The sexual and affectional attitudes and experiences of Australian adolescents during dating

the effects of age, church attendance, type of school, and socioeconomic class

Marita P. McCabe*, John K. Collins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


The dating attitudes and behaviors of Australian youth were studied. Both sexual and affectional attitudes and behaviors were examined. The influence of the following factors was assessed: stages of dating, age, socioeconomic status, church attendance, and type of school attended. Psychosexual and psychoaffectional scales were used to measure dating orientation. Findings suggest that factors influencing sexual orientation are the stage of dating, age, church attendance, and type of school attended. Factors influencing psychoaffectional orientation are stage of dating, church attendance, and type of school attended. One important verification to emerge from the research was that the psychosexual and psychoaffectional orientations were not opposite poles of a single continuum but were totally independent dimensions. It is possible to score high or low on both dimensions depending on past experience, present attitudes and the nature of the present relationship. Further, the male psychoaffectional orientation was not markedly different from the female orientation, as has been previously suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-539
Number of pages15
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1983



  • affection
  • age
  • religion
  • school
  • sexual behavior
  • sexual desire
  • socioeconomic status

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