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What Women Really Think of Casual Sex

"Sex and the City" was wrong! Fully 90 percent of women say casual sex--that is, the classic one-night stand, is immoral.

That's the word from a new study on female attitudes toward sex and sexuality conducted by Great Britain's University of Sheffield, which found that women have more traditional views of casual sex than expected in our sexually-charged society, reports the BBC News.

Led by Dr. Sharron Hinchcliff, this small but in-depth study of 46 women ages 23 to 83 set out to find whether women had really gained the sexual freedom they supposedly have enjoyed since the 1960s. The short answer appears to be a sound no. Just 10 percent think "no strings attached" sex is acceptable.

Interestingly, even though the overwhelming majority disparage such sex as an immoral act, they did not condemn other women for engaging in one-night stands. Why? Many of the women--even the ones who called it immoral--had at one time or another engaged in a one-night stand. But the experience taught them a valuable life lesson: That kind of sex is empty and shallow and means there is something lacking in their life.

Hinchcliff noted that the results do not mesh with images of today's independent woman who can go out and freely have sex without the cumbersome ties of a committed relationship. "Women positioned sex very much in the context of an intimate relationship, but when they talked about casual sex they didn't give those reasons," Hinchcliff told the BBC. "Rather it was because they were looking for something--looking for love or because they had got drunk or were high on drugs. There was a real sense that they were out of control. Sex is an emotional experience for women so how could they have sex without being emotionally involved?"

Dr. Tuppy Owens, of the Sexual Freedom Coalition agrees, insisting that casual sex could be an empty experience if there was no mental connection. Still, she told the BBC, "However, if you go out wondering what might happen, ready to give as well as receive, you might have the most wonderful adventure."

The study findings were presented to a meeting of the British Psychological Society.

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