Using internet predicts attitudes towards sexual behaviour in Italian psychology students

E. Fino*, L. Pierleoni, V. Cosmi, M. Giuliani, G. Gambino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the use of different sources of information about sexuality predicts attitudes towards own and towards others’ sexual behaviours, as measured through the Trueblood Sexual Attitude Questionnaire (TSAQ) Self and Other scales, in 193 Italian psychology students. The self-reported sources of information considered in the study were books, newspapers, magazines, television, internet, friends, family, and sex education courses, and age, gender, sexual orientation, and religious beliefs were tested as possible confounders. Results from hierarchical regression analyses showed that students' self-reported use of the internet predict liberal attitudes towards their own sexual behaviour, including autoeroticism, commercial sex, heterosexuality, homosexuality, and variation in sex, after controlling for age, gender, sexual orientation, and religious beliefs. On the other hand, we did not find any significant relations between self-reported information sources about sexuality and students' attitudes towards others' sexual behaviour. These results highlight the need for higher education institutions, educators and practitioners in the field of human sexuality to review sexual education programmes targeting university students, taking into account the role of the internet.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e27-e33
Issue number1
Early online date14 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • Attitudes
  • Behaviour
  • Internet
  • Sexuality
  • University students


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