Religiosity and religious attitudes as they relate to mysticism and sexual permissiveness

Lela Louise Weems

Abstract

In 1967, Allport and Ross studied the relationship between personal religious orientation and prejudice using a scale they developed called the Religious Orientation Scale (ROS). Since Allport and Ross, there has been a great deal of research published concerning religious orientation and other variables. The present study looked at four different types of religious orientation, including intrinsic, extrinsic, indiscriminately pro-religious, and indiscriminately anti-religious, as measured by a revised version of the ROS, the Intrinsic/Extrinsic Scale-Revised (I/E-R) (Gorsuch & McPherson, 1989) and their differences on mysticism, as measured by the M-Scale (Hood, 1975). The four different types of religious orientation and their differences on premarital sexual permissiveness, as measured by variations of the Reiss Premarital Sexual Permissiveness Scale (Sprecher, 1989) were explored. Also, examined were the relationships between several other measures related to religiosity as well as premarital sexual permissiveness. The other variables included two categories of religious orientation, as measured by the I and the E subscales of the I/E-R, religion as quest, as measured by Batson and Schoenrade's 12-item Quest Scale (1991b) and as measured by Altemeyer and Hunsberger's 16-item Quest Scale (1992), mysticism, as measured by the M-Scale (Hood, 1975), Christian Orthodoxy, as measured by the Christian Orthodoxy Scale (Fullerton & Hunsberger, 1982), and fundamentalism, as measured by the Religious Fundamentalism Scale (Altemeyer & Hunsberger, 1992). The hypotheses were that there would be differences between the four religious orientation types on their scores on the M-Scale and there would be differences between the four types on their scores on the premarital sexual permissiveness scales. There were no significant differences in the scores on the M-Scale between the four different types of religious orientations, therefore Hypothesis 1 was not supported. There were significant differences in the scores on all three of the sexual permissiveness scales, therefore Hypothesis 2 was supported. Intrinsic type people were found to be less permissive than indiscriminately pro-religious type people who were less permissive than extrinsic type people who were less permissive than indiscriminately anti-religious type people except where women are considered. Unexpected findings revealed in the correlational analysis were that the extrinsic subscale was significantly positively correlated with the fundamentalism scale, the Christian Orthodoxy scale, and Altemeyer and Hunsberger's Quest scale, while the intrinsic subscale was not. The intrinsic subscale was significantly negatively correlated with Batson and Shoenrade's Quest scale and the extrinsic subscale was significantly positively correlated with this Quest scale.