Study Finds Women Judge Peers Who Have Had Multiple Sexual Partners as Not Suitable for Friendship

A study conducted by researchers at the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University finds that college-age women who are deemed sexually promiscuous are often shunned by their women peers.

The researchers presented more than 750 college students with vignettes describing a male or female peer. The only difference in the two different vignettes presented was that one of the students profiled had two sexual partners and one had 20. After reading the vignettes, participants were asked to rate the person profiled on 10 friendship factors. Women participants in the study were more likely to score the woman who had 20 sexual partners more negatively on 9 of the 10 friendship factors.

VrangalovaZhana Vrangalova, a Ph.D. student at Cornell and lead author of the study, stated, “Sexually permissive women are ostracized for being ‘easy,’ whereas men with a high number of sexual partners are viewed with a sense of accomplishment. What surprised us in this study is how unaccepting promiscuous women were of other promiscuous women when it came to friendships – these are the very people one would think they could turn to for support.”

The study, “Birds of a Feather? Not When It Comes to Sexual Permissiveness,” was published on the website of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. The article may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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