Rebound Sex: Sexual Motives and Behaviors Following a Relationship Breakup
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
The present study used a longitudinal, online diary method to examine trajectories of psychological recovery and sexual experience following a romantic relationship breakup among 170 undergraduate students. Consistent with popular beliefs about rebound and revenge sex, having sex to cope with distress and to get over or get back at the ex-partner were elevated immediately following the breakup and then declined over time, as did the probability of having sex with a new partner. Also consistent with popular lore, those who were “dumped” by their partners were more distressed and angry and more likely to have sex to cope and to get back at or get over their ex-partner. Finally, individuals who reported having sex to cope with negative feelings or to get over their ex-partner at the beginning of the study were more likely to have sex with a stranger and to continue having sex with new partners over time. Results were discussed in terms of widely held but largely untested beliefs about rebound and revenge sex.
- ABC News. (2004, October 21). The American sex survey: A peek beneath the sheets. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/images/Politics/959a1AmericanSexSurvey.pdf.
- Anderson, E. R., Greene, S. M., Walker, L., Malerba, C., Forgatch, M. S., & DeGarmo, D. S. (2004). Ready to take a chance again: Transitions into dating among divorced parents. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 40, 61–75. CrossRef
- Bancroft, J., Janssen, E., Strong, D., Carnes, L., Vukadinovic, Z., & Long, J. (2003). The relation between mood and sexuality in heterosexual men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 32, 217–230. CrossRef
- Bryk, A. S., & Raudenbush, S. W. (1992). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
- Cooper, M. L., Shapiro, C. M., & Powers, A. M. (1998). Motivations for sex and risky sexual behavior among adolescents and young adults: A functional perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 1528–1558. CrossRef
- Davis, D., Shaver, P. R., & Vernon, M. L. (2003). Physical, emotional, and behavioral reactions to breaking up: The roles of gender, age, emotional involvement, and attachment style. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 871–884. CrossRef
- DiTommaso, E., Brannen-McNulty, C., Ross, L., & Burgess, M. (2003). Attachment styles, social skills and loneliness in young adults. Personality and Individual Differences, 35, 303–312. CrossRef
- Fine, M. A., & Sacher, J. A. (1997). Predictors of distress following relationship termination among dating couples. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 16, 381–388. CrossRef
- Frazier, P. A., & Cook, S. W. (1993). Correlates of distress following heterosexual relationship dissolution. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 55–67. CrossRef
- Gall, T. L., Evans, D. R., & Bellerose, S. (2000). Transition to first-year university: Patterns of change in adjustment across life domains and time. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 19, 544–567. CrossRef
- Gebhardt, W. A., Kuyper, L., & Greunsven, G. (2003). Need for intimacy in relationships and motives for sex as determinants of adolescent condom use. Journal of Adolescent Health, 33, 154–164. CrossRef
- Grossbard, J. R., Lee, C. M., Neighbors, C., Hendershot, C. S., & Larimer, M. E. (2007). Alcohol and risky sex in athletes and non-athletes: What roles do sex motives play? Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 68, 566–574.
- Heatherton, T. F., & Polivy, J. (1991). Development and validation of a scale for measuring state self-esteem. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 895–910. CrossRef
- Helgeson, V. S. (1994). Long-distance romantic relationships: Sex differences in adjustment and breakup. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 20, 254–265. CrossRef
- Kessler, R. C. (1995). The national comorbidity survey: Preliminary results and future directions. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 5, 139–151.
- Leigh, B. C., Temple, M. T., & Trocki, K. F. (1993). The sexual behavior of US adults: Results from a national survey. American Journal of Public Health, 83, 1400–1408. CrossRef
- Mehta, P. D., & West, S. G. (2000). Putting the individual back into individual growth curves. Psychological Methods, 5, 23–43. CrossRef
- Meston, C. M., & Buss, D. M. (2007). Why humans have sex. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 36, 477–507. CrossRef
- Owen, J., Fincham, F. D., & Moore, J. (2011). Short-term prospective study of hooking up among college students. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 331–341. CrossRef
- Patrick, M. E., Maggs, J., Cooper, M. L., & Lee, C. M. (2011). Measurement of motivations for and against sexual behavior. Assessment, 18, 502–516. CrossRef
- Perilloux, C., & Buss, D. (2008). Breaking up romantic relationships: Costs experienced and coping strategies deployed. Evolutionary Psychology, 6, 164–181.
- Perilloux, C., Duntley, J. D., & Buss, D. M. (2011). Susceptibility to sexual victimization and women’s mating strategies. Personality and Individual Differences, 51, 783–786. CrossRef
- Raudenbush, S. W., & Bryk, A. S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Raudenbush, S., Bryk, A., Cheong, Y. F., & Congdon, R. (2004). HLM 6 hierarchical linear modeling [Computer software]. Chicago: Scientific Software International.
- Santelli, J. S., Brener, N. D., Lowry, R., Bhatt, A., & Zabin, L. S. (1998). Multiple sexual partners among U.S. adolescents and young adults. Family Planning Perspectives, 30, 271–275. CrossRef
- Sbarra, D. A., & Emery, R. E. (2005). The emotional sequelae of non-marital relationship dissolution: Analysis of change and intraindividual variability over time. Personal Relationships, 12, 213–232. CrossRef
- Simpson, J. A. (1990). Influence of attachment styles on romantic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59, 971–980. CrossRef
- Slotter, E. B., Gardner, W. L., & Finkel, E. J. (2010). Who am I without you? The influence of romantic breakup on the self-concept. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 147–160. CrossRef
- Smith, T. W. (1991). Adult sexual behavior in 1989: Number of partners, frequency of intercourse and risk of AIDS. Family Planning Perspectives, 23, 102–107. CrossRef
- Sprecher, S. (1994). Two sides to the breakup of dating relationships. Personal Relationships, 1, 199–222. CrossRef
- Tashiro, T., & Frazier, P. (2003). “I’ll never be in a relationship like that again”: Personal growth following romantic relationship breakups. Personal Relationships, 10, 113–128. CrossRef
- Wade, L. D., & DeLamater, J. D. (2002). Relationship dissolution as a life stage transition: Effects on sexual attitudes and behaviors. Journal of Marriage and Family, 64, 898–914. CrossRef
- Watts, C., Cox, T., & Robson, J. (1983). Morningness-eveningness and diurnal variations in self-reported mood. Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, 113, 251–256. CrossRef
- Rebound Sex: Sexual Motives and Behaviors Following a Relationship Breakup
Archives of Sexual Behavior
Volume 43, Issue 2 , pp 251-265
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Romantic relationships
- Psychological recovery
- Sex motives
- Rebound sex
- Revenge sex
- Industry Sectors