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Posted April 2, Reviewed by Gary Drevitch. The accessibility of contraception in the s and changes in attitudes concerning the perceptions of sexual risk sparked a sexual revolution.
Gradually, attitudes surrounding sex have become more liberal. While traditionally sexual behaviour in many circles at least has been largely considered in a reproductive context, having sex for pleasure has become increasingly socially acceptable.
Online dating has changed the game again. A recent U. While it is extremely difficult to accurately measure the degree to which people are having casual sex generally defined as intercourse in the absence of a committed relationshipapparently more than half of young people aged have had at least one casual sex encounter in their life. One of the problems is that people either genuinely misestimate or consciously misrepresent their own involvement in casual sex.
Men, for example, tend to upwardly exaggerate their s whereas women will downplay them.
On some surveys, men report four times as many sexual partners as women. Clearly this is madness, as in heterosexual relationships, each new sexual partner for a man is a new sexual partner for a woman, so the s should be equal. It is well agreed upon that women generally experience more negative psychological consequences than men following casual sex but what is less clear is what specifically motivates women and men to engage in casual sex.
My colleagues and I were curious about this, so we developed an anonymous online survey and conducted a study where we asked a bunch of people to be exact questions about casual sex. The were very interesting. The rest said no. Not surprisingly, Discreet sex Mitchell was a huge gender difference, with men reporting nearly twice as many hook-ups on average 28 as women Given literature, this was expected, but still nonsensical. The more interesting gender differences were in terms of what motivated individuals to engage in casual sex, and how they felt afterwards. We also asked men and women how they felt after their most recent hookup and again there was a large gender difference overall and for just about every individual question we asked them.
Compared to men women said they felt more lonelyunhappy, rejected, regretful, felt more negative feelings about themselves and were more concerned about being negatively judged by others. Men, on the other hand, said they felt more sexually satisfied, happier, confident, content, and their mood improved.
It turns out that this is pretty hard because there are so many things that influence both why people do it, and how they will feel about it afterwards. We did find that a negative outcome can be predicted if one is trying to regulate negative emotions or trying to achieve positive emotions. The bottom line here is that although attitudes surrounding female sexual autonomy are slowly changing, and society is certainly more accepting of female sexual agency in than they were, say, 30 years ago, there are still big gender differences.
Ryan Anderson, Ph. Ryan Anderson Ph. The Mating Game. Sex Essential Re. About the Author. Read Next. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Personality Passive Aggression Personality Shyness. Family Life Child Development Parenting. View Help Index.
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