Casual sex isn't a bad thing — at least not for young adults, according to a new study.
University of Minnesota researchers asked more than 1,300 people age 18 to 24 about their most recent sexual encounters, their self-esteem and their emotional well-being — and found the results startling.
Only about one-fifth said their last encounter was casual, but their overall emotional status was no different than the four-fifths who said they were in a committed relationship, FOX News reports.
"We were so surprised," said Marla Eisenberg, who is an assistant professor at the university School of Public Health.
"The conventional wisdom is that casual sex, 'friends with benefits,' and hooking up is hurtful. That's what we've been teaching kids for decades," she said, adding that abstinence-only sex education programs in particular enforce this notion.
However, researchers said that this doesn’t mean casual sex is for everyone - and Eisenberg is quick to warn of the physical consequences of casual sex. Rates of sexually transmitted diseases continue to increase and teen pregnancy rates in Minnesota in particular are also on the rise, according to the Star Tribune.