Social anxiety, sexual behavior, and contraceptive use.
Two hundred and sixty college students completed a questionnaire that provided information regarding their sexual experience, knowledge, and attitudes; their self-evaluations on dimensions related to sexuality; and their level of heterosocial anxiety (anxiety experienced in social interactions with members of the other sex). Compared with subjects low in heterosocial anxiety, highly anxious respondents were less sexually experienced, engaged in sexual activity less frequently, had fewer sexual partners, were less likely to have engaged in oral sex, expressed a higher degree of apprehension about sex, and had a somewhat higher incidence of sexual dysfunctions. In addition, low socially anxious women tended to use the pill, whereas highly anxious women preferred the condom. High and low heterosocially anxious respondents also differed on self-ratings related to their sexuality but did not differ in their attitudes or knowledge regarding sex. The results are discussed in terms of the cognitive, behavioral, and affective concomitants of social anxiety.
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