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Virginity and Body Image [Series?]

March 30, 2011

Scientific American reports on a new study that finds that First Sex Alters Body Image. Studying a group of undergrads who had their “first sexual intercourse” during their college years they found a gender difference in how men and women feel about their bodies afterwards. Men tended to consider themselves more attractive after losing their virginity, while women’s body confidence dropped.

I’m interested in hearing other’s personal experience of body image as related to virginity. I think there are a lot of factors missing here that really interest me. [They might not all be missing but I can’t read the full study without paying $] I wonder how “first sexual intercourse” is defined and how this varied for individuals. I wonder how sexual orientation and the gender of one’s first partner impacts body image afterwards. I’m interested in the impact of gender on this experience considering a broader range of gender identities. I wonder how being in college and the pressure to lose your virginity before you graduate (if you didn’t lose it before you graduated high school – the horror!) affected participants, and whether those in this same age range who aren’t in college had similar experiences. I wonder about a broader spectrum of ages and how the relationship between body image and virginity changes over time. Basically, I want to nose further into their sex lives.

So – does anyone want to sate these curiosities? Write in to us about your “first time” or not yet having a “first time” or changing your perception of what is a “first time”. How did you feel about your body before, afterwards? How have concepts of sex and virginity shaped your body image? For some inspiration, see Allie’s great post: When I decided not to be a virgin.

Email your stories to happybodiesblog AT! We will post these responses as they come in, and respect your preferences about whether you want yours to be posted anonymously or with an extensive bio and link to your own blog.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Carol Eyler permalink
    May 2, 2011 3:26 PM

    Becky, you don’t have to pay $$ to read the the original article — published in Journal of Adolescence, which the Libr subscribes to online. If this link doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll provide some other instructions.

    ~Carol Eyler, x4268,

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