Girls' friendship network shrinks after they engage in sex and their friend circle expands when they make out, whereas it is completely opposite in case of boys, examined a new study.
Derek A. Kreager, the lead author of the study and an associate professor of sociology and criminology at Pennsylvania State University said in our sample of early adolescents, it was found that girls' friendship networks shrink significantly after they have sex, whereas boys' friendship networks expand significantly.
He further said that what really surprised them was that making out showed a pattern consistent with a strong reverse sexual double standard, such that girls who make out without having sex see significant increases in friendships, and boys who engage in the same behavior see significant decreases in friendships.
According to Kreager, in waves where they reported having sex, on average, girls experienced a 45 percent decrease in peer acceptance and boys experienced an 88 percent increase. On the other hand, in waves where they reported "making out" without having sex, on average, girls experienced a 25 percent increase in peer acceptance, while boys experienced a 29 percent decrease in peer acceptance.
The researchers found that girls, who defy traditional gender scripts by having sex, lose both male and female friendships. In contrast, boys who defy gender scripts by "making out" without having sex mainly lose male friends. The study was presented in the annual meeting of American Sociological Association.