Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)




Lee Kirkpatrick

Committee Member

Joanna Schug

Committee Member

Christy Porter


Contrary to traditional theories that religious morals influence sexual attitudes, recent research has found that controlling for sexual attitudes largely reduces associations between various moral views and religiosity. Based on these findings, the reproductive religiosity model was proposed in which being sexually restricted leads individuals to increase their religious involvement. However, the model a) does not account for religious belief and b) claims that sexual behavior mediates the effect of various variables on church attendance without employing a mediation model. to address these points, this study tests reproductive variables in a multiple regression to examine their ability to independently predict church attendance and belief in God. Further, this study tests a unique hypothesis that sexual behavior mediates the relationship between belief and attendance in both men and women. Among a sample obtained from the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) database (N=13636), sexual variables predicted church attendance and religious belief after controlling for other known predictors. Further, sexual behavior fully mediated the relationship between sex and church attendance but attendance did not mediate the relationship between sex and sexual behavior. This study illustrates the unique role of sexual behavior in mediating religiosity and how reproductive variables are independently related to church attendance.



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