In-the-moment ambivalence about having sex may influence sexual decisions but has rarely been examined. We investigated how ambivalence about sex might be related to intentions to abdicate sexual decisions to a male partner and to engage in unprotected sex in a community sample of young women. Predictors of abdication and unprotected sex intentions included partner type (new casual versus previous relationship), sexual double standard (SDS) endorsement, and two types of ambivalence. After completing a SDS endorsement measure, women (N = 360) projected themselves into a hypothetical sexual situation and completed dependent measures. In the new casual partner condition, SDS endorsement indirectly negatively predicted unprotected sex intentions through its associations with ambivalence and abdication. In both partner conditions SDS endorsement positively predicted abdication, which then positively predicted unprotected sex intentions. Ambivalence indirectly predicted unprotected sex intentions through its negative association with abdication intentions. Results suggest the importance of ambivalence for sexual decisions and the complexity of understanding the sexual decision making processes for women who endorse the SDS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies
- Sociology and Political Science
- History and Philosophy of Science