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Table 4 A comparison of devout and non-religious students’ sexual behavior, differentiated between all students and non-virgin students, interviewed in 2017

From: The end of “Catholic” sexuality in Italy?

Percentage of respondents who experienced the following behaviors Gender of the respondent
Male Female
Non-religious Devout Non-religious Devout
All students
 Watched porn online during the last year (at least sometimes) 93.1 73.6 26.8 16.1
 Masturbated (at least sometimes) 93.5 76.5 54.8 19.5
 Homosexual attraction (at least once in life) 8.8 4.1 30.2 6.8
 Homosexual experience (at least once in life) 5.9 5.4 28.1 11.3
 First sexual intercourse before 16th birthday 25.3 8.6 27.8 6.1
 First sexual intercourse before 18th birthday 54.6 31.6 61.4 37.0
Non-virgin students
 Cheated on partner (at least once) 26.3 16.2 19.2 6.2
 Sex without loving a partner (at least once) 58.4 25.2 42.4 22.7
 Had three sexual partners or more (in life) 61.2 32.5 57.3 16.8
 Had only one sexual partner (in life) 25.5 57.4 23.8 63.5
 The woman proposed to have first sex (at first sex) 15.5 15.1 8.0 3.2
 Occasional partner (at first sex) 41.9 11.5 24.1 4.4
  1. Source: authors’ elaboration on SIS and SELFY surveys data
  2. Devout students are those who report that religion is very important in their lives, that they go to Mass every week, and that they participate in religious groups often or very often. Conversely, the Non-religious students are those who report that Catholicism is not at all important, that they have never gone to Mass, both when they were 13 and in the year preceding the interview. In addition, their parents never went to Mass when they were 13 years old