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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Study done on YA Casual Sex/Emotional Impact

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Author Topic: Study done on YA Casual Sex/Emotional Impact
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Did y'all see this on our Facebook or Twitter today?

I have to say, this didn't surprise me at all, and reflects what I have observed over the years, but so often we hear the opposite: it was nice to see a study so better done than most on this publicized and also to see the researchers recognizing THEY had made wrong assumptions.

Some snippets (see the link above for the whole thing):

quote:
As most every parent knows, hooking up for casual sex is bad for young people because it causes emotional or psychological damage.

Right?

Well, actually, no. At least not for young adults between the ages of 18 and 24, according to a new study by University of Minnesota researchers.

Even they found the results startling.

They asked more than 1,300 young Minnesota adults about their most recent sexual encounters, their self-esteem and their emotional well-being. Interestingly, only about one-fifth of the subjects said their last encounter was casual. But their overall emotional status was no different than the four-fifths who said they were in committed relationships with their most recent sexual partner.

"The conventional wisdom is that casual sex, 'friends with benefits,' and hooking up is hurtful. That's what we've been teaching kids for decades," especially in the federally funded abstinence-only sex education programs, she said.

quote:
But, she said, sex education curriculums, parents and public health programs should "focus on the things that are real threats," such as interpersonal violence, pregnancy risk and STDs, not on the theory that casual sex is emotionally harmful.
quote:
The researchers divided the responses by how the subjects described their most recent sexual encounter. About 25 percent said it was with a committed partner, 55 percent said it was an exclusive dating partner, 12 percent said it was with a close, but not sexually exclusive, partner, and 8 percent said it was a casual acquaintance.

That breakdown fits with other similar surveys of young adults, Eisenberg said.

But what was different is that they found no differences in reports of depression or self-esteem, regardless of gender or the type of most recent sexual encounter, she said.

quote:
They did find some differences among the groups. Black men, for example, were more likely than white men to describe their last sexual encounter as casual. And twice as many men as women said their last sexual encounter was casual - 29 percent compared to 14 percent.

That difference raises the obvious question: How can there be twice as many men having casual sex as women? The answer, Eisenberg said, most likely lies in cultural norms that make it more acceptable for men to describe their sexual encounters as casual.



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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Onionpie
Scarleteen Volunteer
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quote:
That difference raises the obvious question: How can there be twice as many men having casual sex as women? The answer, Eisenberg said, most likely lies in cultural norms that make it more acceptable for men to describe their sexual encounters as casual.
ooooh, yay, I love that they address that! Because, of course, you have to recognise these double standards to be able to start dealing with them.

Really great article, thanks for sharing, heather!

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EliotDorian
Activist
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"most likely lies in cultural norms that make it more acceptable for men to describe their sexual encounters as casual."
Yes! I've slapped the boyfriend label onto lovers when talking about them to other people even though I didn't consider those men to be my boyfriend, just because I thought it would make it more "acceptable" and so that people wouldn't think, "Oh poor you, you're being USED FOR SEX!!!"

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"What's the point of wearing your favorite rocketship underpants if no one asks to see 'em?"

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