the Chi Squares degrees of freedom=4 (df=rows-1 x columns-1).
for 19 of the 38 statements was found.
Among the 19 statistically significant differences, 8 found
males to be
more agreeable to the statement than females. The statements were rated
1-to-5 scale, with 1 indicating “strongly disagree” and 5 indicating
agree.” Thus, the higher the score, the
more the agreement with the statement.
These 8 statements where males scored statistically
(more agreement) than females included the idea that:
acceptable for males
(male mean score=3.23, female mean score=2.70)
Oral sex before marriage is
acceptable (male mean score=3.27, female mean score=2.69)
Males should have sexual experience
prior to marriage (male mean score=2.85, female mean score=2.43)
Forcing person to have sex if
is OK (male mean score=1.59, female
Marriage should not stop person from
having sex with other people (male mean score=1.79, female mean
“Topless clubs” are acceptable
places for adult entertainment (male mean score=3.41, female mean
Condoms interfere with the pleasures
of sex (male mean score=3.11, female mean score=2.21)
should be legalized in all states (male
mean score=2.61, female mean score=1.83)
with 11 statements more
than males, to a statistically significant extent. These ideas included:
growing up, parents told me premarital intercourse unacceptable (female
score=3.75, male mean score=2.98)
growing up, parents told me any type of sexual behavior before marriage
unacceptable (female mean score=3.83, male mean score=2.84)
Sex should only
occur with a person
you love (female mean score=4.30, male mean score=3.55)
Lust and love are two different
emotions (female mean score=4.73, male mean score=4.38)
If I were to have sex, would always
practice safe sex (female mean score=4.54, male mean score=3.80)
Clubs that promote all nude dancing
should not be allowed to exist (female mean score=3.31, male mean
Magazines such as Playboy are
demeaning to women (female mean score=3.43, male mean score=2.66)
Magazines like Playboy are
pornographic and should not be published (female mean score=3.32, male
Pornographic material causes males
to become sexually aggressive (female mean score=3.13, male mean
Masturbation is wrong (female mean
score=2.88, male mean score=2.32)
I would be jealous if my partner had
sexual intercourse with someone else (female mean score=4.76, male mean
Explaining the Sex
How are the two
sexes different? The males would seem to
pleasure-oriented viewpoint about sex, in which they should have a lot
freedom to do whatever they want. The
females seem to have learned a very conservative approach to sex, in
things are taboo. An important question
is whether the males are as independent and free as their answers seem
indicate. Would they really inflict
sexual intercourse upon an unwilling spouse? If yes, perhaps this is
the machismo that the male has learned, and he feels he has a right to
his spouse and impose his will upon her.
Or, it is possible that the males feel that they should act this
way—either through learning or through biological urges--but would not
necessarily act this way in a real-life relationship. Also, are the
sexually inhibited as their answers imply?
Would they really not have sex outside of love?
In another study (Eisenman & Dantzker, 2004),
we found that our Hispanic female sample was likely to say that if
had to have sex. This seems to be a
totally different view than the one presented here, where sex appears
permissible only if in love. Perhaps the Hispanic females feel guilty
having sex outside of love or outside of marriage, and want the males
to take the lead and cause sexual intercourse to happen.
Then, they can say they were swept away, or
that it was the male’s fault. In either
case, if this speculation is correct, they limit their perception of
responsibility or guilt for sexual behavior. Perhaps that is one way
people who have guilt about something that they also desire cope with
conflicting emotions: by finding a way to do something but to limit
self perceptions of responsibility.
It may be that the
attitudes that people
have do not always correspond to their behavior. Behavior
and attitudes are two different
things, and while they may often be in harmony, there is no necessity
is always the case. In some instances, where there is conflicted
feelings/thoughts about something, a person may have an attitude that
is correct, but may also have urges that take them in the opposite
direction. If they act on those urges,
then their attitude and behavior about the event are in conflict with
In all of our
studies with the sex
attitudes scale, we find two things:
our samples of Hispanic students
2. small differences
Hispanic males and females, even when the items are statistically
If there were no statistically
significant differences, we would conclude that Hispanics males and
think pretty much alike regarding sex attitudes. However
the statistically significant
differences suggest that they may be different in their attitudes. But,
differences are not huge at all. They
are often less than 1 scale point difference.
For example, the Hispanic males are not strongly endorsing
spouse to have sex even if she does not want to, but they are endorsing
it to a
statistically greater extent than the Hispanic females, with a mean
1.59 for males vs. 1.23 for females, where 5=strongly agree and
disagree. In other words, one could say that both males and females
disagree with the idea of forcing your spouse to have sex.
However, the difference of 0.36 between males
and females is statistically significant, as the males disagree less
idea than do the females. Perhaps the
differences are minor, and talk of sex differences is basically
Or, perhaps the differences are really
greater than is shown on the sex attitude scale, but is not fully
revealed by a
questionnaire, or at least not by our sex attitude questionnaire. Perhaps in-depth interviews could reveal more
of the sex differences than is shown by getting people to answer a sex
attitudes questionnaire. People will not
always reveal risky behaviors or attitudes on their part.
For example, Hispanics have a high rate of
AIDS, compared to Anglo-Americans, apparently due in part to failure of
Hispanics to practice safe sex (Fierros-Gonzalez & Brown, 2002;
Castro, & Pappaioanou, 1988). But,
might be reluctance on the part of some Hispanics to admit to these
at least on a general sex attitudes questionnaire, especially if the
questionnaire seemed to be calling for the admission of unacceptable
behaviors. Either the questions on a
have to appear unthreatening to the participant, or some other means of
assessment may be needed, to get at the true attitudes and behaviors.
The results could be explained in both
cultural and/or biological terms. From a biological standpoint, evolutionary
psychology has presented a description of men as favoring sexual
order to have many sexual partners, and thus to send their genes into
generations (by impregnating many women; at least this is the
wish). Women, on the other hand, get
pregnant, and so cannot keep having sexual relationships which would,
pregnancy occurred, send their genes into future generations. Thus, men and women have derived different
sexual strategies, and these are biologically based, trying to ensure
survival of their genes. The male strategy favors having many sexual
especially young, attractive ones, while the female strategy favors
male who will have money and high status and will protect the woman and
offspring (Buss, 1989, 2004; Eisenman, 2003; Palmer & Palmer, 2002;
Shackelford, Buss, & Bennett, 2002).
However, there appear to be cultural
aspects too, to the findings of sex differences. Males
and females are brought up differently
in Hispanic cultures, where the male is typically taught to be a strong
and to be in charge of things, while the female learns many inhibitory
about what it means to be a proper girl/woman. Thus, the sex
differences in sex
attitudes found here could reflect the differential upbringing of
males and females. Of course, it is
quite possible that the results reflect both cultural and biological
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