Nav: Home

Study finds link between marriage attitudes and risky sexual behaviors

October 13, 2016

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Risky sexual behaviors among adolescents and young adults has long been a major public health concern, due to their prevalence and negative consequences for health, such as increased risk for sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancies, and cervical cancer. Past research has indicated that marriage attitudes may influence sexual behavior for adolescents. Now, new research from the University of Missouri, has found that attitudes and desires about marriage can place young people on trajectories toward or away from healthy sexual behaviors. This is the first study to investigate links between marriage attitudes and sexual behavior across racial and ethnic minority groups as well as the role skin tone plays in shaping marriage attitudes.

"Understanding the impact of marriage and cohabitation attitudes on decisions about sex is important because this work may help scholars and professionals better understand how such beliefs impact behaviors," said Antoinette Landor, assistant professor in the College of Human Environmental Sciences. "Further, examining what early factors influence risky sex can lead to better prevention."

Landor, along with Carolyn Tucker Halpern, professor in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina, analyzed surveys from nearly 7,000 adolescents from diverse backgrounds to determine sexual behaviors and attitudes about monogamous relationships. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, non-Caucasians remain at higher risk for sexually transmitted disease compared to Caucasians. Thus, they considered data on race, skin tone, sexual behavior and personal interest in marriage for the study.

Researchers found that positive attitudes toward marriage had a significant dampening effect on risky behaviors for lighter-skinned African Americans and Asians compared with their darker skin counterparts, who had more negative attitudes toward marriage. The findings suggest that skin tone plays a role in views toward relationships and marriage, thus impacting decisions about sexual behavior for some people.

"These findings offer important implications for policy and prevention," Landor said. "Rather than just focusing on skill building, clinicians and educators could develop materials that promote healthy attitudes toward romantic relationships which could ultimately encourage healthy decision-making and behaviors. Results also suggest that skin tone may be a culturally relevant factor to consider in public health campaigns involving sexual health among minority groups."

"The Enduring Significance of Skin Tone: Linking Skin Tone, Attitudes toward Marriage and Cohabitation, and Sexual Behavior," was published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence. The research was supported by funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and by the Carolina Population Center.
-end-


University of Missouri-Columbia

Related Relationships Articles:

Better quality relationships associated with reduced dementia risk
Positive social support from adult children is associated with reduced risk of developing dementia, according to a new research published today.
Contraception influences sexual desire in committed relationships
How often women in heterosexual couples desire sex depends on how committed the relationship is and what type of birth control the woman uses.
Health determined by social relationships at work
Recent research shows higher social identification with one's team or organization is associated with better health and lower stress.
Financial relationships between biomedical companies and organizations
Sixty-three percent of organizations that published clinical practice guidelines on the National Guideline Clearinghouse website in 2012 reported receiving funds from biomedical companies, but these relationships were seldom disclosed in the guidelines, according to a new study published by Henry Stelfox and colleagues from the University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada, in PLOS Medicine.
Money really does matter in relationships
Our romantic choices are not just based on feelings and emotions, but how rich we feel compared to others, a new study published in Frontiers in Psychology has found.
Does frequent sex lead to better relationships? Depends on how you ask
Newlywed couples who have a lot of sex don't report being any more satisfied with their relationships than those who have sex less often, but their automatic behavioral responses tell a different story, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Concussion can alter parent-child relationships
A study published in the Journal of Neuropsychology, reveals the adverse effects of mild traumatic brain injury on the quality parent-child relationships.
Emotionally supportive relationships linked to lower testosterone
Science and folklore alike have long suggested that high levels of testosterone can facilitate the sorts of attitudes and behavior that make for, well, a less than ideal male parent.
Memory is greater threat to romantic relationships than Facebook
A new study was designed to test whether contacts in a person's Facebook friends list who are romantically desirable are more or less of a threat to an existing relationship than are potential partners a person can recall from memory. threatened current committed relationships, as reported in an article published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.
How does prison time affect relationships?
A new study highlights the complicated spillover effects of incarceration on the quality of relationships.

Related Relationships Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...