59% of Men, 36% of Women Admit to Having a One-Night Stand

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of DatingAdvice.com's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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This is an exclusive study conducted by DatingAdvice.com, which surveyed respondents over the course of three weeks to reflect an accurate representation of the U.S. population.

Urban Dictionary, the go-to source for slang and pop culture terms, defines a one-night stand as: “Hooking up with someone for one night of sex with no strings attached and hoping to never see them again.”

Sounds like quite a night. And it looks like quite a few Americans have participated in a night of one-time passion.

A study conducted by DatingAdvice.com found three out of five men and one out of three women have had a one-night stand.

Among the most likely groups to have participated in a one-night stand are divorcees, who were 34% more likely than their married counterparts to say they’ve had a one-nighter.

Dr. Wendy Walsh, clinical psychologist and DatingAdvice.com expert, said a cultural acceptance of men’s sexual behaviors and a discrimination toward women’s often means there is a significant difference between the sexual activities men and women admit to engaging in.

“Men tend to over-report sexual behavior on surveys and women tend to under-report, all because of the sexual double standard,” she said.

“Divorcees were 34 percent more likely than

married counterparts to have had a one-nighter.”

Age also seems to play a significant role, as 52% of respondents in the 45 to 54 age range answered in the affirmative versus 40 percent of those aged 18 to 24.

Dr. Walsh said contrary to popular belief, a large portion of college students are not sexually active, so they have less exposure to a variety of sexual opportunities.

“Nearly 25% of college students are still virgins. That takes a big chunk out of the demographic,” she said. “As people begin to be sexually active, it makes sense they will have a wider range of sexual experiences.”

The study surveyed 1,080 respondents over the course of three weeks, balancing responses by age, gender, income, race, sexuality and other factors in order to accurately represent the U.S. population. The study has a margin of error of +/- 2.8%.

The Breakdown: Americans Who’ve Had a One-Night Stand

By gender:

  • Male: 59%

  • Female: 36%

By sexuality:

  • Straight: 46%

  • Gay: 68%

By marital status:

  • Single, Never Married: 50%

  • Married: 44%

  • Divorced: 59%

By age:

  • 18 to 24: 40%

  • 25 to 34: 52%

  • 35 to 44: 47%

  • 45 to 54: 52%

  • 54 to 64: 47%

  • 65 and older: 42%

By race:

  • White: 46%

  • African-American: 55%

  • Hispanic: 53%

  • Asian: 26%

By income:

  • Under $25,000: 44%

  • $25,000 to $49,999: 53%

  • $50,000 to $74,999: 47%

  • $75,000 to $99,999: 51%

  • $100,000 to $124,999: 49%

  • $125,000 or higher: 45%

By region:

  • Northeast: 50%

  • Midwest: 46%

  • South: 46%

  • West: 49%

Visit DatingAdvice.com/Studies for more research on dating and relationship topics. Relationship expert Dr. Wendy Walsh is a frequent contributor on CNN and other major networks and is the author of the new book “The 30-Day Love Detox.” 

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