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February 5th, 2013
12:08 PM ET

EXCLUSIVE: 'Singles in America' study shows rise in 'pre-commitments,' more men would not date virgins

Only on "Starting Point" this morning, is out with its third annual "Singles in America" study, covering everything from dating habits to bedroom habits, and how people feel about commitment.

Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University and chief scientific advisor for, reveals the eye-raising results this morning.

Among the more shocking stats, the number of people who admit to being in a 'friends with benefits relationship has doubled in the last year.

"What's really interesting as an anthropologist it's the emergence of the pre-commitment stage in the whole courtship process," Fisher says. "In fact, 45% of the people who had had friends with benefits relationship actually had a relationship that turned into a long-term partnership. So it's as if singles are starting earlier with the sex to figure out who this person is and moving into a stage before that it's long-term and serious."

Another shocking statistic from the study: 33% of American men admitted they would not date a virgin.

"Now, this is the end of a 5,000-year tradition," Fisher says. "It's been a core value of the Western world to have virginity at marriage for some over 5,000 years and in one generation we're seeing a dramatic change."

"There are all kinds of reasons why. You know, there's a lot of optimism in relationships right now. 90% of people think that when they do marry they'll marry the right person and stay married forever. So I think they're trying to understand, trying to understand who these people are before they marry, before they make this long-term commitment," she adds.

Fisher also reports that 27% of people say they met their last date online, and almost all of them on dating sites. But be careful you don't call it 'online dating,' because Fisher says the personal connection is still important.

"I don't think it's dating online. It's introducing online. You know, I studied the brain. they say go out and have a coffee and get to know the person and during that, the ancient human brain kicks in. And we do the courtship so it's a new way to meet," she says.

What do you think: Have attitudes towards dating and marriage changed significantly in the last generation?

Filed under: Dating
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