A Convicted Sexuality
The previous literature regarding sexuality and spirituality has focused primarily on sexual experience and sexual attitudes but does not recognize how these factors are influenced by church attendance. To better understand how spirituality influences sexual experience and sexual attitudes, two models were constructed for the present study: one examining the relationship between church attendance, sexual comfort, social views and sexually dysfunctional beliefs, and another examining church attendance, sexual comfort, social views, and sexual experience. Study participants included 271 students and recent alumni from a seminary in Southern California. Using a path analysis to explore the aforementioned paths, the researcher found church attendance did not significantly influence sexual comfort or social views. However, more conservative social views and comfort with sexuality significantly decreased sexually dysfunctional beliefs. On the sexual experience model, a bimodal data set emerged, causing the researcher to split the sexual experience model into two groups: high sex experience and low sex experience. In the low sex experience cohort, church attendance was associated with more conservative beliefs but was not significantly related to sexual comfort. More conservative social views were associated with an increase in sexual experience for this cohort, whereas sexual comfort did not significantly influence sexual experience. Results for the high sexual experience cohort were not significant. The researcher hypothesized that the results are a consequence of the language used to discuss sexuality and a sexual isolation that occurs within Christian contexts. Clinical implications are further discussed.
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