Self-Esteem and Sexual Behavior: Exploring Gender Differences

Document Type


Publication Date



Previous studies have shown that the relationship between sexual permissiveness and self-esteem fluctuates with the social climate. The present study found that high self-esteem males and females had a significantly greater number of sexual partners than low self-esteem subjects. The relationship is particularly strong for males. The greatest difference in self-esteem levels was found between male virgins and nonvirgins. Self-esteem levels did not differ between female virgins and nonvirgins. Sensation seeking, marital status, and age were also found to be significantly related to number of coital partners.