Volume 11

The Perceived Effects of Biological Sex and Dating Behavior on College Students’ Academic Achievement

Claudia Araujo and Carol Casey

This study was designed to examine college students’ perceptions of the effects of dating status and biological sex on academic achievement. Academic achievement was assessed by a number of factors: Academic Self-Efficacy (academic self-concept and academic motivation); Course Outcomes (number of study hours and current and previous semester’s GPAs); and Future Academic Orientation (likelihood of graduating from college and attending graduate school). A sample of 180 college students (80% women) were randomly assigned to read 1 of 6 scenarios concerning a character’s dating status and biological sex. Participants were then asked to complete measures assessing their perceptions of the scenario student’s academic achievement. Results indicated that across all measures, college women perceived female scenario students to have higher academic achievement than male scenario students. In addition, scenario students with a steady serious dating status were perceived to experience higher overall academic achievement than the scenario students in all other dating statuses. Overall, college students perceived a committed dating relationship as a legitimate source of support for academics.

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