Volume 8

Perceptions of Sexual Behavior: How Sexual History and Level of Commitment Influence Female Perceptions of Other Women

Karen Boisseau and Marci Dargan

The purpose of this study was to investigate women’s perceptions of sexual experience and commitment. Participants included 120 female undergraduate college students. Participants were randomly assigned to read one of four scenarios that depicted a female who was either committed (six months) or not committed (two dates), and either a virgin or experienced (three past sexual partners). Questions pertaining to the scenario character immediately followed the scenario, followed by a demographics survey. Results indicated that there is no difference in the way that the participants perceived virgins and non-virgins. Results suggest that the people who have only been out on two dates are seen as more intelligent and moral than people who have been committed for six months. Lastly, the results revealed that when participants were less sexually active, they saw the scenario character as being less self-confident.

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