While some college-aged students may boast about sex with several partners, many of their peers don’t think the behavior is respectable or worthy of bragging.A study reported on at the American Sociological Association meeting revealed that about 50 percent of college or university students don’t have as high a level of respect for peers who have sex with multiple people.
Approximately 19,000 people attending colleges or universities participated in a study about casual sex, representing more than 20 institutions. Researchers found that the participants also felt casual sex behavior from both male and female students should be viewed from a similar perspective. That perspective, in many cases, was one of disrespect, regardless of gender.
Portions of the study also reflected how Greek life on campuses may guide the trends and attitudes toward multiple sexual relationships. Women tended to reject the perspective of boys engaging in multiple sexual encounters as a part of “typical” male behavior, with researchers saying they didn’t accept unfavorable treatment toward women.
Researchers also noted that the study highlights shifts in perspectives toward sex, including more of a focus on sexual encounters beyond a committed relationship ‘- with less of a focus on sex beyond the confines of marriage.
Geography also played a role in the study results. Midwestern college and university students seemed to have perspectives that were more conservative, while students living on the West Coast had opinions toward casual sex encounters that were more liberal.
The students’ religious beliefs were also a part of the study, with researchers saying that people without religious beliefs or those of religions like Buddhism seemed less likely to express an attitude of disrespect toward people who were involved in casual sex than people of the Catholic faith, for example.
Sex with multiple partners can be a sign of an underlying sexual addiction, especially when the person loses their ability to control their cravings or urges for the behavior despite the consequences. Obsessive thoughts about sex and an avoidance of social situations to pursue the behavior can also be an indicator.
The addiction is progressive over time, and involves using sex as a way to avoid negative emotions or to avoid genuine intimacy with others.