Breaking news! Hooking up won’t lead to ruination, death by AIDS, and a locust plague. A recent study by University of Minnesota School of Public Health found young adults who had casual sex were in a no worse emotional state than ones who had sex in committed relationships.
Researchers spoke to 1,311 young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 about their last sexual encounter and found that the one-fifth who last had casual sex and the four-fifths all felt emotionally similar afterward. “We were so surprised,” said Marla Eisenberg, an assistant professor at UM. “The conventional wisdom is that casual sex, ‘friends with benefits,’ and hooking up is hurtful. That’s what we’ve been teaching kids for decades.”
Obvi. That’s because conventional wisdom is crap.I am not disagreeing that casual sex can be harmful when the two people have different expectations of what they think it means. And physically, of course, the more men you hop into bed with, the more you put yourself at risk for an unintended pregnancy or STDs. That’s just a numbers game.
But the mentality that young people’s sexuality needs to be controlled, especially young women’s sexuality, is what’s responsible for this so-called “conventional wisdom.” If you haven’t been brainwashed by abstinence-only education, you can see with clear eyes that hooking up is about enjoying pleasure, learning what you like and feeling good about yourself as a sexual being. Casual sex only becomes harmful when it’s stigmatized.
Eisenberg, who worked on the study, said she hopes her study influences schools’ sex ed curriculum to “focus on the things that are real threats,” like dating violence and pregnancy, instead of scaring youngsters with tales of emotional wreckage. Hmm, focusing on “real threats,” novel idea… [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]