Sexual and religious attitudes of Irish students

Ian M. Grey, Ronny B. Swain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Two questionnaire studies examined the applicability in Ireland of the Sexual Attitudes Questionnaire (S.A.Q.) developed with U.S. samples by Hendrick and Hendrick (1987). The questionnaire contains 43 items measuring attitudes on four factors: Sexual Permissiveness, Communion, Instrumentality and Sexual Practices. The S.A.Q., in conjunction with a three-item Attitude to Religion scale and two items relating to gender of respondent and frequency of mass attendance, was administered to two groups of Irish students (N = 322 & 333). Responses were factor analysed. Results revealed a four factor structure similar to that found in the U.S., but the factor names were changed to reflect more accurately the Irish content (Promiscuity, Sex-as-Love, Self-Pleasure, and Sexual Responsibility). For purposes of further analysis, unstable items were dropped leaving 28 items. The relationship between factor scores, religiosity and gender was next assessed. Results indicated that (a) males hold more promiscuous attitudes than females; (b) females endorse more responsible attitudes to birth control than males; (c) low frequency mass attendees report holding more promiscuous attitudes; (d) there was a significant negative correlation between religious attitudes and attitudes to promiscuous sexual behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-227
Number of pages15
JournalIrish Journal of Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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