Young Adult Casual Sexual Behavior: Life-Course-Specific Motivations and Consequences
Most young adults have had some casual sex experience. However, it is important to understand the motivations for such behavior. We investigate the motivations for and consequences of casual sex using a life-course lens. We use the Toledo Adolescent Relationship Study to examine a diverse sample of young adults with recent casual sexual experiences (N = 239). We draw on a subset of in-depth relationship narratives (N = 44) to provide a more nuanced understanding of the motivations for and consequences of casual sex. We find that sexual pleasure and substance use remain the most common reasons for participating in casual sex. However, young adults report motives that are associated with the young adult stage in the life course including too busy for commitment, geographic mobility, and feeling too young to be tied down. These findings can inform service providers who work with the young adult population.
Lyons, Heidi A., Wendy D. Manning, Monica A. Longmore, and Peggy C. Giordano. 2014. “Young Adult Casual Sexual Behavior: Life Course Specific Motivations and Consequences.” Sociological Perspective 57: 79-101.
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