One in five college freshmen’s Facebook includes a reference to sex, signaling intent to go get some.
So suggests a study published in the Journal of Sex Research.
Now let’s qualify: The study looked at only 85 Facebook profiles of college freshmen who all attend the same university, which hardly makes for a representative sample that would support a definitive conclusion.
The researchers interviewed 118 freshmen at the aforementioned institution, but didn’t name the school, nor explain why the study only examined 85 of the students’ Facebook profiles.
The key findings underwhelm: One in five of the Facebook profiles included sexual references, and about two thirds of them happened to be males.
The researchers sum up their results:
Our findings suggest that sexual references displayed on Facebook profiles of college freshmen were associated with intention to become sexually active. We did not find a significant association between the online display of sexual references and either sexual experience or risky sexual behavior, although we noted a trend that suggested an association between [those with sexual references on their profiles] and likelihood of having engaged in oral sex. These findings suggest that the display of sexual references on Facebook is a developmental marker of the emergent adult as a sexual person.
An oddity that seems out of touch with modernity: The researchers persist in calling 18-to-19-year-olds “late adolescents.” That term more accurately refers to high school freshmen, whose romantic intentions are far more controversial than those of college first-years, who are pretty much expected to be sowing their oats.
This kind of disconnection with realtiy makes us want to question the researchers’ statement that they believe their study is the first of its kind. We do agree with them on the need for additional research into this topic, but hope that whoever tackles this topic next can recruit a larger study sample spanning diverse demograpbhics.
Readers, what do you make of these findings?