The Science Of The Booty Call

Evolutionary psychologist Peter K. Jonason thinks he has this whole friends with benefits thing figured out. Annoyed by seeing only the extremes of one-night stands and marriage being studied, Jonason decided to take a step into the gray area of researching what he calls “the booty call relationship.” The end product is a paper called “Positioning the Booty-Call Relationship on the Spectrum of Relationships.” In it, he believes he answers some pressing questions about why so many people, especially college students, end up with f**k buddies.

Jonason tells us what we’ve been hearing for years—that men are looking to spread their seed while women are looking for a worthwhile mate. Jonason believes that, as humans evolved, we’ve figured out that sex can be used as a commodity.

It’s these ever-developing micro-economics of sex that Jonason believes are powering the turn towards booty call relationships. As he sees it, either end of the relationship spectrum is a win-lose situation for one of the genders. With one-night stands, men win because they get casual sex with little to no emotional attachment. While with marriage, females end up the victors because they have formed a lasting emotional connection with a male. This leaves friends with benefits as the middle ground. Men get sex without the emotional attachment of dating and promises of fidelity. While woman get to have a consistent relationship with a man that offers more of an emotional connection than sex with a stranger ever would.

I think women are getting the bad end of this deal. Just because a man schedules semi-consistent sex dates doesn’t mean he should be sainted for barely breaking his biological role in the world to boink you every Friday. Also some exceptions and intricacies seem to be glossed over in this study, such as women who aren’t interested in monogamy and males who are. To this, Jonason says that there will always be outliers but, “As much as you want to escape your biology, there it is, in your face. Humans have the illusion that they can escape their biology, but we’re just like any other animal, the difference is our leash is longer.” I think some people may want to wrap their long leash around his neck after reading this. [Salon]

What do you think: Have we moved beyond biological gender roles to freely pursue whatever we want? Or are friends with benefits the way we deal with how science has set us up?