Let’s Talk About (Rebound) Sex, Baby

by Lexi Novak

Getty ImagesGetty ImagesWe've all heard of it. Many of us have considered it. And some may have had it. But new research reveals that rebound sex isn't just Sunday brunch lore--it's a real, quantifiable phenomenon.

"People really do use sex as a way to get over or get back at their ex-partner in the aftermath of a breakup," study researcher Lynne Cooper said in a LiveScience article. To confirm this, she and colleague Lindsay Barber tracked the emotions and behaviors of 170 post-breakup college students for about three months. Here are some of the highlights from their findings:

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* 35 percent engaged in rebound sex to "get over their ex."
* 25 percent did it as a form of revenge.
* Dumpees were more likely than dumpers to have rebound/revenge sex (no duh).
* The desire to seek solace in an alternate sexual partner begins to wane by the five-month mark.

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The one obvious question this study did not address: Does rebound/revenge sex actually help people get over a split? Cooper did identify that participants who reported having the most post-breakup rebound sex were also the most likely to sleep with strangers and continuously have multiple partners, suggesting difficulty coping and establishing lasting relationships. But the overall correlation between these behaviors and happiness is still a big question mark--one that Cooper hopes to answer soon, although not likely in time for Valentine's Day.

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