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1 August 2008
One-Night Stands Linked To Menstrual Cycle
by George Atkinson

Writing in the journal Human Nature, Professor Anne Campbell from Durham University reports that the negative feelings reported by women after one-night stands suggest that they are not well adapted to casual sexual encounters.

In evolutionary terms, her research indicates that men are more likely to reproduce and therefore to benefit from numerous short-term partners, but for women, quality seems to be more important than quantity. Also for women, finding partners of high genetic quality is a stronger motivator than sheer number.

Professor Campbell looked at whether women have adapted to casual sex by examining their feelings following a one-night stand. If women have adapted, then although they may take part in casual sex less often than men because of their stricter criteria when selecting partners, they should rate the experience positively. She found that overall; women's feelings were more negative than men's - 80 percent of men had overall positive feelings about the experience compared to only 54 per cent of women.

The predominant negative feeling reported by women was regret at having been "used." Women were also more likely to feel that they had let themselves down and were worried about the potential damage to their reputation if other people found out.

Professor Campbell speculates that although women do not rate casual sex positively, the reason they still take part in it may be due to menstrual cycle changes influencing their sexual motivation. She notes that during the ovulatory phase (between days 10 to 18 of their cycle), women report increased sexual desire and arousal, with a preference for short-term partners.

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Source: Human Nature

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