International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Social Networks and Sexual Attitudes among American College Students
Amy Palder, Dawn Michelle Baunach, Elisabeth O. Burgess

Attitudinal research often emphasizes individual attributes while neglecting the interconnectedness of individuals and social groups. In this article we compare the associations that individual and network characteristics have with attitudes toward arguably controversial and often personal sexual topics. Using Ordinary Least Squares regression to analyze survey data from a convenience sample of 955 students at a large public university in the southeastern United States, we find that some network effects are spurious causes of sexual attitudes, such that the networks and the attitudes are both influenced by one's background. The most reliable predictors of sexual attitudes, beyond demographics and personal characteristics, are the closeness of the networks and the political and sexual climates of those networks.

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