Religiosity and Attitudes Towards Sexuality and Marriage of the Adult Population in Croatia

Dinka Marinović Jerolimov, Branko Ančić


Attitudes of the adult population in Croatia on some of theissues in the field of marriage and sexuality are analysed inthis paper. The aim was to explore the extent to which it is adominantly Christian, specifically Catholic population inaccordance with norms of traditional church morality in theseissues, and if recent data show any changes in this respect.Based on previous research considering congruence withchurch moral norms in the field of sexuality and marriage, ageneral hypothesis on religious respondents as aheterogeneous group was set. This implies that a higherreligiosity (observed through indicators of religiousidentification and practice) points to the lower permissivenessin attitudes toward sexuality and other issues in the area ofmarital relations. The paper used data from two studies:Social and Religious Change in Croatia (SRC) from 2004 andthe International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) moduleReligion from 2008/2009. The analysis showed that religiousrespondents are not a homogenous group, while anindicator of religious practice proved to be a consistentpredictor of a greater chance that those respondents whoregularly attend church for religious services are moretraditional in attitudes about sexuality and marriage.However, the findings indicate the presence of a combinationof traditional and modern values in the population ofbelievers. In the context of socio-demographic and socio--structural correlates, younger respondents, better educated,males and those in urban areas show a greaterpermissiveness in the investigated attitudes.


religiosity; sexual permissiveness; marriage

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096