Sexual Health news - Sexual Health and Behavior

Researchers find college students to be judgmental of others' casual sex lives

College may be a popular time to experiment sexually with peers. This includes "hooking up," which is a casual occurrence that subsequently may increase a participant's likelihood of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. However, a recent study discovered that, although such engagements are not uncommon during this time, about half of students are judgmental of others.

The report presented at the 107th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association delved into how college students view their peers when it comes to sexual involvement with others. Researchers from the University of Illinois looked at the results of the 2011 Online College Social Life Survey, which represented approximately 19,000 individuals enrolled at one of 22 universities. After categorizing the participants into four groups based on their answers, they concluded that nearly half of the students reported that they judge other male and female students with similar levels of sexual engagement the same way, and think negatively toward those who frequently hook up with one another.

The study's investigators also found that females are more likely than males to have this view, as well as lose respect for other women who engage in frequent sexual activity, but not overly promiscuous men.

In addition, they reported that men who were either involved in athletics or the Greek system were more likely to negatively evaluate women, and usually thought badly of those who hooked up a lot. Conversely, they did not feel this way about men who did.

"Men and women are increasingly judging each other on the same level playing field," said Rachel Allison, co-author of the study. "But, gender equality and sexual liberation are not synonymous. While we've come a long way in terms of gender equality, it seems that a large portion of both college men and women lose respect for individuals who they believe participate in too frequent casual sexual activity."