Surprise, surprise: Single parents do date (quite a lot)

  • IANS, New York
  • Updated: Sep 25, 2014 15:58 IST

Single parents of young children do not compromise on their sexual needs and are also willing to date more than single parents of older children, says a study.

"Our data sample is large enough to inform about the intimate lives of single parents," said evolutionary biologist Justin R Garcia from the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University.

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Male and female parents of young children experience hormonal changes that can affect their sexuality.

Earlier research says that while it takes sex to have a child, a child can have a disruptive effect on parents' sex life.

The new study involved 5,805 single adults (2,830 single women and 2,975 single men), with 84 percent noting previous romantic relationship experiences.

"This study was unusual in focusing upon the sexual and dating behaviour of single parents rather than partnered parents of young children," added Peter Gray, an associate professor of anthropology at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

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According to Garcia, on an average, singles have relatively less sexual activity than coupled people - singles tend to have lower rates of sexual frequency, probably because they have to first find a partner to have sex with.

For single parents, there is only so much time and so much energy to be used for a variety of competing demands in their life.

"Without the help of a partner, singles often have to divert more energy to parenting and so in theory one might think single parents would not be dating as much. But that's not what we found," Garcia pointed out.

The study was published online in the Journal of Sex Research.

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