Evolution 'could explain men and women's responses to casual liaisons'

Some people enjoy indulging in casual sex; others are more monogamous and only wish to sleep with long-standing partners.

Now, a new study led by Andrew Galperin - a former social psychology doctoral student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - and Martie Haselton, a UCLA social psychology professor, has suggested that the difference in men and women's responses to one-night-stands could be based on evolution.

Dr Haselton explained how for men, throughout history, every missed sexual opportunity was also a skipped chance at reproduction - a costly outcome when it came to evolution.

"For women, reproduction required much more investment in each offspring, including nine months of pregnancy and potentially two additional years of breastfeeding," she said. "The consequences of casual sex were so much higher for women than for men, and this is likely to have shaped emotional reactions to sexual liaisons even today."

The study, published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, also highlighted some other interesting trends. Women's top three sexual regrets appeared to be losing their virginity to the wrong person (24 per cent), cheating on a past or present partner (23 per cent) and moving too fast in that department (20 per cent). 

Meanwhile, for men these were being too shy to make a move on someone (27 per cent), not being more sexually adventurous when they were younger (23 per cent) and not doing so too when they were single (19 per cent).

Whatever your thoughts on one-night-stands and being sexually adventurous, make sure that you always use a condom!