Casual Sex Officially Not End of Entire World, Scientists Find

Oh, my goodness! You guys! Look at this exciting SCIENCE FACT I just learned recently!

Casual Sex Doesn’t Cause Emotional Damage: Study

Wha-wha-WHAAAAAAAAT? Oh, man! This is just like the time that I learned you could have an abortion without crying over it and posting blogs on anti-choice websites about the Lessons You’ve Learned every day! Or that time someone figured out that menstrual cramps weren’t actually entirely made up by my wacky incompetent girl-brain! EVERYTHING I KNOW IS WRONG. Whatever shall I do now? Oh, right, quote the study at you:

In the study, University of Minnesota researchers analyzed the responses of 737 females and 574 males, mean age 20.5, who were asked about their sexual behaviors and emotional well-being. Among those who were sexually active, 55 percent said their last sexual partner was an exclusive dating partner. An additional 25 percent said they were engaged to, or a spouse or life partner of their last sexual partner. Another 12 percent said it was a close but not exclusive partner, and 8 percent said it was a casual acquaintance… In this study to determine if sexual activity outside a committed relationship causes emotional damage to young people, the researchers found no differences in the mental well-being of participants who had a casual partner or a committed partner.

Holy cow! So, not only are the college kids NOT all “hooking up” for their “casual sex” “orgies” of “degradation” – only eight percent of them appear to be doing this, in fact – the ones who are hooking up seem to be totally fine. Even the girl ones! They’re not all sobbing into the arms of their besties about the loss of their womanly virtue or anything! Granted, they may be planning to put flaming bags of dog poop on the doorstep of whichever University of Minnesota douchebro has been assigned to write an article for their college newspaper which calls them sluts and warns them not to totally want dudes to be their boyfriends. (Because you always totally want whichever dude you have most recently slept with to be your boyfriend, am I right, ladies? LADIES? Ouch, ladies, stop throwing things at my face!) But that, my friends, is evidence of excellent mental well-being, and a certain admirable resourcefulness and willingness to take matters into one’s own hands.

Now, if you are me, you have one very important question about the potential negative effects of this study. That question being: but what of the entire publishing industry set up to provide books about how all the kids today totally are hooking up and thereby ruining the entire lives of the young ladies involved? Easy. They will keep publishing that stuff anyway. Possibly talking about how the ladies responding to surveys such as these are liars and will never realize the damage they have done to their dainty, fragile female hearts until it is too late. Why let “facts” or “truth” get in the way of your reactionary behavior?

As for the rest of us: go forth, and engage in whatever behavior you feel good about, probably without multiplying, my friends. Science has, for once, done you good.

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16 Responses

  1. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin December 15, 2009 at 1:24 pm |

    Oh, but it’s much more fun to invoke catastrophe.

  2. Natalie
    Natalie December 15, 2009 at 1:24 pm |

    The puritan moralists aren’t really well acquainted with facts.

    They’ve only hooked up once or twice while reeeeeeally drunk.

  3. erika
    erika December 15, 2009 at 1:40 pm |

    Am I reading this wrong? It looks like the study say that 8% of college students’ last partner was casual, not that only 8% of college students have ever had a casual partner.

  4. Thessa Mercury
    Thessa Mercury December 15, 2009 at 2:02 pm |

    Sady:
    Whenever I read your writing, I pee myself laughing. Thank you. That is all.

  5. DAS
    DAS December 15, 2009 at 2:53 pm |

    I still chuckle whenever I see/hear the phrase “casual sex”. What other kind of sex is there? Do people have formal sex in tuxedos and ball gowns or something?

    I did almost have sex in a three-piece suit once (my wife’s idea was to slip out to the balcony into a place where no-one would see us while we were ostensibly taking a break from dancing at a friend’s wedding to get some fresh air — but there were so many kids running around, we couldn’t find a private spot) — but I’ve never had the opportunity for formal sex.

    Maybe some people have formal sex? I’m sure if one is into such things, one can find like-minded people on the internet ;)

  6. Andrea
    Andrea December 15, 2009 at 3:38 pm |

    Sady, have I told you lately that I love you? Because I do. Thiiiis much!

  7. Thomas
    Thomas December 15, 2009 at 5:18 pm |

    DAS, I think for this I can make an exception to my rule about not talking about the things I do with my spouse when I top …

    for our tenth annivarsary BDSM scene, I started out in the vested suit she gave me as a gift, and took it off piece by piece during the course of a long scene … tie (also a gift), vest, cufflinks (gifts), belt … and we were both naked by the end.

    I’d call that semi-formal sex. My formalwear is a kilt, which would facilitate formal sex, but formal events are usually in crowded formal places that make sneaking off too high-effort for my taste.

  8. Morningstar
    Morningstar December 15, 2009 at 7:21 pm |

    These kind of self-reported studies are incredibly suspect, I wouldn’t really make much of this one way or another.

  9. Tomek Kulesza
    Tomek Kulesza December 15, 2009 at 8:06 pm |

    “This is just like the time that I learned you could have an abortion without crying over it and posting blogs on anti-choice websites about the Lessons You’ve Learned every day!”
    Well, if you happen to have it somewhere nearby, could you perhaps give a link to study? I think it might come handy one day… :)

  10. Maggie
    Maggie December 15, 2009 at 11:52 pm |

    Jeez, makes me want to run right out and have casual sex! I’ll put on my sweatpants and t-shirt…

  11. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte December 16, 2009 at 9:38 am |

    Do people have formal sex in tuxedos and ball gowns or something?

    Hey, no judgments!

  12. Peggyluwho
    Peggyluwho December 16, 2009 at 5:25 pm |

    Thanks Science! Savin’ my ass, once again.

  13. Athenia
    Athenia December 18, 2009 at 3:18 pm |

    Eh, those crazy kids in Minnesota are probably more exclusive in their dating habits anyway.

    I’d like to see this compared to other college campuses.

  14. BradyDale
    BradyDale December 18, 2009 at 4:48 pm |

    I still chuckle whenever I see/hear the phrase “casual sex”. What other kind of sex is there? Do people have formal sex in tuxedos and ball gowns or something?

    I have the same reaction to “adolescent fantasy.” Is someone out there having really mature sexual fantasies? Where you just imagine hot people reading good books or talking about science or helping old ladies across the street and before you know it you get off?

  15. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 18, 2009 at 5:02 pm |

    Myself, I prefer Business Casual Sex.

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