How you feel about losing your virginity depends… are you a guy or girl?
The morning after can be difficult no matter if you are a guy or a girl, but it seems to be more difficult for girls than guys. A study from researchers at Pennsylvania State University reports male university students' body images improved after having sexual intercourse for the first time, while the opposite pattern was found with females. The study which was published in the Journal of Adolescents and reported on 100 students from the university between the ages of 17 and 19 years of age who had sex for the first time during their time at the university. During the three year study the students’ satisfaction with their appearance was assessed four times. The results were statistically significant.
The girls’ self esteem and feelings about themselves increased throughout the school year, until they had sex. Males' perceptions of their own attractiveness, on the other hand, generally decreased over time but improved, at least initially, after their first time having sex.
The researchers had several theories about why girls felt so much worse about their looks after having sex and why guys felt better. It could be that after sex guys felt desired and accepted in regards to their masculinity and sexuality which is very important. Girls on the other hand may have felt worse because girls in general have more sensitivity with body image, and they feel more judged regarding their body after their first sexual experience. Girls may have felt confused about the reasons they had sex. They may have felt abandoned after sex. Girls may have also experienced more guilt due to society’s double standards.
There is an underlying tone in the US that good girls don’t have sex. I don’t know if good girls do or don’t have sex, but I do know smart girls wait until they are prepared for the consequences sex presents. I also understand and have researched that girls who have an engaged dad in the family report delaying sex until later in life when their own interests are developed and they are mature enough to make better choices in the boys they have sex with. I have researched and surveyed girls to co-author a book for girls and moms regarding healthy sex.
More Juicy Content From YourTango: