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Last Updated: Friday, 31 March 2006, 10:29 GMT 11:29 UK
Women say 'casual sex is immoral'
The cast of Sex in the City
Some say casual sex can be a wonderful adventure
The Sex and the City image of women seeking casual encounters for pleasure does not quite fit the latest research.

Nine out of 10 women interviewed in-depth about their views said they thought one night stands were immoral.

The researchers investigating female attitudes to sex and sexuality found most women had more traditional views of casual sex than they expected.

The results of the Sheffield team's study of 46 women is presented at a psychology conference on Friday.

They found only 10% of the women aged 23 to 83 who were interviewed at length thought "no strings" sex was acceptable.

'Looking for love'

Dr Sharron Hinchcliff will tell the British Psychological Society conference in Cardiff it made her question whether women have really gained the sexual freedom they are supposed to have enjoyed since the 1960s.

The team from the University of Sheffield asked women about their general attitudes to sex and concerns about casual sex emerged.

They found that although participants thought one-night stands were immoral, they did not condemn women for having them as many of them had indulged themselves.

But there was a view that those that did had "something lacking in their lives".

'Emotional involvement'

She said the results did not fit in with images of today's independent woman who can go out and get sexual fulfilment without the ties of a relationship.

She told the BBC News website: "Women positioned sex very much in the context of an intimate relationship.

"But when they talked about casual sex they didn't give those reasons.

"Rather it was because they were looking for something - looking for love or because they had got drunk or were high on drugs.

"There was a real sense that they were out of control."

She added: "Sex is an emotional experience for women so how could they have sex without being emotionally involved?"

'Wonderful adventure'

Dr Tuppy Owens, of the Sexual Freedom Coalition, said casual sex could be an empty experience if there was no mental connection.

Dr Owens added: "However, if you go out wondering what might happen, ready to give as well as receive, you might have the most wonderful adventure."

The results of the research appear to clash with the results of a national survey in 2000 which found Britons are more promiscuous than ever before.

The National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles 2000 (Natsal 2000) found that men and women have more sexual partners than they did 10 years ago and are more likely to be unfaithful.

'Promiscuous' Britain uncovered
30 Nov 01 |  Health

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