TUESDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- People who "hook up" for
casual sex can have as rewarding a long-term relationship as those
who take it slowly and establish a meaningful connection before
they have sex, says a new study.
University of Iowa researchers analyzed relationship surveys and
found that average relationship quality was higher for people who
took it slowly than for those who became sexually involved in
"hook-ups," casual dating, or "friends with benefits"
However, having sex early on wasn't the reason for this
disparity, according to UI sociologist Anthony Paik. When he
factored out people who weren't interested in getting serious, he
found that those who became sexually involved as friends or
acquaintances and were open to a serious relationship were just as
happy as those who dated but delayed having sex.
The study analyzed a survey of 642 heterosexual adults in
Chicago. To measure the quality of the relationships, people
answered questions about how much they loved their partner, their
level of satisfaction with intimacy in the relationship, the future
of the relationship, and how their lives would be different if the
"We didn't see much evidence that relationships were lower quality because they started off as hook-ups," Paik, an assistant professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said in a UI news release.
"The study suggests that rewarding relationships are possible for those who delay sex. But it's also possible for true love to emerge if things start off with a more 'Sex and the City' approach, when people spot each other across the room, become sexually involved and then build a relationship," he added.
The study is published in the August issue of the journal
Social Science Research.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about