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Guilt and regret despite sexual revolution.

Guilt and Regret Despite Sexual Revolution

Despite the general exhuberance about freedom of sexual experience as depicted in literature, theater and television, many young people are not happy about premarital sex.

American sexual norms are far more conservative than permissive, according to a study published in a wide ranging report Sex and Morality in the U.S. (Wesleyan University Press).

The survey, conducted under the auspices of the Kinsey Institute, explore the attitudes toward sexual permissiveness. About 40% of those who had premarital experience expressed some regret about it, while about 8% of the inexperienced regretted that they did not have the experience. The difference remained constant across age categories.

Among the experienced, nearly twice as many females as males regretted that premarital sex occurred; the reverse was true for the inexperienced, where more males than females regretted they did not have the experience.

Chief among the negative feelings was the fear that pregnancy might ensue. Since this generation had easy access to reliable contraceptives, the researchers supposed that the true underlying reasons fear of pregnancy masqueraded were deeper and less articulated moral concerns.

Fear of loss of reputation pervaded the answers given to the interviews. People who refrained from premarital sex grew up where one's "good name" depended more upon this kind of abstinence than it did for the experienced respondents.

Another component of a moral dimension that may have affected the decision not to engage in premarital sex, the study reveals, was the simple moral revulsion that "it was wrong."

Slightly more common was the concern about venereal disease. Since the study was conducted, other investigations reveal that this particular concern has accelerated among all age groups.

Measuring attitudes toward premarital sex has not proven diminishment of activity in an age of constant provocation. The American culture is rife with sexuality in its cultural and workaday life. What is significant is the realization that so many have not found joy and fulfillment in the free and easy atmosphere that the "revolution" has created.
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Title Annotation:many young people not happy about premarital sex
Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Jun 22, 1990
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