Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Psychology



First Advisor

Alan M Gross

Second Advisor

Nick Prins

Third Advisor

John N. Young

Relational Format



A number of gender differences have been found in early studies of human sexuality with males following more permissive norms for engagement in sexual behavior. More recently, male and female sexual behavior has become more similar, although literature examining attitudes towards sexual behavior has found mixed support for the idea that similar standards were used to evaluate men and women. This study examined the potential moderating roles of relationship context and traditional gender role adherence on evaluations of sexual behavior among 307 undergraduates at a public Southeastern university. Both men and women having sex within committed relationships were viewed as more likeable, but men having sex in committed and women having sex in uncommitted relationships were viewed as higher on diplomacy, potentially being viewed as having greater integrity for not following gender norms. Traditional gender role adherence was not related to evaluations of sexual behavior. Implications are discussed.


Emphasis: Clinical Psychology



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