Was it Good for You? Gender Differences in Motives and Emotional Outcomes Following Casual Sex

McKeen, Billie E., Anderson, Ryan C., and Mitchell, David A. (2022) Was it Good for You? Gender Differences in Motives and Emotional Outcomes Following Casual Sex. Sexuality and Culture, 26. pp. 1339-1359.

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Casual sex, also referred to as a hookup, has been associated with a range of negative emotional outcomes for women, including regret, anxiety, depression and social stigma. However, it has been argued that it is the nature of the sexual motivation, not gender that influences the emotional outcome. This study was designed to ascertain what motivates people to have casual sex, what emotional outcomes follow casual sex and whether there are gender differences among these variables. Seven hundred and one participants (47% men and 52.8% women) completed a 44-item online survey. Gender differences were found for both sexual motivations and emotional outcomes of casual sex, with women generally having more negative emotional outcomes than men. Additionally, a principal components analysis uncovered four reliable principal motivations underlying engagement in casual sex, and three principal emotional outcomes of casual sex. Predictors of negative emotional outcomes included being motivated to regulate negative emotions and to achieve positive emotions. No predictors (apart from being a man) were found for a positive emotional outcome. While the stigma surrounding female sexual agency is diminishing, results generally support the presence of a sexual double-standard which encourages male promiscuity but dissuades female sexual autonomy.

Item ID: 74760
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1936-4822
Keywords: Casual sex, Emotional outcomes, Gender differences, Hookup, Sexual motivations
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Research Data: https://osf.io/35ynj/?view_only=870a2f3e423d44e48366d41e2a7428c2
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2022 00:08
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520502 Gender psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200401 Behaviour and health @ 100%
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