Casual sex and Well-Being - SSSS 2013

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  • Means adjusted for gender, school year, socioeconomic status, relationship status, and race
  • Casual sex and Well-Being - SSSS 2013

    1. 1. Sexual behavior lacking emotional attachment and/or romantic commitment between partners:       One-night stands Sex on the same night Friends with Benefits Fuck buddies Short-term mating Flings
    2. 2.  Up to 80% at least one CS;  ~10% undergrads have CS regularly;  CS occurs early in one’s sexual history;  Replacing dating as primary method of relationship development on campuses?
    3. 3.  Mixed cross-sectional findings: › Many null › Some negative, esp. teens and girls › Some positive, esp. men  Mostly null longitudinal findings: › Teens › Undergrads
    4. 4. MODERATORS! Not all casual sex encounters are equally harmful/beneficial  Not all people are equally sensitive to this harmful/beneficial effects 
    5. 5.   Acting in congruence with self, one’s true desires, values; being ‘true’ to oneself Higher authenticity  higher well-being: › Self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000); › Self-discrepancy theory (Higgins, 1987); › Self-concordance model (Sheldon & Hauser-Marko, 2001); › Self-authenticity (Kernis, 2003).  Two aspects of authenticity: › Why you do it (encounter-level): CS Motivation (Study 1) › Who does it (trait-level): Sociosexuality (Study 2)
    6. 6. Online longitudinal survey at Cornell  Email sent to all freshmen and juniors (~6,500) in September 2009  T1 (start of semester) – 872, 59% f (13% RR)  T2 (end of semester) – 671, 63% f (77% ret)  T3 (end of year) – 560, 64% f (64% ret)  Weekly diary (12 weeks over Fall semester) – 230 single students – 65% f 
    7. 7. Behaviors vary in levels of selfdetermination, i.e. intentionality (Ryan & Deci, 2000)  Higher intentionality  higher psychological & physical well-being across a variety of domains (e.g. work, relationships, education, health, ther apy, dating sex)  Vrangalova, Z. (in press). Arch Sexual Behavior
    8. 8. Nonautonomous motivation Autonomous motivation
    9. 9.  Autonomous: › pleasure, novelty, desire › exploring, experimenting  Nonautonomous: › low self-esteem, › need for self- affirmation, peer pressure or social status, › relationship development › coerced, tricked into, › Intoxication
    10. 10. N = 562 (60% f)  Any casual sex at T1 – T3: 37%  › One-time & longer-casual › Any genital touching  CS Motives T1-T3 for all CS experienced › 8 reasons on a scale of 1 (none) to 7 (all of my hookups) › Factor analysis confirms Autonomous vs. Nonautonomous distinction
    11. 11.  H1: Among the CS experienced: › Autonomous CS  Greater well-being › Nonautonomous CS  Lower well-being  H2: Among the whole sample: › Self-determined CS group ≥ No CS group › Non self-determined CS group < No CS group  Gender differences?
    12. 12. › Buffering effects against distress (depression, anxiety, & physical symptoms) › Thriving effects in positive wellbeing (selfesteem)
    13. 13. Individual differences in people’s willingness to engage in uncommitted sexual relationships  Desire – motivational component; result of testosterone and environmental conditions  Attitude – evaluative disposition for self and others; result of culture  Behavior – result of desires + personal and (non)social external constraints
    14. 14.  H1: SOI will moderate between-person effects of CS between T1-T3 on T3 wellbeing CS: penetrative (oral, vaginal, or anal) one-time or longer casual: 33%  N = 528  Controls: school year, race, SES, & relationship status 
    15. 15. 3.8 No CS Had CS Self Esteem 3.6 ns ns 3.4 3.2 Low SOI (-1 SD) High SOI (+1 SD) 3.2 2.8 p < .05 ns 3 p < .05 ns 2.4 Depression Anxiety 2.6 2.8 2.6 2.2 Low SOI (-1 SD) High SOI (+1 SD) Low SOI (-1 SD) High SOI (+1 SD)
    16. 16.  H: SOI will moderate within-person effects of weekly CS on weekly wellbeing 252 of single T1 participants (65% female)  12 weeks online survey  › Weekly well-being (self-esteem, life satisfaction, depression, and anxiety) › Did they have partnered sex (any intimate contact, from making out to intercourse? › Up to 4 partners:  Types of sexual activities (kissing to intercourse)  Type of encounter – casual or not
    17. 17. 230 participants with at least 6 reports  2510 weekly reports At least 1 penetrative sexual encounter:  On 9% (204) weekly reports  › 90% only 1 partner (range 1 to 3)  By 35% (80) participants › 44% only 1 week (range 1 to 9)  Higher SOI  higher likelihood of weekly casual sex, OR=2.31*** [1.84, 2.89]
    18. 18.  Level 2 (between-person): T1 measures › Moderator: SOI-R (Asendorpf & Penke, 2009) › Controls: Gender, Race, School Year  Level 1 (within-person): Weekly measures › Outcome: Weekly well-being › Predictor: Had casual sex (Y/N) › Controls: Lagged effects of well-being  Effects of interest: › 2-way cross-level interaction CS & SOI › 3-way cross level interaction w/ gender
    19. 19. 4.1 ALL PARTICIPANTS No CS Had CS 3.8 p < .05 3.9 3.6 Life Satisfaction Self Esteem ALL PARTICIPANTS 3.7 ns 3.5 p < .01 3.4 3.2 3.3 3 3.1 ns 2.8 Low SOI (-1 SD) High SOI (+1 SD) Low SOI (-1 SD) High SOI (+1 SD)
    20. 20. 2.2 2.2 MEN WOMEN Anxiety 2 2 1.8 1.8 1.6 p < .01 ns 1.6 ns 1.4 p < .05 1.4 1.2 1.2 Low SOI (-1 SD) Low SOI (-1 SD) High SOI (+1 SD) 2.2 2.2 MEN WOMEN 2 2 Depression ns 1.8 High SOI (+1 SD) p < .08 1.8 ns 1.6 ns 1.4 1.6 1.4 1.2 1.2 Low SOI (-1 SD) High SOI (+1 SD) Low SOI (-1 SD) High SOI (+1 SD)
    21. 21. › Buffering effects against distress (depression, & anxiety) › Thriving effects in positive wellbeing (selfesteem & life satisfaction)
    22. 22. Few main effects: CS is not a stressor uniformly affecting all people short-term (weekly) or longer-term (9 months)  It depends on authenticity:  › Why you do it (encounter-specific): CS motivation › Who does it (trait-level): Sociosexuality  Authenticity in CS: › Buffering effects against distress (depression, anxiety, & physical symptoms) › Thriving effects in positive wellbeing (self-esteem & life satisfaction)
    23. 23. Research: Need to move away from main effects, and toward a more nuanced understanding of the CS – wellbeing link.  Education, policy, clinical practice: Teach youth how to recognize whether and when it is good/bad for them, and say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ accordingly. 
    24. 24.  Funding: › The Foundation for Scientific Study of Sexuality › The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues › Cornell University Human Ecology Alumni Association › American Institute of Bisexuality  Help with data collection/preparation: › Rachel Mack › Melany Bradshaw › Vickie Liang

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