Penn State researchers has found that having sex for the first time can improve or degrade your self-image depending on whether you are male or female.
On average, college-age males become more satisfied with their appearance after first intercourse, whereas college-age females become slightly less satisfied.
"We're not talking about 12-year-old girls having sex, so it's striking that even among these young women-who are 17 or older when they first had sex-their images of themselves went down," said Eva S. Lefkowitz, associate professor of human development and family studies.
"If on average they're feeling worse about themselves, it says something about their development of healthy sexuality and healthy sense of self and being."
Overall the researchers found that women became happier with their physical appearance from first to fourth year in college, and men became less satisfied with their appearance over the same time period.
However, the researchers found the opposite directly after students had sex for the first time-males were more satisfied with their appearance and females were less satisfied.
The researchers reported their results in the current issue of the Journal of Adolescence.