Sex and its impact on mental well-being

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I found this article to be slightly difficult to interpret, as there is no true way to determine if these findings are conclusive or not. I can personally understand the thought process behind the conclusion that having multiple sexual partners in a short period of time leads to a more depressed mental state. I have known girls from high school that, in an effort to either hold on to or enhance a relationship, engage in sexual activity with their partners. While this doesn't exactly pertain to the articles involving multiple partners, it does give a bit of a logical explanation to why the mentality becomes the way it does. When these girls would give out that one thing that they can't replace (and the relationship doesn't stay intact), losing that...power isn't quite the right word for it, but that's all I'm coming up with right now...makes them feel vulnerable and lost, as they no longer have that support. I also think that the feeling of "I don't have anything else to offer, and it wasn't good enough" is present.

I thought that the point that "this correlation [of monogamy and happiness] is much stronger for women than for men" directly related to what we had discussed in class regarding the fact that (evolutionally) women look for life partners whereas men attempt to spread genes to as many people as possible. With this thinking in mind, it would make sense that women would have more affects from the sexual encounters, as they are more invested in the act itself in regards to potentially carrying the child after the fact.

I feel like I related to the follow-up article more than the first - the fact that they mention that there isn't any proven causation between the two made it more relateable for me. I was having a hard time buying into the first article, especially since it seems like a very common-sense thought process? I liked the point that was made: "Until I find Ms. Right, it is quite rational to have plenty of sexual partners, and as a bonus it's fun along the way." It makes sense that people are more likely to be happy and mentally satisfied when they are in a committed and stable relationship than when they are looking to find that one person for them. That search, in and of itself, can be downright depressing.

1 Comment

This is a pretty constant problem in the behavioral sciences--it can be hard to get a grasp on the true story or how we should interpret findings when there are multiple view points. At the same time it is when researchers and authors disagree with one another that we may be most likely to get at the truth, because it's when someone is questioning your ideas that you really put them to the test and use the most rigorous science to demonstrate them. It's uncomfortable, but it's good to have a hard time drawing conclusions--it's where all the good ideas come from!

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This page contains a single entry by duche026 published on October 30, 2011 8:48 PM.

Why monogamy matters was the previous entry in this blog.

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