A religious female who engages in casual sex: Evidence of a boomerang effect

Roger C. Bailey1, Nathaniel A. Vietor1
1East Tennessee State University, United States
Cite this article:  Bailey, R. C., & Vietor, N. A. (1996). A religious female who engages in casual sex: Evidence of a boomerang effect. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 24(3), 215-220.

Volume 24 Issue 3 | e840 | Published: August 1996 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1996.24.3.215

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A religious "halo" effect has been identified wherein religiously active individuals are perceived more positively than nonreligious individuals. Religious individuals, when compared to nonreligious individuals, however, may fall further from social grace if they are perceived as behaving in a manner inconsistent with religious ideal, (the religious "boomerang" effect). In the present study, male and female college students evaluated a frequent, occasional, or never church-goer on dimensions of morality, trustworthiness and friendship appeal. Later they rated the female target on these dimensions following knowledge of her involvement in casual sex. Results demonstrated the presence of a religious halo operating in subjects' initial ratings of the religious female target, but following knowledge of her involvement in casual sex, a boomerang effect was revealed on the subjects' morality ratings.


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