ERIC Number: ED254777
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Nov-20
Aging and Attitudes about Sexual Morality.
Cutler, Stephen J.
Available evidence does not support the notion that aging is associated with increasingly conservative social and political attitudes, or the idea that attitudinal rigidity is the norm among older cohorts. To examine whether aging is associated with attitudinal rigidity, nine surveys from the National Opinion Research Center were analyzed to determine whether older cohorts have kept pace with or lagged behind younger cohorts on the issue of sexual morality. Mean score trends were traced over a 10-year span and the direction of attitude change was determined for five cohorts. Scores were adjusted for possible compositional effects due to educational attainment and sex, and examined for inter-cohort and intra-cohort differences. Results of the analysis of the premarital sexual relations item indicated that liberal, tolerant, or permissive attitudes were more prevalent among the younger cohorts than among the older cohorts, but there were no indications that the older cohorts had become more conservative over the period encompassed by the surveys. Equally stable patterns were characteristic of the younger cohorts. Analyses of the extramarital sexual relations and homosexual relations items revealed the same pattern. Attitudinal rigidity appears to be no more characteristic of older persons than of younger persons. (LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: An expanded version of a paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society (37th, San Antonio, TX, November 16-20, 1984).