Females with History of Casual Sex
Report Most Depressive Symptoms
females, as the number of sexual partners increase, depressive
symptoms increase as well.
According to a study featured in the Journal of Sex Research,
various studies have shown that a majority of adolescents first
engage in sexual intercourse before they graduate from high school.
Furthermore, other studies have shown that 70% of college students
report having had sexual intercourse with individuals they did not
consider to be their romantic partner. Casual sex, as defined by
this study, is a sexual relationship in which the partners do not
define the relationship as romantic or as their partner being their
boyfriend or girlfriend. These “relationships” are mainly based on
sexual desires or physical attraction alone and commonly involve
drugs or alcohol.
this particular study, the researchers aimed to identify the factors
and circumstances associated with those engaged in casual sex and
sought to examine the link between casual sex and depressive
symptoms.. Researchers used a sample of 404 undergraduate students
who were enrolled in an introductory psychology course at a large
university in the southeastern United States. Each student completed
a Sexual Behaviors Questionnaire which was designed by the
researchers to investigate sexual behaviors in romantic
relationships and it was modified for this study to also include
sexual behaviors with casual partners.
Through these questionnaires, the researchers found that casual sex
was a fairly common occurrence among the participants in the study.
76% of the sample reported having engaged in intercourse, oral sex,
or anal sex, and more than half (53%) of those who were sexually
experienced reported having engaged in sex with a partner with whom
they were not involved in a romantic relationship. The study found
that more than half of the sexually experienced participants
reported engaging in sex with partners who they were not involved
with in a romantic relationship. The majority of males and females
who engaged in sex with a casual partner reported knowing that the
encounter was casual and had no expectations other than a physical
affair. The researchers also focused on the link between casual sex
and psychological functioning.
found that for females, as the number of sexual partners increased,
symptoms of depression also increased. Female partners who had the
greatest number of partners had the highest symptoms of depressive
pathology. The researchers noted that the association of casual sex
and depressive symptoms in females is worthy of further
Strings Attached: The Nature of Casual Sex in College Students, The
Journal of Sex Research, Vol. 43, No. 3, August 2006, pp. 255-267.