This study investigates the relationship between several independent measures and premarital sexual activity among 1,393 LDS teenagers living along the east coast. Results indicate that among these LDS teens, exposure to pornography is strongly and significantly related to the probability of having engaged in premarital sex. This holds true even when controlling for peer influence, family structure, religiosity, gender, and age. Teens who were exposed to pornography (1 to 24 exposures) are 2.6 times more likely to have engaged in sex as compared to those who report no exposure to pornography. Furthermore, those teens exposed to a higher amount of pornography (25 or more exposures) were 5.7 times more likely to have engaged in sex as compared to those who report no exposure.
Other interesting findings show that peer influence, private religiosity, and relationship with mother are also significantly related to the probability of having engaged in sex. Gender is also a significant predictor of sex among this group of teens, however, the females in this sample have a higher probability of having engaged in premarital sex. This finding is different than most other studies on teen sexuality which show a higher probability for males than females.
Implications for future research suggest that studies done to determine the predictors of premarital sex among teens should not ignore the potential impact of exposure to pornographic material.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Sociology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Harris, Mark A., "Pornography and Premarital Sexual Activity Among LDS Teenagers" (1994). Theses and Dissertations. 4768.
Premarital sex, Mormon youth