Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services


Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Brad Hinman

Second Advisor

Elvin Garbriel

Third Advisor

Jimmy Kijai



The purpose of this study was to investigate whether religiosity, family sexual communication and gender were predictors of attitudes toward oral sex among college/university students in the United States.


Participants completed several surveys, which measured participants' personal religiosity, family sexual communication, and attitudes toward oral sex. A path analysis model was used to analyze the relationship between the proposed variables.


The path analysis hypothesized model resulted in a poor fit for the data. The model was respecified by removing three items which showed weak beta weights. The respecified model produced a good fit for the data. The respecified model indicated that religiosity is a direct insignificant predictor of attitude to oral sex and family sexual communication is a direct negative predictor of attitude towards oral sex. The model also showed that religiosity has a positive direct effect on family sexual communication and was a significant negative indirect predictor of attitudes toward oral sex via family sexual communication. The model accounts for 5% of the variance in attitudes toward oral sex.


This study adds to the growing body of literature that provides insight into college/university student's attitudes toward oral sex predicted by the influence of religiosity, family sexual communication and gender. The results of the study emphasize the importance of family sexual communication, and how it serves as a catalyst for attitudes toward oral sex influenced by other social factors such as religiosity and gender. Attitudes toward oral sex create a culture in college that position oral sex as the alternative to sexual intercourse that produces the same pleasurable effect with minimal negative side effects. Mental health professionals are afforded the opportunity to use the knowledge gained from the present research to prepare parents/guardians and other helping professionals, to become more competent sexual communicators, and efficiently work with clients, in helping them make safer and healthier sexual decisions.

Subject Area

Oral sex; College students--Attitudes; Religiousness; Communication and sex