WEDNESDAY, Aug. 12, 2009 (HealthDay News) -- Men are much more likely to seek and have casual sex than women, and are far less choosy about the looks of their sex partners.
That's the conclusion of a new study by British researchers who analyzed questionnaire responses from 860 American, German and Italian students.
The students were asked to imagine being approached by a member of the opposite sex, described as either "slightly unattractive," "moderately attractive" or "exceptionally attractive." The participants were then asked what their response would be if such members of the opposite sex offered to go out, go to their apartment, and to go to bed with them.
The 427 men were more likely than the 433 women to agree to casual sex, and the men expressed a greater desire for it than women. The study also found that the men were more likely to go out, go to the apartment, and go to bed with members of the opposite sex in all three categories of attractiveness.
Men needed to be exceptionally attractive to tempt women to consider casual sex, said Dr. Achim Schutzwohl, of the department of psychology at the University of Brunel in the U.K., and colleagues.
German men were less likely to accept date, apartment and sex offers than Italian and American men. Italian men were more likely than Americans to accept an offer of sex.
"While men are not entirely insensitive to their requestor's attractiveness, women have higher standards and are more likely to engage in casual sex with an exceptionally attractive man than with a less attractive man," the researchers concluded.
The study was published online Aug. 11 in the journal Human Nature.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine discusses safe sex.