DALLAS, Feb. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Match.com, the world's largest online dating site, today released findings from its second annual Singles in America study – the largest and most comprehensive national study to investigate dating habits, behaviors, interests, and lifestyles of this large segment of the population. Although there are 107 million singles living in the United States(1), representing one-third of the U.S. population, little data on this group had been available until now.
The 2012 report delves into sexual behaviors, love and relationships among singles across all categories and stages of life. Today's singles defy traditional gender and age stereotypes, seek new things in romance and partnership, and can draw a parallel between their political party affiliation and their sexual satisfaction.
Singles in America was funded by Match.com and conducted by MarketTools in association with biological anthropologist, Dr. Helen Fisher; sex and relationship therapist, Dr. Laura Berman; evolutionary biologist with The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, Dr. Justin R. Garcia; and the Institute for Evolutionary Studies (EvoS) at Binghamton University.
"I find it astonishing that so little is known about the beliefs and habits of the single population -- until now," says Dr. Helen Fisher. "Take men: only 3% would like to 'just date a lot of women;' men aren't players. Moreover, singles over 60 are the least likely to make a commitment that's devoid of sex and romance. The down economy isn't changing how they love. And both sexes are once again forging the kind of humane, egalitarian partnerships our ancestors enjoyed a million years ago. This study has caught the pulse of this vibrant, trailblazing population. And it busts a lot of worn-out myths. "
"As the leader in the online dating industry, we think it's essential to continue the study of singles who comprise 1/3 of the U.S. population today," said Mandy Ginsberg, President of Match.com. "Through our extensive research, we have zeroed in on some fascinating data about today's singles, from their attitudes about politics to what ignites their emotions when it comes to relationships, which continue to evolve in 2012. The results of this study will provide insights not only to our industry, but to America about this dominating, influential group."
"We are starting to learn that singles in America are more egalitarian in dating and relationships particularly when it comes to sexual behavior," said Dr. Laura Berman. "Match.com's study tells us that 50% of women say bad sex is a deal breaker, which is a tremendous percentage and shows us how much this generation has evolved."
The study, based on the attitudes and behaviors taken from a representative sample of over 5,000 U.S. singles aged 21 to 65+, is the most comprehensive annual survey of American singles to date. Highlights include:
SINGLES' VOTING HABITS REFLECT THEIR VIEWS ON SEX AND LOVE
Which political party has a better sex life? Conservative Republicans (40%) are significantly more likely than other groups to be very satisfied with sex while they're married. But they had the least amount of sexual activity in the last 12 months.
Fidelity is regarded as a more important quality in the U.S. president than in a partner. 62% of men and 80% of women say sexual fidelity in a relationship is a "must have." But almost 9 out of 10 respondents believe there are "no acceptable excuses" for infidelity in a political candidate (87% of men and 91% of women).
Republican and Democratic singles seek dramatically different traits in a partner. Liberal Democrats are more likely to search for someone with a sense of humor, similar lifestyle to their own, a sense of independence and someone whom they consider to be their equal. Republicans really are conservative when it comes to choosing a partner; they're searching for someone with the same background and political party as their own who is interested in marriage.
NEW PROFILE OF THE ROMANTIC, SENSITIVE, SINGLE MAN
Men fall in love just as often as women do and are more likely to experience love at first sight. By age 30, 58% of men who say they have been in love and believe in love at first sight have experienced it, compared to 51% of women.
PDA approved? Men are more likely to show their love and affection in public. 41% of men would be very comfortable kissing in public, versus 31% of women.
Men are more willing to make a commitment either without being in love or without feeling sexually attracted to their partner. Men are more likely than women to be willing to make a commitment to someone who has everything they are looking for in a partner, but whom they are not in love with (31% of men and 23% of women) and willing to make a commitment to someone who has everything they are looking for in a partner but whom they don't find sexually attractive (26% of men and 22% of women).
Men find loneliness just as stressful as women do. 31% of men and 33% of women report that they find loneliness to be "very stressful" or "somewhat stressful." And men are more likely to report that loneliness is a challenging aspect of being single (27% of men and 22% of women).
Men admire working women. Close to half (45%) of all men are turned off by a woman who "doesn't care about her career."
When it comes to cohabitation, men want to commit sooner than women. Contrary to popular belief, when dating a new partner, 46% of men and 26% of women would expect to move in together before they'd been dating someone for less than a year.
Men are far more concerned about their weight than their height. 55% of straight men and 63% of gay men are more concerned with their weight than their height (6% of straight men and 3% of gay men).
ADDITIONAL KEY FINDINGS INCLUDE:
More singles met the last person they dated through an online dating site (21%) than anywhere else. Across all age groups, seven times as many singles met their last date online, compared to being set up by a relative.
Aging and desperate? Think again. People over 60 are the ones who are most likely to insist on sexual attraction and romance in a partnership; moreover, they are more likely than any other age group to achieve orgasms — a thrilling 91-100% of the time!
The economy is stressing out singles, but it's NOT affecting their dating lives. While economy concerns rank as the number-one source of stress in singles' lives, 60% say that it has not changed their dating habits. And over 40% of those surveyed would date someone who was unemployed if they were already interested in that person.
Singles are seeking personal fulfillment, shedding age-old traditions in favor of deep biological imperatives -- love. A smaller percentage of singles (11%) said they "must have" a partner from the same ethnic or religious background or who can give them marriage and children (23% and 26%, respectively). Instead, more singles are seeking someone whom they feel they can trust and confide in (93%).
Gays and lesbians are attracted to the same qualities in a partner as heterosexuals. Gays and lesbians are equally likely to seek a partner with a similar level of education (29% of heterosexuals, 23% of gay men and 31% of lesbians); has a successful career (33% of heterosexuals, 30% of gays, 28% of lesbians); is physically attractive to them (73% of heterosexuals, 75% of gays, 70% of lesbians); has a sense of humor (83% of heterosexuals, 82% of gays, 89% and lesbians) and who is confident and self-assured (74% of heterosexuals, 73% of gays, and 73% of lesbians).
Love can be sparked at any time. 33% of men and 43% of women have fallen in love with someone they didn't initially find attractive.
For more findings regarding singles' new attitudes on love and relationships — including friends with benefits, sexual activities on a first date, Facebook friending a date and common relationship fears among men — visit http://blog.match.com/singles-in-america/.
Founded in 1995, Match.com was the original dating website and pioneer of the online dating industry. Throughout its sixteen year history, Match.com has been responsible for more dates, relationships and marriages than any other website. Today, Match.com operates leading subscription-based online dating sites in 25 countries, 8 languages and across five continents. Match.com is an operating business of IAC and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. For more information, visit www.match.com.
(1) US 2011 Census data