Myth vs Fact, Videos

Is Casual Sex Bad For You?

July 16, 2015 by Justin Lehmiller


“We’re still very conflicted as a society and as individuals over whether it’s acceptable and healthy to have casual sex–sex outside the confines of long-term romantic relationships. We’re constantly surrounded by it, yet we’re often told it’s bad for us, we shouldn’t be doing it. By the time we’re 25, seventy percent of us will have hooked up at least once, yet most of us will worry that we shouldn’t be doing it.” – Dr. Zhana Vrangalova

Although casual sex is something that most Americans have done before, it is a sexual activity that continues to be viewed in a largely negative light. For instance, casual sex is frequently portrayed in the popular media as risky and as a “lesser” form of sex. But is this negative reputation deserved? In this TEDx talk, Dr. Zhana Vrangalova explores what the science on casual sex has revealed, including its potential benefits and risks, men’s and women’s most common psychological reactions to it, and how experiences with casual sex are linked to our long-term relationship outcomes. Dr. Vrangalova’s nuanced analysis reveals that casual sex can affect different people in very different ways, which means that casual sex isn’t inherently a good or bad thing. Indeed, who you are, how you’re doing it, and why you’re doing it are critical to understanding the effects of casual sex. Check out the video below to learn more.

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Image Source: Marcinski

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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