In this paper we considered multiple types of casual sexual relationships and experiences, including casual dating, friends with benefits, and booty calls/one night stands, and whether they are associated with short-term outcomes.
In recent years there has been growing public concern that young adults prioritize casual sex over romantic relationships. In contrast, some scholars consider casual sexual relationships as normative and an opportunity for exploration. Prior research evidence is conflicted, with some suggesting negative outcomes of casual sex, and others suggesting no outcomes or positive outcomes. In this paper, we considered a range of casual relationships in order to tease apart associations based on the type of sexual relationship.
Data came from two sources: a Midwestern college sample psychology pool, and Amazon’s MTurk. We considered a range of sexual behaviors: kissing, touching oral sex, sexual intercourse, and anal sex.
Young adults who had sexual experiences with a friends with benefits partner tended to have more negative evaluations of the experience, and to be less oriented toward romantic relationship plans, than young adults who had sexual experiences with casual partners. Young adults who engaged in booty calls/one night stands had less positive evaluations, more negative evaluations, and were less oriented toward romantic relationship plans than young adults who had casual partners. Plans for future casual sexual experiences did not differ by type of partner.
There was some evidence of gender differences. Specifically, the difference in positive and negative evaluations of booty calls/one night stands compared to casual sexual partners was greater for women than for men. In addition, there were differences by type of behavior, with oral/penetrative sex associated with bigger differences by type of partner than kissing/touching.
Overall, findings suggest that there are differences in the short-term outcomes of varied types of casual sexual experiences. That is, it is not simply that casual sex outcomes are worse than relationship sex outcomes, but that there is variation in outcomes within different types of casual sexual partners.
“Type of Casual Sex Partner Matters for Short-term Outcomes first appeared on Eva Lefkowitz’s blog on August 28, 2018.”