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PERCEPTIONS OF RELIGIOUS AND NONRELIGIOUS TARGETS WHO PARTICIPATE IN PREMARITAL SEX

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University students (N=276) read one of twelve scenarios that varied a target's gender, the target's length of delay in a dating relationship before onset of sexual intercourse (1 month vs. 6 months), and degree of a target's religious involvement (never attended church, occasionally attends church, or regularly attends church). Subjects then rated how moral and trustworthy they thought the target person was and how likely they thought the dating relationship would lead to marriage. Results indicated that female targets, targets who delay sex in a relationship, and regular churchgoers were perceived and evaluated most favorably. The findings were interpreted in terms of earlier research on the religious “halo” and religious “boomerang” effects.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1995-01-01

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