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While an association between the two has been observed, it is not possible to say, based on this study, that casual sex causes mental distress, or whether feeling down le to more casual sex. The news story is based on research into the sexual behaviour and mental wellbeing of almost 4, heterosexual US college students.
Researchers found that having casual sex was associated with lower levels of psychological wellbeing and higher levels of anxiety and depression in both men and women. The problem is that in this type of study — a cross-sectional study — people are asked to provide information at one particular point in time.
It is impossible to tell from a cross-sectional study whether there is a cause and effect relationship. about having a healthy sex life and practising safe sex. The study was carried out by researchers from a of US universities including California State University. There is no information about external funding. The study was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Sex Research and is free to download on an open access basis. This was a cross-sectional study that looked at the association between casual sex and psychological health.
Cross-sectional studies provide a snapshot of participants at a particular point in time.
However, cross-sectional studies can be useful for showing up patterns or possible associations in the data, which may justify further study. The researchers point out that many young adults frequently have casual sex. They also say that casual sex can be defined in many ways including non-committed sexual relationships between friends "friends with benefits" and sexual encounters with strangers "hook-ups".
In this study they define casual sex as having intercourse with a partner who has been known for less than a week. They also say that in studies looking at mental health and casual sex the have so far been mixed. Some but not all research suggests an association between sex with a stranger and low self-esteem.
Other research has suggested there may be gender differences in attitudes to casual sexual behaviour, and that women are more likely to report feelings of regret and guilt after casual sex. They also believed that these effects would be stronger for women than men. The researchers recruited a multi-ethnic sample of 3, single, heterosexual college students aged 18 to 35, from 30 universities across the US. Students took part in the study via the internet. In the study, the students were asked to recall how often within the 30 days they had had sex with someone they had known for less then a week.
Their answers were reported on a five-point Likert scale as follows:. Participants also answered validated questionnaires about four aspects of psychological wellbeing. The aspects of wellbeing assessed were:. The researchers say that for college students, engaging in casual sex may increase the risk of poorer psychological wellbeing and higher levels of distress. Importantly, this cross-sectional study cannot show that casual sex — defined here as sex with someone known for less than a week — causes mental health problems.
As the authors themselves point out, it is possible that someone with psychological problems may be more likely to engage in casual sex. Arguably, a cohort studywhere students were followed over the course of many years and regularly interviewed about their sexual activities and mental health, would have been more useful if a lot more expensive to carry out. The possibility that regular casual sex may have a detrimental effect on psychological health is worth recognising, as is the fact that poorer psychological health may make someone more likely to engage in casual sex.
However, there is likely to be a complex interplay between casual sex and mental health, influenced by many factors, rather than an easily defined cause and effect relationship. Accept and close. Mental health Casual sex linked to depression and anxiety. Where did the story come from? What kind of research was this? What did the research involve? What were the basic ?
The researchers found that: How did the researchers interpret the ? Conclusion Importantly, this cross-sectional study cannot show that casual sex — defined here as sex with someone known for less than a week — causes mental health problems.
These include academic performance, family background, other social and sexual relationships, health issues and personality type. It relied on students self-reporting both their sexual behaviour and their psychological health through the internet, which could make the less reliable. The sample of students was not random but drawn from psychological and child development courses.
Participants may not be representative of the wider student populations, or of the non-student population. It was limited to heterosexual students so whether similar would be found among homosexual or bisexual students is unknown. Only a small of students in the study reported recently engaging in casual sex. Therefore, although this was initially a very large sample size, the strength of the is limited.Adult want casual sex Range
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Casual Sex Is Good for You, According to Your New Favorite Study