Date of Completion
Honors College Thesis
Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors
sexual shame, casual sexual behavior, gender identity, sexual orientation, social norms
Norms of sexuality are often described as following inconsistent standards for different types of people, with heterosexual men being afforded the most sexual freedom, specifically in relation to casual sexual behavior. Consequently, women and non-heterosexual individuals may be more likely to experience social consequences if they participate in casual sex. Sexual shame can stem from individual’s interpretation of how their sexual behaviors fit (or don’t) into the social norms. Casual sexual behavior is increasingly more common and thus the outcomes of endorsing or engaging in this kind of behavior warrant research to address potential psychological consequences. The current study examined the relationship between attitudes toward casual sex and sexual shame, considering gender and sexual orientation as potential moderators of this relationship. Gender and sexual orientation were hypothesized to moderate the relationship between attitudes toward casual sex and sexual shame such that the magnitude of this relationship would be affected by a person’s gender and sexual orientation. Participants in this study were 173 students from University of Vermont who completed an online survey. Results were analyzed using moderation analyses, through the PROCESS package for SPSS. The results indicated that gender and sexual orientation were not significant moderators of the relationship between attitudes toward casual sex and sexual shame. However, analysis of simple slopes and ancillary analyses were significant and warrant further consideration. This research necessitates further exploration of attitudes towards sexual behavior and sexual shame to elucidate the role that these variables play in individual development of sexual identity and schemas.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
Vanden Bergh, Rebecca, "Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation as Moderators in the Relationship Between Sexual Shame and Attitudes Toward Casual Sexual Behavior" (2023). UVM Honors College Senior Theses. 592.