science says

Sex Ed: Evolutionary Reasons to Regret That Hookup

Photo: Edvard March/Corbis

That cringe you feel after a horrific/scarring/hilarious sexual escapade is really a byproduct of evolution, according to a study from University of Texas Austin. Researchers say that while men and women both experience sexual regret, what they regret, and why, varies greatly.

The top three sexual regrets for women: Losing their virginity to the wrong partner, cheating on a partner, and moving too fast sexually. Men regret not making a move on a potential sexual partner, not being more sexually adventurous when they were young, and not experiencing more sexual adventures during their single days.

And what could justify these predictably gendered regrets? Evolution!

Basically, say the researchers, men fear missing any opportunity to “spread their seed” far and wide, while women feel remorse about any situation that might result in breeding inferior offspring. An interesting tidbit that emerged from the study: More women (17 percent versus 10 percent of men) regret hooking up with partners they find unattractive. So, it’s not shallow — it’s science.

Evolutionary Reasons to Regret That Hookup