Chapter

No Strings Attached?

Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker

in Premarital Sex in America

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199743285
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894741 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199743285.003.0005
No Strings Attached?

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This chapter delves into how young Americans emotionally experience their sexual relationships and activity patterns. Men and women report very different levels of emotional connectivity over sex, both on surveys and in person. We explore here the emotions to sex, and note how different sexual traits — like the frequency of intercourse and partner cycling — differentially affect young women’s emotional health. Women and men often want different things from their relationships, and often get different things. Some types of sexual relationship tend to make people more contented and secure, and some do not. It is sexual security that the data point to as most valuable and valued by women. Toward that end, many young women spend considerable time “managing their hearts,” making effort to like the sorts of relationships they’re in, even when what they describe is destructive, one-sided, or clearly unfulfilling. Among women, virgins and those in stable relationships fare best emotionally.

Keywords: emotional struggle; guilt; sexual decisions; sex differences; emotional connectivity

Chapter.  13746 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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