Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Costs of Short-Term Mating for Women

  • Monica A. Koehn
  • Peter K. Jonason
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3662-1



The term “short-term mating” typically describes a sexual relationship that is casual in nature, mostly focused on sexual pleasure, lacking commitment or longevity, and characterized by little emotional connection (Jonason 2013; Jonason and Balzarini 2016). The term “casual sex” is used as a catchall to refer to all kinds of short-term relationships, but these relationships can encompass one-night stands, booty-call relationships, hook-ups, and friends with benefits. While all of these relationships have their unique features, they share a common theme of creating a context where individuals have sex without any formal commitment.


Casual sex is widespread in nature, with 38% of “adults” (Twenge et al. 2015) and 75% of college students (Jonason and Balzarini 2016) engaging in some form of casual sex relationship. Historically, casual sex has been viewed as a pathology, but this...

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Copyright information

© Crown 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social Sciences and PsychologyWestern Sydney UniversityPenrithAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Tara DeLecce
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOakland UniversityRochesterUSA