Today’s culture idolizes sexual pleasure while simultaneously debasing its unifying power in relationships. This casual approach to sex has left a trail of emotional wounds and physical consequences. We believe when women receive accurate information and healthier alternatives, they are capable of making wise and healthy decisions for themselves.
Protecting Our Emotional Bonds
Dr. Freda McKissic Bush is a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist that extensively studied the science behind casual sex and how it affects young people. She found that the chemicals released in the brain during sex can become addictive, giving sex a drug-like quality.
“Sexual activity releases chemicals in the brain, creating emotional bonds between partners. Breaking these bonds can cause depression and make it harder to bond with someone else in the future,” McKissic Bush said in her book Hooked. The bonding that happens with sex also leads to women staying in a relationship that is toxic, instead of fostering a healthy, loving relationship.
Women who engage in casual sex suffer emotional consequences that persist long after the details of an encounter are a dim memory. Researchers examining the mental health associations of “hookup sex” also report that participants who were not previously depressed showed depressive symptoms and loneliness after engaging in casual sex.
Sacramento State University psychologist Melina Bersamin published an article in the Journal of Sex Research based on a multi-campus study led by Miami University psychologist Seth Schwartz. The conclusion of their findings was:
As we predicted, people who engaged in more hookups had greater psychological distress. College students who recently engaged in casual sex reported lower levels of self-esteem, life satisfaction, and happiness compared to those who had not had casual sex. And students who recently engaged in hookups had higher distress scores as indicated by levels of depression and anxiety.
When researching the effects of casual sex on mental health, psychologist Susan Whitbourne, Ph.D., noted that it was difficult to even study sexual behavior outside of the context of a long-term relationship because regret, faulty memory, shame, or embarrassment tainted those she interviewed. She did state this particular fact, “On college campuses, where brief sexual liaisons are prevalent, unanticipated results can jeopardize a student’s career. In the workplace, the results can be just as disastrous, if not more so.”
Women need to be empowered with information about how their sexual behavior and choices might affect their psychological well being. We all desire to have gratifying and fulfilling intimate relationships, and by knowing the risks of short-term sexual encounters, you’ll increase your chances of making your long-term relationship goals come true.
Protecting Our Physical Bodies
Did you know that young adults between 15 and 24-year-old contract around 10 million new STIs/STDs each year, costing approximately $8 billion in direct medical costs?
And that’s just among young adults.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are an estimated 20,000,000 cases of sexually transmitted diseases per year in the United States.
Those are big numbers when you consider that STIs and STDs are entirely avoidable.
Young Adult and STI/STD Statistics* | Young adults are between the ages of 15-24
50% of all new STIs/STDs are found among young adults, even though they only represent 25% of the sexually experienced population.
15 STIs/STDs continue to be at epidemic levels among young adults.
The annual number of new infections is roughly equal among young men and young women, but women bear the burden of most of the negative consequences of STIs/STDs.
Most STIs/STDs are present without any symptoms.
The four most common STIs/STDs among teen girls are:
Herpes and HPV can be easily transmitted even with the use of a condom because they can be spread by skin-to-skin contact.
Young adults account for more than half of all reported cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Gonorrhea is considered an urgent threat because it is showing resistance to the last line of antibiotics usually used to treat it.
To eliminate all risks of contracting or spreading STIs/STDs requires being 100% abstinent from sexual activity. Not only does abstinence eliminate physical threats, but it also helps to eliminate the mental, emotional, and socioeconomic consequences of casual sexual activity.
But Abstinence Seems so “Yesterday”
Objectionable entertainment has portrayed behaviors like violence, profanity, sex, and drug-use as glamorous, fun, and beneficial, and our society is suffering the consequences. It has been one factor in confusing our culture and turning what is morally harmful to something glorified and good.
We are quick to understand that drug and alcohol addiction is harmful to human beings. We even see how substance abuse can hurt women sexually, as one study reported that half of the women who had a non-consensual sexual encounter said alcohol and other substances were factors in their assault.
When implemented for smoking, alcohol abuse, and drug use, abstinence has proven to be a successful approach; yet, it is frowned upon by much of society when it comes to sex. If Dr. Freda McKissic Bush’s research is correct and the chemicals released in the brain during sex are as addictive as other substances, then it stands to reason that refraining from it is the best option for the wellbeing of women (and men).
It is the only way to avoid the psychological, emotional, and physical risks that come from sex outside of the parameters of a committed relationship.
*Young adults stats from We Ascend: https://weascend.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Quick-Facts-2019-1.pdf?x51996
CDC Youth Risk Behavior Survey | Data Summary and Trends Report