New research shows that casual sex is directly linked with negative psychological issues.
According to experts, bedtime romps in a no strings liaisons can cause mental distress and even suicidal thoughts.
Researchers found teens who displayed depressive symptoms were more inclined to engage in casual lovin’ and random hook-ups as young adults. It was noted that youngsters who frequently had one night stands were more likely to seriously contemplate suicide later in life.
Lead author of the study, Dr Sara Sandberg-Thoma, of Ohio State University stated, “Several studies have found a link between poor mental health and casual sex, but the nature of that association has been unclear.
“There’s always been a question about which one is the cause and which is the effect. This study provides evidence that poor mental health can lead to casual sex, but also that casual sex leads to additional declines in mental health.”
Details of the study
In a bid to get some insight into the link between casual sex and mental health, the researchers analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. It involved 10,000 teens from 80 American schools and 52 middle schools. As a part of the study, the subjects were questioned when they were in grades seven through twelve and then again when they were between the ages of 18 to 26.
They were asked questions about their romantic relationship encounters overtime, depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts. An interesting aspect of the study was that men and women were equally susceptible to depression in the aftermath of casual sex.
Dr Claire Kamp Dush, professor of human sciences at Ohio State University, said, “That was unexpected because there is still this sexual double standard in society that says it is OK for men to have casual sexual relationships, but it is not OK for women. But these results suggest that poor mental health and casual sex are linked, whether you’re a man or a woman.”
It was observed that about 29 percent of the teenagers who were plagued with depressive thoughts and feelings of suicide had frequently hooked up with someone for casual sex when they were young adults. It was noted that for every single casual sex encounter the odds of suicidal thoughts jumped 18 per cent. However, one night stands in late teens and early 20’s did not have any effect on depressive symptoms.
The research has been published online in the Journal of Sex Research.