The female of the species has not adapted to the concept of the one-night stand, despite the effects of the sexual revolution, according to scientists.
Durham University's Professor Anne Campbell said that women often have to deal with negative feelings after indulging in a one-night stand, while men feel the opposite.
Published in journal Human Nature, the study found that men are more open to fleeting sexual liaisons because they can benefit from it creating more offspring.
Professor Campbell said: "In evolutionary terms women bear the brunt of parental care and it has been generally thought that it was to their advantage to choose their mate carefully and remain faithful to make sure that their mate had no reason to believe he was raising another man's child."
But for women, it is the quality of the sexual partner rather than the number of people they have in their bed that is the driving factor.
Professor Campbell said: "Evolution often acts through positive or negative emotions which draw us towards adaptive behaviours or drives us away from harmful ones.
"For example, we enjoy other people's company but get depressed if we spend too much time alone. Basic emotions guide us down pathways that have been advantageous for our ancestors. It seemed obvious that if our female ancestors really were adapted to short–term relationships they ought to enjoy them, just like men do."
After asking more than 1,740 men and women to rate their experiences following a one-night stand, the study found that 80 per cent of men had overall positive feelings, while just 54 per cent of women had the same positive reactions to the experience.
For the women, there was most likely to be an overwhelming sense of being "used" by a man in a one-night stand.
Professor Campbell said: "What the women seemed to object to was not the briefness of the encounter but th