Discourses from the Academy: The Colloquium Series Sponsored by the Department of Psychology
The Ins and Outs of Defining Sex and Virginity Loss: Variations by Sexual Orientation
By: Maya G. Sen, Ph.D. Psychology Department
Research on what is considered "having sex" has helped to clarify people's definitions of this nebulous concept, and to examine changes in the concept over time. However, this research has paid little attention to sexual minorities, despite having important implications for public health issues, public policy formation, and sex education. The current study uses the Sexual Definitions Survey (Sanders & Reinisch, 1999) to compare perceptions of the definition of "having sex" and "losing virginity" for both heterosexuals and sexual minorities. 877 adults (504 female) from 23 countries were asked 1) if they would consider that they had "had sex" with someone if they had experienced each of eleven behaviors, and 2) if they would consider that they had "lost virginity" for the same behaviors. Both female and male sexual minorities' perceptions of what counts as "having sex" and "losing virginity" for themselves differed from those of heterosexuals. Descriptive data will be presented. The event is open to the public. For further information contact the Psychology Department at 227-2935.
When: Friday, April 4, 2014, 3:10 p.m.
Where: Gries Hall, Room 167, N.M.U.
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