Science can teach you new things, or it can provide official validation for things you’ve long known to be true. By “they,” I mostly mean “best-friend characters in romantic comedies.” Though such questionably helpful bon mots abound in our interpersonal relations and pop culture, there wasn’t much scientific evidence to back them up. In a study published recently in researchers at the University of Missouri had 170 heterosexual undergrads who had gone through a breakup in the past year keep online diaries over the course of a semester.
And with things like love and sex, it’s sometimes nice, comforting even, to impose a structure on the chaos, to realize that every lap you take around the track falls into the well-worn groove of humanity—that a lot of the time, we do the same things, for the same reasons. They submitted weekly “distress reports” and “self-esteem and sex reports.”The study gathers some canonical definitions of “rebound sex” from Yahoo Answers (“Rebound sex is when you’ve just gotten out of a relationship—typically a serious one, and you have sex with another person to either stick it to the one who dumped you or try to quiet your emotional hurt... ”) and of “revenge sex” from the website Lemondrop (“random, meaning- less hook-up just to make the ex jealous”).
Those who did were also more likely to keep having sex with new partners over time, “suggesting that they may be slower to recover from the breakup,” the study reads.Overall, participants’ distress decreased and then leveled off.Distress was at its lowest about 25 to 28 weeks after the breakup.“The average person also reported higher levels of coping, rebound, and revenge motives for sex immediately after the breakup, which then declined over time,” the study says.The nature of the relationship and the breakup had an effect on participants’ behavior, unsurprisingly.
A “dumpee” was much more distressed at first, and therefore more likely to have revenge or rebound sex than a “dumper.” The researchers also looked at how long the relationship lasted before it ended, and how committed the person was to it, but those results were more complex.For example, it seemed that someone who was more committed to their prior relationship was less likely to have sex in its aftermath, but if they did, it was more likely to be motivated by a desire to cope with negative feelings.Interestingly, self-esteem was the attribute that changed the least, “suggest[ing] that self-esteem…is a relatively stable property of the individual and, as such, may be relatively unaffected by relationship loss.” So that’s something to hold onto in the dark and lonely night.Up until now dating apps, not to be confused with online dating websites, have had a male heavy demographic—that is, until Tinder came along.Tinder is the latest in a slew of location based hook-up partner finding apps that use GPS to locate future sex-mates. But, it's different than Blendr, the other "Grindr for straight people," and the dozens of others of dating apps out there in one critical aspect: women are actually using it.Tinder's founders bragged to us about the number of female users when it launched last October, and though they didn't have fresh numbers, the app has received a lot of vocal approval from women online, including female tech writer Jenna Wortham, who says "there’s something about Tinder’s simple, flirty interface that is undeniably fun." This acceptance might have something to do with the fact that unlike every other hook-up app out there, which were birthed by men, as Ann Friedman notes in So far hook-up apps haven't catered to women because they lack certain protections that the XX-demographic likes when meeting potential sexual partners, argues Friedman: "women want authenticity, privacy, a more controlled environment, and a quick path to a safe, easy offline meeting." Perhaps because of its single female voice, Tinder offers a lot of those things mostly by way of Facebook.