Sexual Goals, Plans, and Actions: Toward a Sexual Script Emerging Adults Use to Delay or Abstain from Sexual Intercourse
This mixed-methods study of emerging adults investigates the messages asserted to delay or abstain from sexual intercourse. Goals-plans-action theory and sexual script theory inform the investigation of 192 survey participants and 27 interview participants. Results confirm that when emerging adults aspire to abstain or delay from intercourse, they enact a sexual script that includes communicative actions taken to reach their goal during conversations. This study identifies phrases used to initiate a conversation, recommends the inclusion of a rationale, provides the primary and secondary goals that inform message construction, and shows three primary ways conversations unfold.
This accepted article is published as • Coffelt, T. A. (2018). Sexual goals, plans, and actions: Toward a sexual script emerging adults use to delay or abstain from sexual intercourse. Western Journal of Communication, 84, 416-438. doi:10.1080/10570314.2017.1400095. Posted with permission.