Page last updated at 13:43 GMT, Thursday, 26 June 2008 14:43 UK

Sexes split over one night stands

A couple kissing
Men and women view one night stands differently

Many women are left unhappy in the aftermath of casual sexual encounters, a survey has revealed.

Just under half of women who answered the internet poll, published in the journal "Human Nature", said they felt it had been a bad idea.

Four out of five men, in contrast, said they were happy with a brief fling.

The academic leading the research said it showed that there was no evolutionary advantage for women in one night stands.

Basic emotions guide us down pathways that have been advantageous for our ancestors
Professor Anne Campbell
Durham University?

The survey was answered by 1,700 people who had all experienced this kind of relationship.

While men reported feeling more content, sexually satisfied and confident after meaningless sex, women were more likely to worry about feeling used and "letting themselves down".

Some of the their reasons for the encounters were because they felt there was the possibility of a longer term relationship.

Professor Anne Campbell, from Durham University, who carried out the research, said this was evolution at work.

"In evolutionary terms women bear the brunt of parental care and it has been generally thought that it was to their advantage to choose their mate carefully and remain faithful to make sure that their mate had no reason to believe he was raising another man's child.

"Recently, biologists have suggested that females could benefit from mating with many men - it would increase the genetic diversity of their children, and, if a high quality man would not stay with them forever, they might at least get his excellent genes for their child."

However, she said that if women were designed by evolution for short-term relationships, they would enjoy them more, and the survey suggested this was not the case.

"Basic emotions guide us down pathways that have been advantageous for our ancestors," said Professor Campbell.




SEE ALSO
Face values applied to love game
09 Apr 08 |  North East/N Isles
Why kissing means more to women
03 Sep 07 |  Health

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific