Term of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Gary McClure

Committee Member 1

Margaret Lloyd

Committee Member 2

Richard Rogers


Sexual standards, which dictate what is appropriate sexual behavior, may be influential factors in the perception of condom use. This study is an investigation of the influence of sexual standards on the perceptions of men and women about the initiation of condom use or lack of condom use in casual and serious relationships. The sample consisted of 246 undergraduate students of psychology (111 men and 135 women, mean age 19.3 years), in the Southeastern United States. Women were shown to form impressions consistent with the "permissiveness with affection" standard while men were shown to form impressions consistent with the "transitional double standard" in relation to initiation of condom use. Women perceived condom initiation by both female and male targets more favorably in a serious than in a casual relationship. Men perceived condom initiation by the female target more favorably in a serious relationship, but their view of the male target did not change significantly as a function of relationship status. The "permissiveness with affection" standard was manifest as being held by both men and women in relation to sexual activity in general. Significant positive correlations were found between knowledge of safer sex behavior and acceptability of sexual permissiveness with the participants' perceptions of the targets, possibly indicating the influence of cognitive and attitudinal variables on perception of condom use.

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