Mature students register more positive gains from sexDecember 22nd, 2009 - 6:13 pm ICT by IANS
Toronto, Dec 22 (IANS) Mature students are likely to register more positive gains from sex than their less emotionally sound counterparts, research says.
In a study on emotional experiences and sexual behaviours, including oral and penetrative intercourse, University of Alberta (U-A) psychologists - doctoral student Andrea Dalton and her supervisor Nancy Galambos - surveyed first-year students over an eight-month period.
“There seems to be some kind of compensatory effect of sexual behaviour that brings that negative emotion right down,” she said. “That was unexpected but interesting, and was another side of what the relation between emotion and sexual relations might mean for students.”
Dalton says her findings point to the notion that the mature students were, in fact, ready for sex and its psychological and emotional outcomes. They also benefited positively by engaging in sexual behaviour.
Dalton notes that some previous research has viewed sexual activity in young people as inherently negative. Her study points out that for youth who are “on track” emotionally and psychologically, sex may not necessarily be a bad thing.
The study showed an increase in negative emotion for immature students who had penetrative sex. But the same result was not present when they engaged in oral sex.
The finding, says Dalton, may suggest that students might consider oral sex to be a less serious sexual behaviour and, thus, may have less of an overall negative effect on mood.
Dalton’s study indicated that students who were living outside of their family home environment reported having more negative emotions than those who lived at home.
The transition to university and moving from home into new social surroundings is filled with stressors, says Dalton. However, sexual intimacy could be serving as a coping mechanism for chasing the blues away, said a U-A release.
“It is a goal of healthy human development to include healthy sexuality as well,” concludes Dalton.
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Tags: andrea dalton, chasing the blues, coping mechanism, doctoral student, emotional experiences, family home environment, findings point, healthy sexuality, mature students, negative emotion, negative emotions, previous research, sexual activity, sexual behaviour, sexual behaviours, sexual intimacy, sexual relations, social surroundings, stressors, university of alberta