Does Reading Women's Magazines Lead To (Gasp!) Premarital Sex?


A new study examines the effect of "Cosmo" and other women's magazines on female sexuality.

Now that Joanna Coles has taken over at Cosmopolitan magazine, there's something I'd like her to know.

Joanna, your magazine is polluting the minds of women everywhere.

Of course, I don't believe that's true — I've been reading Cosmo for several years and think my mind trash-free, thank you very much. But apparently researchers are a bit wary of what messages women's magazines are sending, and thus recently put them under some intense scrutiny. After analyzing the content of several women's magazines, two female researchers found that women who read articles about sex are less likely to view premarital sex as risky. In addition, Cosmo-loving ladies are more likely to prioritize their own sexual pleasure and women's sexual empowerment. 

Interestingly enough, "the researchers found that white women in particular viewed premarital sex as less risky and endorsed taking on a more assertive sexual role than women of color."

In the end, the researchers concluded: "Our results suggest that the complex and sometimes conflicting representations of female sexuality proliferating in the mass media and popular culture could potentially have both empowering and problematic effects on women's developing sexual identities." Sounds like a non-conclusion if there ever was one!

But seriously, I'm a bit confused as to why this study exists in the first place; I was under the impression we were long beyond the idea that premarital sex was risky. Sex without a condom ? Sure, I'll call that risky, but I don't believe you need to put a ring on it in order to get a little frisky. But then again, maybe that's because I read Cosmo.

On the bright side, we can totally interpret these results to mean that reading women's magazines has a positive effect on women's sexuality. So keep reading those bizarre sex tips, ladies.

How have women's magazines affected your sex life, if at all?

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