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Having Sex for the First Time Linked to Better Body Image for Men but Not for Women


According to Penn State researchers, the first time a male or female has sexual intercourse the experience can do one of two things either improve their self images about their body in the case males or demean a persons
thoughts about their body in the case of the females. The researchers looked at both high school students and college students during their study to derive at these conclusions.

Research Results

The researchers asked four hundred and thirty-two students of high school or college age about their attitudes and experiences in relationships with other people. All of the students were either high school or college freshmen ranging in age between seventeen and nineteen years old at the time the research started. The researchers asked the same questions to these students four times over the course of their high school or college careers. One hundred of the students in the research program had, had sex for the first time during that four-year period. The researchers found that the women in the study became happier with their body image near the end of the four years. While the men were happier with their body images at the start of the four year, study and remained happy throughout the study.


Researchers believe that what makes a male and female have different body image feelings after sex is key to understanding how it is related to body image issues that can and often do result in eating disorders.

Source: Journal of Adolescence