As always, I found this weeks articles to be very attention grabbing. As soon as I was reading these articles I found myself relating it to my life and thinking about my friends and their relationships, as well as my own, and found the article discussing people practicing monogamy to be extremely happier than those who are not. When being monogamous it is easier to get comfortable with that one person, and share things with them that you couldn't share with random people. Which is why I think that the articles talking about the health benefits of sex relate mostly to people in monogamous relationships. Whether the sex tips do or do not work better for people practicing monogamy I found the facts to be extremely interesting! All the benefits of having sex more often really shocked me because people never really traditionally think of sex as being a "cure" for the things mentioned in the articles. However after reading all the research and the stories such as Sadie Nardini and her husband's of using sex as a reason to kick their bad habits I found the articles and their research to be pretty logical.
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In the first article, the part that struck me most was the idea that female happiness overall has gone down since the sexual revolution. In the 60s and 70s, the sexual revolution was supposed to be this liberating, freeing change in the way everything worked with love and relationships and I think it is extremely interesting that in reality, it is a stresser in women's lives. The strong correlation between women's happiness and sexual stability makes sense, especially if you take into consideration attachment. Thinking about attachment and the insecure ways people can be attached to sexual or romantic partners, it is easy to see how having more could make people unhappy.
Also, after reading both articles I was curious what the norm was for how long to wait (in the adult world) before sex. So naturally, I googled it. I found the majority of answers on the question type sites like yahoo answers. Most guys seemed to say three dates or as few as possible where women said closer to ten. I also noticed women were more likely to suggest waiting until marriage as well as counting in weeks, months or years instead of dates.
I thought that the majority of the information given by the articles seemed pretty logical just based on what I've seen in relationships of people I know. Specifically the part where they talked about women who have multiple partners seemed to be more depressed. Most of the girls that I know regret hook ups the next day especially if alcohol was involved. I think that girls, in general, have more of an emotional connection with their partner than guys. As we mentioned in our Gender differences discussion women tend to be more open with their emotions and I think that ties significantly with the depression portion of the multiple partners. I think that sex is completely different for males than it is for females. There's a reason sayings like "Guys only want one thing." or "Guys don't only think with the head on their shoulders." Based on stereotypes, men tend to see sex as a short term, primarily physical connection and it is not necessarily important who they are with. I think women see it more as a long term, primarily emotional connection. That's why I wasn't too surprised to read that depression tends to increase as the number of partners increase for women because they continue to lose these emotional ties and begin new ones with the same results.
I don't know how well this information depicts depression in males though. Just from what I've heard from most guys, they praise the guy who "gets around". I feel like being the guy that the rest of the guys look up to would make them happier. I would be interested in hearing more about that. I would also be interested to hear information about same sex relationships and if they differ in any way.
As for the portion on planned parenthood, I think that informing young adults on how to practice safe sex is extremely important. Planned Parenthood does not only perform abortions, they provide screening for certain cancers and STDs and provide preventative information to avoid getting pregnant in the first place (therefore decreasing the demand for abortions) I'm attaching an article that I've read that goes more into detail about the benefits of Planned Parenthood that opposers like to ignore. Link
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.
Some of what these articles said came as a surprise to me. I think that it makes sense that being promiscuous would lead to depression, but the article makes a good point that correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation. When the article talked about this, I thought that seemed logical though. It seems to me like the people I know who have sex and then end up breaking up right away or just sleep around aren't as happy with themselves, which leads them to be more depressed. Those that I know who wait and have sex with someone that they are in a committed relationship with seem to be happier. When the article said that teenagers now are having more monogamous relationships and more teens are virgins than there used to be. It seems to me like adolescents are more promiscuous today. In my high school, we had to write persuasive a speech, and one of the guys in my class wrote his on having sex education in schools. He did a nice job with his speech, and the teacher gave him a perfect score, but once the principal found out what he did his speech on, he made the teacher give him a lower score. This seemed completely ridiculous to everyone because it wasn't that he was encouraging sex, he was just encouraging sex education instead of abstinence as the only option. I think it's good for schools to talk about other options rather than only focusing on abstinence because it's not that realistic to think that teenagers won't have sex at all. It's not bad to talk about abstinence, and that should be something they stress, but they need to tell them other options.
I think that this study that links promiscuity is interesting, and from looking at people I know, it seems to be true. Most of my friends who seem the happiest are in monogamous relationships, and they wait to have sex until they are secure in the relationship, usually after a few months. People I know who have a lot of sexual partners and don't wait until their relationship is secure to have sex do seem more depressed, and their relationships never last long. But I want to know if promiscuity leads to depression or if depression leads to promiscuity. It seems like someone who is already depressed will try to makes themself feel better by having sex, because in that moment you feel good. Afterwards when the guy doesn't talk to you again it makes you feel more depressed, so it kind of seems like a cycle.
This is also kind of confusing, because I have always thought that a good sex drive is healthy. It seems like people who are uninterested in sex aren't very happy either. So if you are a girl with a high sex drive then are you doomed to depression until you find a good mate? And if you have a lot of sexual partners does that mean your future monogamous relationship is less likely to be successful?
I think that Planned Parenthood's philosophy on sex is the right one, and what should be taught. Sexual education programs should recognize that teenagers are going to have sex no matter what. Abstinence programs make those who are sexually active feel bad about themselves, and group anyone who is sexually active with people who engage in dangerous sex.Education programs should take sex seriously, and educate teens about the dangers of sex, and how to prevent them. I also think they should emphasize that it is good to wait for somebody, like the article said the successful abstinence based education programs did.
I found the articles very interesting. Especially where they discuss how american teens and people in their twenties are waiting longer to have sex. I would have never believe that. It's still kind of hard to believe it but in a way it makes sense. I remember reading an article by Erica Jong titled Is Sex Passe? In the article she talks about how women these days are leaning more towards the motherhood and monogamy of the 50s. This relates to the article we read this week when they also discuss this idea. I think it's just hard to believe that teens and young adults are waiting longer because younger generations seem so much more "open" to everything. The way they act and dress(especially for girls) are just atrocious which for me I just connected to them being so much more promiscuous.
The fact that high promiscuity can lead to depression was also interesting. I'd never heard of that before. Although there isn't a lot of evidence backing this up, seeing as how they can't really do experiments, there could still be different reasons for this occurring. They say that as the number of partners rose depression rose but it was also paired with the stability of their sex life and how it was diminishing. The last bit makes this more of a plausible correlation. I think the depression is more correlated to the lack of stability there is then the number of partners there are. Especially for women, they want the feeling of being protected. And in a biological sense they want a man to raise their children and provide safety for her and her children. Without stability in this area of a woman's life it's easy to see how she might not be as happy as a woman with a single partner.
Coming from a Catholic school background my entire life, I could relate to the article talking about the ineffective nature of abstinence only sex education. Just as many of my friends that, like myself, had received only messages such as "the only safe sex is no sex" were having sex as my friends who had gone through the public school system and had actually had a real "sex ed" class. Simply telling teenagers "don't do it" isn't going to deter anyone. I was, however, surprised to read that more and more teenagers are waiting to loose their virginity. We live in a society where it seems as if the promiscuity is just the norm; sex seems to be viewed as just a casual thing rather than something that deals with strong emotional attachments. Learning that this stereotype for our generation isn't as true as I thought it was a good thing.
Moving on to the articles pertaining to the health benefits of sexual activity, I had always heard random bits of these facts but never really thought of them to be true. I found it interesting that there have actually been studies showing correlations between sexual activity and skin/hair health, the likelihood of catching a cold or the flu, and the reduction of migraines. Though the articles pointed out that these are correlations and not necessary causations, I am curious to know the science behind why and how this is. It's obvious that sex burns calories and is, in a way, a form of exercise which we all need to have in our life, but these other correlations I find less obvious.
While reading this weeks two articles, I was a little surprised but also glad to know that our generation really is not as promiscuous as I had thought. I was somewhat under the impression that sex is more of a casual thing for our generation, not that I agree with that. To find out that this really isn't the case was relieving. After hearing so many wild stories about college life, I came in under the assumption that no one around me would be virgins. While condoms are being handed to us left and right, this only further confirmed my biases. It was actually really refreshing to find out how many people actually are virgins. I personally do not believe in "casual" sex and I really think that it would be much more meaningful if it is with someone you truly love. I have talked to many of my girlfriends about this and we all have different views. Some use sex as a way to feel close with a guy, if only for a little while. This leads me to believe that girls will turn to sex because of their personal insecurities. Another one of my friends simply doesn't think that it is that big of a deal to have many sexual partners. She believes it's just a part of life. On the opposite end of the spectrum is one of my good friends who thinks that sex is only for committed relationships.
I definitely believe that woman who have had many sexual partners would be more likely to have depression/feel depressed. For various reasons, women become more emotionally attached and they could be feeling a sense of regret after having sex with many people but never really gaining anything, such as a commitment or connection, from it. My opinion is that many women seek sex to be close to someone, and if you're able to be in a committed relationship with a person, you will be much happier.
After reading the articles, I was shocked to see that teens are waiting longer to have sex for the first time. It seems to me that our generation is more promiscuous than previous generations, and everything has been pushed younger and younger. My sister is a sophomore in high school and she does not have a serious boyfriend. If she did, I would talk to her and warn her of the emotional attachment that many sex and health classes forget to mention. I dated someone for 1 and a half years freshman year of high school, and I remember the pressure to be intimate just because we had been together for so long. Now that I'm older I'm able to look back and realize although I loved him at the time, I wasn't truly in love. I feel like sex is such a special way to bring two people together, and should be shared with few people. I believe it's true when they mention that promiscuous women tend to be more depressed. Many women who don't love themselves seek love from other people. Also, if you give yourself to many different people, it begins to lose its specialty. I think sex is something that should be saved for a select few.