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Meanwhile, others think the current digital hookup culture is a great way to be sexually active while single, and maybe even a good way to meet someone who might become a longer-term partner. In the post-Kinsey world, there is not a lot of research looking at the psychological effects of casual sex on those who do (or don’t) engage in it.In the research that does exist, the primary focus is generally limited to the question: Are the people who engage in casual sex more depressed, and do they have lower self-esteem, than the people who aren’t having casual sex?Only rarely do these studies account for other possible causes of diminished psychological wellbeing.For instance, a test subject might be depressed because he or she just lost a great job, not because he or she is having casual sex and feels badly about that.With the gap between puberty and entry into marriage getting ever wider, more “emerging adults" are turning to casual encounters as a way to express and satisfy their sexual needs.
The GSS, funded by the National Science Foundation since 1973, is the only in-depth, ongoing, national interview-based survey of American beliefs and behavior.
Over the past decade, the media have published breathless—and often ominous—reports of young adults engaging in “hook-ups,” a supposedly new type of casual hyper-sex in quickie, promiscuous relationships. I've reviewed the now-substantial research literature on hook-ups and discovered that the more the media (and some researchers) say that young adult sex has changed, the more it’s actually remained pretty much the same. The media did not use the term “hook-up” in a sexual/relationship context until the late 1990s, and it did not spread widely until 2006.
Which raises a question: Did something change in young American sexuality during the first decade of the current century?
The ending of a close romantic relationship is difficult for all involved.
There’s no one “best” way to cope with a breakup, and much depends on timing, but one likely outcome is that people look for rebound relationships.