Click Here to download “Marijuana Use by Number of Extramarital Sexual Partners and Religious Practice”

Marijuana Use by Number of Extramarital Sexual Partners and Religious Practice

The 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, Child and Young Adult Survey shows that adults who had no extramarital sexual partners and worshipped at least weekly in the survey year were less likely to use marijuana. [1]

Number of Extramarital Sexual Partners: Thirty-four percent of individuals who had no extramarital sexual partners in the survey year had ever used marijuana, compared with 44 percent of individuals who had one extramarital sexual partner. Fifty-eight percent of individuals who had two extramarital sexual partners had ever used marijuana, followed by 69 percent who had three extramarital sexual partners, and 77 percent who had four or more extramarital sexual partners.   

Religious Practice: Only 19 percent of individuals who attended church at least weekly at the time of the survey had ever used marijuana, compared to 40 percent who attended at least monthly. Fifty-seven percent of individuals who attended church less than monthly had ever used marijuana, compared with 60 percent who never attended church.

Number of Extramarital Sexual Partners and Religious Practice Combined: Those who worshipped at least weekly and were chaste (had no extramarital sexual partners) in the survey year were least likely to heavily use marijuana (23 percent), followed by those who were chaste but did not attend church (45 percent), those who attended church weekly but were promiscuous (had four or more extramarital sexual partners) in the survey year (61 percent), and those who were promiscuous and never attended church (81 percent).

Related Insights from Other Studies: A study of a sample of Americans reaching maturity in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s showed that “[b]oys and girls who become sexually active are much more likely than those who abstain to begin using alcohol or marijuana within a year, although the linkage is stronger for girls than for boys…the link between sexual activity and marijuana use appears stronger than the link between sexual activity and alcohol use.”[2]

One study of adolescents in the Midwest found that religiosity and the importance placed on participating in church activities reduced adolescent likelihood to use marijuana. Furthermore, the difference in likelihood to use marijuana between strongly religious and weakly religious adolescents was the largest observed; strongly religious adolescents were less likely to use marijuana. (Other differences, such the likelihood to use stimulants, to steal, or to drink beer, were also examined.)[3]

 

[1] These charts draw on data collected by the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, Child and Young Adult (1994-2008)

[2] Frank L. Mott and R. Jean Haurin, “Linkages Between Sexual Activity and Alcohol and Drug Use Among Adolescents,” Family Planning Perspectives 20, no. 3 (1988): 128.

[3] John K. Cochran, “Another Look at Delinquency and Religiosity,” Sociological Spectrum 9 (1989): 153, 157.