10 Things Science

Guess what: people tend not to respect you if you’re having too much sex

It should be an obvious conclusion: if you’re having lots of sex — and Web Watch is talking about you having way more sex than your peers are — then you shouldn’t be surprised if those same peers have a lower opinion of you.

Which does lead to the obvious question, if you’re not having all that extra sex with your peers — then who ARE you having all that sex with?  But we digress…lets get back to the question at hand…

Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus
Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus

According to a report presented at the ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, college students who are more sexually active are less respected than those who have sex at about the same levels as the people answering the survey.

The question on the survey that led to this was, “If (a man or a woman) hooks up or has sex with lots of people, I respect them less.”

So either the respondents agreed with this statement, or they didn’t.  There were four categories that the respondents would then subsequently get categorized as:

  • egalitarian conservative: similar sexual histories are fine, but will lose respect if you hook up too much
  • egalitarian libertarian: no respect lost for men or women, regardless of how much hooking up is going on
  • traditional double-standard: only women who hook up a lot are less respected; men, not so much
  • reverse double-standard: men who hook up a lot are less respected; women, not so much

Based on this, the survey found that of the 19,000 college students they surveyed, the vast majority of them — 48% — were egalitarian conservative.

27% of those surveyed were egalitarian libertarian.

The unusual statistic is that 12% were in the traditional double-standard group, but more — 13% — were in the reverse double-standard category.  That’s a bit unusual, don’t you think?

When they broke the results into gender-specific categories, they found that more women then men were considered egalitarian conservative, 54% to 35%.   In other words, women were much more harsh in judging the amount of sex and hook-ups that others were doing versus what men would think.

On the other hand, 6% of women were in the traditional double-standard group, versus 25% of men.  So who knows what women really think of judging others’ sexual activity?