شهریور 31, 1399

Abstract

This study explored the factors that educated young Iranian women consider when they decide
whether to have premarital sex. Using a purposive sampling method, 30 in-depth interviews
were conducted with female college students in both government and private universities in
Tehran in 2005–2006. The respondents included unmarried women who had experienced sexual
relations, unmarried women who had abstained, and married women. Young women’s considerations
for premarital sex included (1) marriage meaning and motivations; (2) compliance
with family values and expectations; (3) perceived gender and social norms of premarital sex;
(4) importance of religiosity; and (5) sexual knowledge and self-efficacy. Marriage meaning and
motivation seem to be the central pillar in the complex decision to engage in or refrain from
premarital sex among female college students. These considerations have theoretical implications
for understanding premarital relationships and sex in a conservative setting. Finally, some
shifts are occurring in the meaning of marriage and sexual mores among educated young
women in Iran; these changes are discussed.

Engage In or Refrain From A Qualitative Exploration of Premarital Sexual Relations Among Female College Students in Tehran

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