In recent years, the culture of sexual intercourse has become increasingly prevalent, with the rise of cars and novel entertainment such as movie theaters. This culture has been linked to a variety of negative outcomes, including psychological distress, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. A study found that those who had participated in the culture of sexual intercourse had lower overall self-esteem scores than those who had not. Additionally, 61 percent of undergraduate students reported consuming alcohol during their most recent relationship.
Negative experiences associated with sexual intercourse include regret for a specific partner (45.0%), feelings of sexual dissatisfaction (39.0%), regret that a relationship went too far (35.3%), and shame (35.1%). It is not yet clear the degree to which sexual relationships can provoke positive reactions, and whether young men and women are sexually satisfied in these encounters. The culture of sexual intercourse also increases the risk of STD transmission due to “the greater likelihood of having multiple or simultaneous partners,” according to the National Library of Medicine. Both sexual intercourse and the number of sexual partners are related to greater symptoms of depression and anxiety.
In the current study, negative experiences of sexual intercourse were associated with worse mental health for both men and women. Making safe and informed choices can help protect physical, mental, and sexual health. Prospective studies would provide a useful way to clarify the relationship between partner behaviors and mental health outcomes. It is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with hookup culture in order to make informed decisions about one's own sexual health.