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

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

Find a Treatment Facility Near You

Click on a state below to find eating disorder treatment options that could be right for you.

The information provided on EatingDisorders.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes and we encourage all visitors to see a licensed physician if they believe that they have an eating disorder. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of EatingDisorders.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

Copyright © 2008-2019 EatingDisorders.com.
Company Information

© 2019 EatingDisorders.com. All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of EatingDisorders.com's terms of service and privacy policy. The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.