Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

Girls, Sex, and Depression, Part 1


These days, we’re not supposed to take gender difference seriously. It’s politically incorrect. But in yesterday’s Chronicle for Higher Education, Steven E. Rhoads, from the University of Virginia, writes about how males and females respond differently after engaging in casual sex. Studies of teen and college-age girls show that females are much more likely to suffer psychologically.

Edward S. Herold and Dawn-Marie Mewhinney found that women who hook up get less enjoyment and feel more guilt than men do. Denise Hallfors and colleagues found that female teenagers are much more likely than male teenagers to become depressed after sexual encounters with multiple partners. Catherine Grello, a clinical psychologist, and colleagues found that college men who sleep around the most are the least likely to report symptoms of depression, while female college students who engage in casual sex are the most likely to report depression.

Studies also suggest that among girls who initially buy into the “hook-up” culture, most are fed up by the time they finish college.

30 percent of the ninth-grade girls said they would be game for sex after that great first date, while only 5 percent of college-senior women said they would be. The trend for young men was the opposite. About 30 percent of the ninth-grade boys also said they would have sex after a great first date, but 60 percent of the college-senior men said they would.

The hook-up culture is popular among young men. Meanwhile, young women are getting burned. Profound sexual inequality — that is what young women face in our culture after 45 years of sexual liberation.


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