religiosity and generation, there was other research about political affiliation (Ladd, 1983, p48-53) and the level of education (Krull, 1994, p7-20) in relation to view of premarital sex.  Therefore, I was led to crosstab the variable PREMARSX with these two prospective independent variables of PARTYID (which indicated the respondents' political affiliation) and DEGREE (which asked the respondent what their highest educational certificate was).  The general tendency is to believe that those who are of the Republican Party and those who have attained a higher degree will view premarital sex as always wrong.  These additional crosstabs of interest prove that political affiliation affects a person's view of premarital sex, and there is no relationship between view of premarital sex and degree earned.  Although these tables did prove to be interesting, I decided not to include these two independent variables within my major research questions and findings, due to the fact that I felt religiosity and generation produced a more interesting conclusion regarding the  morality of premarital sex.  It is suggested that further research be done on these two variables to decide their importance to the formation of the view of premarital sex.   

 


 

Table 9: Morality of Premarital Sex by Political Affiliation (n = 785)

(Dependent Variable PREMARSX, Independent Variable PARTYID)

 

Strong

Democrat

Not Strong Democrat

Independent

Near Democrat

Independent

Independent Near Republican

Not Strong Republican

Strong Republican

Other Party

Always Wrong

17.02

24.43

14.55

22.40

22.95

28.68

40.68

12.50

Almost Always Wrong

9.57

11.93

10.00

8.00

4.92

8.82

13.56

4.17

Sometimes Wrong

11.70

19.89

24.55

12.80

32.79

25.74

15.25

29.17

Not Wrong at All

61.70

43.75

50.91

56.80

39.34

36.76

30.51

54.17

n=

94

176

110

125

61

136

59

24

Chi-Square= 51.74, df=21, p<.05; Cramer's V=.257

 

From the table above, we can conclude that there is a relationship between PREMARSX and PARTYID.  The chi-square value is 51.74 and is significant at the .05 level.  The Cramer's V indicates that there is a weak association between the variables with a value at .257.

 

Table10: “Morality of Premarital Sex by Highest Degree Obtained” (n = 785)

(Dependent Variable PREMARSX, Independent Variable DEGREE)

 

Less than High School

High School

Junior College

Bachelor

Graduate

Always Wrong

22.47

25.76

22.95

22.30

11.59

Almost Always Wrong

11.24

8.90

13.11

10.07

7.25

Sometimes Wrong

14.61

20.14

21.31

20.14

28.99

Not Wrong At All

51.69

45.20

42.62

47.48

52.17

n=

89

427

61

139

69

Chi-Square = 12.30, df = 12, p>.05; Cramer's V = .077

 

            We can observe from the table above that there is no relationship between PREMARSX and DEGREE.  The chi-square value is 12.30 and is not significant at the .05 level.  The Cramer's V indicates that there is a negligible association between the variables with a value of .077.