Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences
The purpose of this study was to determine the main and interactive effects of religiosity, gender, and language preference acculturation on sexual activity among 570 Latino/a adolescents from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth. Results indicated that adolescents who viewed religion as very important, had frequent church attendance, and had more traditional attitudes on sexuality were less likely ever to have sex compared with adolescents who were less religious. Those with frequent church attendance and high traditional attitudes had fewer lifetime and recent sex partners. Unassimilated religious youth were less likely ever to have sex, had fewer lifetime and recent sexual partners, and a later age of sexual debut. Females were less likely to have had sex, had fewer recent and lifetime partners, and had a later age of coital debut than males. Religiosity had a healthy dampening of sexual activity among Latino/a adolescents and, in particular, among those who were less assimilated.