College Kids Believe Other People Are Having Way More Sex Than Them

by 5 years ago

According to a new study from researchers at the University of Washington, we think that our peers have more sex than they actually do. And this creates an interesting scenario. The psychiatrists have found that this misperceived notion leads college kids to modify their behavior to fit a “mold,” especially during events like Spring Break

Translation: Girls Gone Wild is the result of women thinking they have to show their tits to Joe Francis because “everyone” else is doing it. And Spring Break is basically what happens when a bunch of people's brains amping the debauchery ante to fit in. (So not so bad?)

College students (N = 1,540; 53.9 % female) were asked to report descriptive normative perceptions of sex with casual partners, drinking prior to sex, number of drinks prior to sex, and condom use as well as their own Spring Break drinking and sexual behaviors. Students perceived the typical same-sex student to have engaged in more frequent sexual behavior for all outcomes than students' own self-reported sexual behavior. Furthermore, results revealed that these perceptions were positively associated with behavior. The choice of travel companion (friend(s) versus romantic partner) also differentially predicted sexual behaviors. Results suggested that intervention efforts aimed at reducing risks for Spring Break trip-takers may be strongest when they incorporate corrective normative information and target those traveling with friends.


By the way, the title of the scholarly article is “Sex on the Beach.” That is all.

[H/T: i09]