By first mentioning to causation and correlation to try to lend the piece scientific weight only to then go ahead and make a completely fallacious correlation. The research quoted at the end of the piece only finds correlation with drunken flings and regret and only with college students.
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It is easy to think of on-screen examples of handsome leading men seducing a starlet they have just met or of a sultry heroine heading home with her new-found beau after only a few hours.
They discovered that among young people, alcohol played an important role in hooking up.
When sex happened in the context of a drunken evening, participants were more likely to regret it.
Interestingly, when the researchers then explored the well-being of the “oat sowers," they discovered levels of happiness.
Casual sex was related to lower levels of life satisfaction and self-esteem, and higher levels of depression and anxiety.
Using statistical controls, the researchers also found that this general trend held true for both young men and women.
The astute reader will understand that these are correlations and not causation: It might be that people in distress are more likely to seek a convenient sexual encounter, or that a casual hookup is more likely to lead to feelings of regret.
According to surveys, 75 percent of Americans and Europeans have had sex by age 20, long before people generally commit to long-term relationships. Psychologists refer to the years from age 18 to 29 as “emerging adulthood” and it is characterized by a sense of possibility—and unprecedented social freedom.