Is Casual Sex Harmful?

By

Is Casual Sex Harmful?
Admit it, you've always wondered whether casual sex is really okay or not. Read and find out.

This guest article from Psych Central was written by Rick Nauert, Ph.D.

Researchers have discovered casual sex among young adults is not associated with harmful psychological outcomes as compared to sexually active young adults in more committed relationships.

 

Naturally, the physical risks of casual sex should always be addressed.

Marla E. Eisenberg, Sc.D., M.P.H., of the University of Minnesota Medical School, and colleagues used data from an ongoing study that assessed a diverse sample of 1,311 sexually active young adults. From 2003-2004, 574 males and 737 females in Minnesota with a mean age of 20.5 were surveyed regarding sexual behaviors and emotional well-being.

Of the sexually active respondents, 55 percent reported that their last sexual partner was an exclusive dating partner followed by 25 percent whose most recent partner was a fiancé/e, spouse, or life partner.

12 percent reported their last sexual partner was a close but not exclusive partner and 8 percent stated their last encounter was with a casual acquaintance.

Over twice as many males as females reported that their last partner was casual (i.e. , either a “casual acquaintance” or “close but not exclusive partner”).

Although there has been speculation in public discourse that sexual encounters outside a committed romantic relationship may be emotionally damaging for young people, this study found no differences in the psychological well-being of young adults who had a casual sexual partner verses a more committed partner.

“While the findings from this study show that young adults engaging in casual sexual encounters do not appear to be at increased risk for harmful psychological outcomes compared to those in more committed relationships, this should not minimize the legitimate threats to physical well-being associated with casual sexual relationships, and the need for such messages in sexuality education programs and other interventions with young adults,” Eisenberg said.
 

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

John M. Grohol

Psychologist

Dr. John Grohol is a mental health expert and founder of Psych Central. He has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues, and the intersection of technology and psychology since 1992.

Location: Newburyport, MA
Credentials: PsyD
Website: PsychCentral
Other Articles/News by John M. Grohol:

15 Reasons Not to Be Afraid of Divorce

By

This guest article from Psych Central was written by Cherilynn M. Veeland, LCSW, MSW Are you afraid of getting divorced? I understand. Society places so much value on staying married. Some of that pressure is good, it keeps people from taking marriage too lightly. However, there are those on the other end of the spectrum who need to get divorced but ... Read more

What is Your Attitude Toward Sex?

By

This guest article from Psych Central was written by Diana C. Pitaru, M.S., L.P.C. Our culture has an interestingly bizarre, confusion laden relationship with sex. While teens are expected to “just say no” the average adult struggles to come to a resolution and find a consistent understanding of what sex is and how it figures and fits into ... Read more

3 Ways To Stop An Abusive Relationship ... BEFORE It Happens

By

This guest article from Psych Central was written by David Sack, M.D. One of the most heartbreaking things about abusive relationships is how much they can LOOK like real, genuine love in the beginning. You often get swept off their feet, passionately courted, and made to feel more special than you ever have before. Then comes the crash. The desire to ... Read more

See More

 
Latest Expert Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Most Popular