Feelings of regret following uncommitted sexual encounters in Canadian university students

Department of Psychology, Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Culture Health & Sexuality (Impact Factor: 1.55). 11/2011; 14(1):45-57. DOI: 10.1080/13691058.2011.619579
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In this study we explored the prevalence of regret following uncommitted sexual encounters (i.e., casual sex that occurs with someone once and only once or with someone known for less than 24 hours) among 138 female and 62 male Canadian university students, who were approximately 21 years of age. The majority of participants self-reported that they had experienced feelings of regret after an uncommitted sexual encounter. We found women reported feeling significantly more regret than men. However, men's regret was more closely tied to physical attributes than women's regrets. Regret was also influenced by the quality of the sex: high-quality sex rarely led to regret, while the reverse was true for poor-quality sex. In keeping with past studies, intoxication by alcohol and/or drugs was often listed as a source of regret by both men and women.

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    • "In this study we aimed to contribute to the literature on college student hook ups by developing a synthetic cohort to examine changes in the rates of hook ups across semester in college. Several scholars have pointed out the potential increased exposure to health risks associated with hooking up, including exposure to sexually transmitted infections, unplanned pregnancy, shame, regret, feeling victimised and negative emotional reactions (Fisher et al. 2012; Flack et al. 2007; LaBrie et al. 2014; Lewis et al. 2012; Owen and Fincham 2011). Knowing the extent to which a hook up pattern exists across semesters in college, as well as how this pattern varies by alcohol use, gender and relationship status, would help to promote relationship and sexual health education among college students, which has been suggested by scholars examining emerging adult relationships generally (Fincham, Stanley, and Rhoades 2011; Negash 2012), and hooking up among college students specifically (Katz and Schneider 2013; Lewis et al. 2012; Olmstead, Pasley, and Fincham 2013; Olmstead et al. 2013). "
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