Young adults appear to be developing broader conceptualizations of what constitutes a relationship, wrote Jocelyn Wentland, a doctoral student in experimental psychology at the University of Ottawa, Canada. The study was published in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality.
Wentland looked at various types of casual-sex relationships among people aged 18 to 27 and how they were described.
When we talk about casual sex, people use it as a blanket term to cover everything, said Wentland. We now have names to describe these things in ways that wasn't the case say 20, 30 years ago, she added.
The research was based on extensive interviews with a focus group of 23 people, including sex educators from such groups as Planned Parenthood.
The four most popular terms used by those in the focus groups included booty call, friends with benefits and one-night stand.
There's a code of conduct for all four of these relationships that are pretty specific to each, said Wentland
Her study showed both males and females know the rules of conduct for each relationship type. The study demonstrates that the extremes of a one-night stand and traditional dating were relatively outdated because the current generation engaged in a range of behavior that fell between the two.
It is the most like a real relationship - it was most likely to lead to a real relationship, said Wentland, You respect your friend with benefits.