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The great gender divide over sexual regrets: Women want less casual sex, men want more!

STYLE
By DailyMail | November 27th 2013

Adapted from DailyMail

Whatever gender you are, most people will occasionally find themselves having a few regrets about their love lives.

But, according to a survey, men and women tend to tell a very different story about their most disappointing decisions.

While men most often regret not having sex with more partners, women fret about sleeping with the wrong person.

They also worry about moving too fast, while men are more concerned about the times they have not moved fast enough to get a partner into bed.

The most in-depth study of its kind – which looked at  several surveys carried out by the University of Texas and the University of California in Los Angeles – found that the main regrets women reported were losing their virginity to the wrong partner, cheating or moving too fast sexually.

However the major regrets for  men were being too timid to approach a possible partner, not being more sexually adventurous when young and not being more sexually active before getting married.

US academics quizzed more than 25,000 people about their sex lives.

The volunteers taking part in the study were asked to rate their remorse on a five-point scale.

The study, published in the current issue of the Archives of Sexual Behaviour, showed that 56 per cent of women regretted having casual sex.

Almost a quarter cited losing their virginity to the wrong partner as their biggest regret.

Cheating on a partner was rated as a regret by 23 per cent of women – and moving too fast with a partner was a regret listed by 20 per cent of the women who took part.

But almost a third of men questioned said their biggest regret was not making a move on a prospective partner.

Just under a quarter said not being more sexually adventurous when they were young was one of their biggest regrets.

And not sleeping around came third, with 10 per cent of men saying it was a decision they found themselves regretting.

Researchers came to the conclusion that the responses were different because of the way we have evolved.

Psychologist Martie Haselton, one of the lead researchers, said that despite advances in healthcare and contraception, men and women still show differing attitudes to sex.

He believes the results reveal how emotions have played an important role in human survival and reproduction.

He 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.

‘For men throughout evolutionary history, every missed opportunity to have sex with a new partner is potentially a missed reproductive opportunity, which is a costly loss from an evolutionary perspective.

‘One thing that is fascinating about these emotional reactions is they might be far removed from the reproductive consequences of the past.

‘We have reliable methods of contraception. But that doesn’t seem to have erased the differences in women’s and men’s responses, which might have a deep evolutionary history.’


 

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