Promiscuous behavior, often referred to in a negative sense, is defined as engaging in casual and frequent sex. According to a study by Cornell University published in Science Daily, research shows that promiscuous women are often left out of many social circles and are not always viewed as suitable for long-term relationships by men. A woman who is promiscuous may be at a stage in her life where she is exploring her identity and sexuality, or exhibit behaviors that indicate a need for affection.
When a woman does not feel desirable or feels jealous of others, she may engage in frequent sexual activity to reassure herself, according to psychiatrist Fredric Neuman in the Psychology Today article “Certain Aspects of Promiscuity.” If your girlfriend often doubts her appearance or feels inadequate, it may be a sign that she is promiscuous and seeking affection through sex. Defiance often accompanies insecurity. For example, a young woman may seek sexual activity as a means to show her independence during the high school and college years to let others know that she can make her own decisions regardless of what others think.
A woman who does not view herself as healthy, successful or worthy can make self-destructive decisions that can lead to promiscuous behavior, according to psychiatrist Kevin Solomons in the PsychCentral article “How Does Low Self-Esteem Negatively Affect You?” Low self-esteem can lead an individual to allow mistreatment of her body or increased sexual activity in an effort to numb the pain of feeling less than worthy of love or affection. Promiscuous behavior can be a result of a devastating event that affects a woman’s self-esteem, such as a divorce or relationship rejection.
Childhood experiences, harsh parenting and neglect can contribute to promiscuity. According to a study by Jay Belsky in Child Development, a child who is exposed to harsh parenting within the first four years of life can demonstrate unrestricted sexual behavior as early as 15 years of age. A girlfriend with unsupportive and abusive parents may be at risk for promiscuous behavior.
Promiscuous women may want sex more often than the average girlfriend. Your girlfriend may be persistent about intimacy and have a preoccupation with sex, according to psychiatrist Michael Herkov in the PsychCentral article “If You Think You Have a Problem With Sexual Addiction.” Your girlfriend may also become irritable and exhibit mood swings when she cannot engage in sexual activity as desired.
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- Science Daily: Women reject sexually promiscuous peers when making female friends
- Psychology Today: Certain Aspects of Promiscuity
- PsychCentral: How Does Low Self-Esteem Negatively Affect You?
- Child Development: The Determinents of Parenting – A Process Model
- PsychCentral: If You Think You Have a Problem With Sexual Addiction
Shannon Philpott has been a writer since 1999. She has experience as a newspaper reporter, magazine writer and online copywriter. Philpott has published articles in St. Louis metro newspapers, "Woman's World" magazine, "CollegeBound Teen" magazine and on e-commerce websites, and also teaches college journalism and English. She holds a Master of Arts in English from Southern Illinois University.