Thursday, December 31, 2009

Research into casual sex surprises

The Dominion Post reproduced this column today. Essentially new research, with a reasonably large sample, found that young people having casual sex are not suffering ill effects from it. The researchers were apparently taken aback.

I'm not. Morality, values, ethics, whatever label you want to put on it, is changing constantly. Any stigma attached to casual sex is diminishing (interestingly the researchers found a mismatch between the number of males versus females admitting to causal sex and theorised that men are more likely to label their encounter as casual whereas females label it as something more).

But I think there is another reason for the result. There are most certainly people for whom casual sex will cause emotional problems - guilt, self-recrimination, etc - so those people are avoiding it. Those for whom that would be a waste of mental energy just get on and enjoy it on their own terms. Most people, despite contemporary paternalistic wisdom telling us otherwise, are capable of making sensible choices. It would just be better if 'most' was a bigger percentage.


Andrei said...

Well this is social science, which means its barely science at all.

Ever since Kinsey extrapolated the results he obtained from guests of the California justice system and a group of self selected university students to the male population a large the purpose of research into sexuality has not been the pursuit of knowledge rather normalization of deviancy and promiscuity.

The results speak for themselves.

Think about this next time a child dies at the hands of its dysfunctional "caregivers" or you rail at the DPB lifestyle both ultimate consequences of abandoning conventional morality and replacing it with selfish hedonism (ie if it feels good just do it).

Lindsay said...

In part the changing morality is a response to the 'no consequences' welfare environment. The DPB lifestyle and casual sex have some overlap but are still distinct arenas for most. Never before has it been easier to avoid unwanted pregnancy. And I wish people would. But that doesn't mean I think people should only have sex within the confines of a marriage or long-term relationship. As long as they manage their lives, that is their business.

Anonymous said...

Lindsay: The antisex people will justify they attitudes so there is not much one can do about them. And I wouldn't be inclined to worry about them either, the guilt and horror they feel is something well earned by bad premises, false "facts" and religious fantasies.

What I can't stand is that they are such intrusive busybodies that they can't leave others well enough alone. Their number one goal seems to be to make everyone else as frigid, tight, and unhappy as themselves.

ZenTiger said...

The research (as far as the newspaper article covered) seemed to be full of contradictions, because the results were so subject to individual interpretation.

For example, 8% of the sample recently engaged in casual sex and said they had no negative effects. That's fine, but all that indicates is that 8% of the population might always be comfortable living like that. The 55% in a committed relationship might suffer in some way if they operated outside of those boundaries.

The end of the article suggested a variance between male and female results with casual sex, because males tend to lie or exaggerate in one direction and females in the other. Again, quite possible, but the researcher just admitted the results could not be trusted without taking this into account.

I accept anons comment - but it goes both ways. The people that want freedom to act in any way they chose also don't have the right to enforce their moral values on others that believe committment and sex go together.

We need to recognise that people will fill a spectrum of values, and "one size fits all" isn't the prescription. Having 8% of a survey of 1300 people in a similar age range declare casual sex has no mental consequences doesn't necessarily prove anything - either way, and thus the researchers conclusions do not amount to much.

Ozy Mandias said...

So they asked a group of people on their mental state after sex. They concluded that because 8% of the sample. the percentage who had casual sex, felt fine that means casual sex has no consequences.
How can anyone make that assumption on those numbers!!! A rubbish article built on flimsy data. I could make a number of diffferent assumptions using th same data.

Annon - who are these anti sex people that you refer to??

Lindsay I believe that sex should be enjoyed as often as possible within the confines of marriage. It offers a better foundation for families and childen as well as many other benefits. NZ wouldn't have far less social, emotional, financial costs if every person lived their life by that choice.

Chuck Bird said...

The study only looks at short term affects of casual sex. It would be interesting know the long term affects of casual sex. I think that a marriage would likely last much longer if both partners had not engaged in casual sex. Also if is likely if a marriage fails and someone was into casual sex before marriage there would be tempted to revert to that after a break up. I do not think a solo mum with many partners leads a very happy life.

Redbaiter said...


You strive to reform welfare at the same time as you advocate for the social attitudes that have helped create the beast.

Your approach to this issue is another good example of how Progressives can never be trusted in the fight for Liberty.

" Morality, values, ethics, whatever label you want to put on it, is changing constantly."

Progressives try and change it, as they try and change many things, in most cases based on the immature and irrational belief that all change is good. Change for change's sake.

Evidence abounds to show how disastrous this kind of thinking can be.

Traditional values and morals do not exist because they are an anachronistic throw back to the days before women began being indoctrinated with feminist propaganda, but because they are innate to a civilized society.

Anonymous said...

As usual the social science researchers missed a big finding: 80% of the respondents DID not engage in casual sex.

The 20% that did obviously fall into the category of emotionally stunted or morally void. Ths would be no surprise as the % would have been 5% about 30 years ago and has merely grown.

Yet again this reporting points to the "normalisation" of a minority of the community - the Press simply can't help themselves. Its almost as good as their reporting of Gillian Abel studying prostitute numbers in ChCh from the seat of her car.

brian_smaller said...

I always feel fine after sex - casual or otherwise.

Shane Pleasance said...

Put your back into it or don't bother, I say. Casual sex? Never.

James said...

Zen:"I accept anons comment - but it goes both ways. The people that want freedom to act in any way they chose also don't have the right to enforce their moral values on others that believe committment and sex go together."

As silly comments go this is a doozy.By definition people who want freedom to act as they choose then can't be in favour of forcing their values on others...unless we are talking about hypocrites....or most of the Popes...but I repeat myself.

In the history of the conflict between true classic Liberalism and Religion its always been religion thats moved to step on liberalisms toes....not the reverse.Liberalism was quite happy for the religious to belive and practice as they choose...with the use of force against non consenting others of course the obvious limit.Its religions willingness to use force to get its way that is the source of this conflict...the God squadders just can't mind their own business.

As to morality its a case of deiscovering it...not returning to it (Christianity).The Bible has failed as a moral guide because it fails to consider the actual nature of the thing that is in need of a moral Liberalism has a perfect,non contradictory moral code based on man and the requirements of his nature....Christianity does not.

twinkyofalla said...

yeah it is possible though not to all people. Some people really enjoy and live their life on having casual sex maybe because they are afraid of commitment but who knows. This are about science, to be honest im not good at it so in a practical way of thinking about casual sex. It all goes through steps of experiences.