Ursidae: The Undergraduate Research Journal at the University of Northern Colorado


Lisha Amin

Faculty Sponsor

Karen Traxler


Researchers have studied sources of socialization and satisfaction levels regarding first sexual intercourse experiences. Carpenter (2002) developed three cognitive frameworks of virginity loss: gift, stigma, and process. However, researchers have yet to correlate these areas. Purpose: This quantitative study examined if socialization about sex and sexuality influenced undergraduate females’ cognitive frameworks and subsequent decisions about and interpretations of first sexual intercourse. Methods: One hundred fifty eight female participants, recruited from a mid-sized Midwestern university, completed a 20-item online survey. Multiple linear regression and Chi Square Test of Independence were conducted to determine where females were socialized regarding sex and sexuality, if socialization helped create females’ virginity cognitive frameworks, if females’ cognitive framework and decision making scores impacted the age at which they engaged in first sexual intercourse, and if there was a difference in overall satisfaction of first sexual intercourse. Results: The data provided evidence that school was the primary source of socialization and participants with a gift cognitive framework were significantly older at the time of first sexual intercourse than those with a stigma or process framework. Regardless of cognitive framework, participants all reported very low emotional, mental, and physical satisfaction levels regarding their first sexual intercourse experience. Conclusions:The data supports the importance of female socialization about sexuality related topics, and suggests the need for improved parental communication about sexual topics.