Lots can be said of our modern casual sex culture, and lots has. But where does science fit into all of this? Has anyone done any studies of hookup culture? Why do we do what we do? Why are women so lament-y about it all, and some men so gung-ho? Is casual sex in our genes? Why are some people loving it out there and some pretty angsty about one-night stands? Turns out these questions and more have been asked by researchers, and some rather intriguing results have been uncovered.
Basically, if you're in search of weird facts about one-night stands, they are out there, and they are plentiful. For example, 70 percent of Americans have had casual sex with someone just one time. That's a lot. Casual sex is out there to be had, and it's become less normal if you haven't had such an experience at this point. Also, there's a lower chance that you'll have an orgasm if you engage in casual sex (not surprising), but you might gain a little boost in body confidence out of it. And you definitely don't have to be romantic or get super into foreplay during a one-night stand if you don't feel like it. But what about the stranger facts about one-night stands? Here are six you should know:
1. There's A 'Hookup Gene'
Some people are born with a predestined interest in one-night stands. In research led by Justin Garcia at the State University of New York at Binghamton, it was found that one's DNA comes into play in relation to casual sex (and cheating). As WebMD reports, the study, published in PloS One, concluded that a person's brain chemistry is related to whether someone is down for a casual sex (and other "sensation-seeking" behaviors) or not. Researchers found that those with the DRD4 gene, associated with behaviors that make you feel good (often for just a short period of time, like doing drugs), are way more likely to have a one-night stand than those who don't have it. Other factors come into play too, of course, and those without it can still be down for sex with a stranger — just not as frequently.
2. Women Care More About 'Hotness' Than Men Do
The level of perceived attractiveness has a lot more to do with whether a woman will choose to go home with a man than vice versa. As YourTango reports, in a study led by Dr. Achim Schützwohl at Brunel University in the UK (published in Human Nature), it was found that when men and women were given three possible options — "go out," "come to apartment," "go to bed" — they were much more likely to accept offers of bed and abode when they rated the men offering as "exceptionally" attractive (as opposed to "moderately" or "slightly" attractive). Men, however, would usually be down for a hookup regardless of the woman's attractiveness.
3. Women Often Feel Used After One-Night Stands
One study on one-night stands found that women are much more likely to feel humiliated or degraded after a one-off fling. Of all survey participants, only 54 percent of women said they had positive feelings about their one-night stand experiences. Men? A staggering 80 percent. Psychologist Anne Campbell of Durham University in England found that women's feedback on such experiences included sentiments including, "I felt cheap," and "I felt degraded. Made myself look cheap and easy. Total regret." Men's takes included things like, "I believe that one-night stands are a good way of blowing off steam," or using words like "euphoric" and "excitement" to describe their experiences.
4. Women Might Jump Into Bed Because Of Evolution
Todd Shackelford, an evolutionary psychologist at Florida Atlantic University, points out that one-night stand "risks are potentially greater for women." But as Live Science Reports, "promiscuity does offer natural advantages for women from an evolutionary perspective," according to Shackelford. So women who partake in one-night stands even though they feel awful after might just be responding to internal, evolutionary urges. If you feel the need to beat yourself up after a one-night stand, don't: It was just your biology getting in the way. "Flings provide women with the potential to snag the best genes for offspring," says LiveScience, "or they could be spurred by a chemical nudge at the peak of the menstrual cycle." Well, that explains that.
5. Hips Don't Lie
Wide hips might be an indicator of predilection toward one-night stands. Or so found a British study published in Evolution And Human Behavior. As the Huffington Post reports, researchers led by Dr. Colin A. Hendrie, associate professor of human and animal ethology at Leeds University, asked 148 women ages 18 through 26 to report their hip circumference and sexual history. The researchers determined that women with wider hips reported a higher frequency of casual sex, though some holes have been poked in this study, so TBD on whether this is legit science or not. This was in a study that was trying to find out how people assess the chances of someone having a one-night stand, and also found that men who look particularly masculine and women who look particularly feminine are less likely to be perceived as on the prowl for an exclusive relationship.
6. Depression And Casual Sex Are Linked
According to researchers from Ohio State, people who are depressed or have thoughts of suicide as teens are more likely to engage in casual sex as adults. The study, published in the Journal Of Sex, looked at the sexual behaviors and mental health of 10,000 people and concluded that one-night stands and poor mental health are definitely linked, and reinforce one another.
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