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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
January 17th, 2013
10:38 AM ET

Deadspin editor on Te’o girlfriend hoax: ‘I don’t believe Manti Te’o could be that dumb’

What started as a story of heartbreak leading to a college football star overcoming tragedy is now being called a hoax riddled with questions.

The story which defined a college football team's season was originally about Notre Dame's star linebacker Manti Te'o, losing his grandmother and his girlfriend within 24 hours of each other and going on to lead his team to victory and an undefeated regular season. That inspiring story quickly fell apart after a report that came out Wednesday night by sports website dismissing as a hoax the existence of Te'o's girlfriend, Lennay Kakua. This morning on "Starting Point,"'s Timothy Burke weighs in on his report and the reactions and statements that followed.

Burke was originally tipped off by an email Deadspin received last week regarding Kakua, and says he and his colleauges started researching the story on Google. Burke says after searching for “Lennay Kakua,” they could not “find any evidence of this person that isn't attached to stories about her being Manti Te’o’s dead girlfriend – she did not exist.”

Shortly after the report went viral the university held a press conference saying Te'o was the victim of a "elaborate hoax." Burke says he is not surprised and “Notre Dame has to stand by Manti Te’o. That’s what Notre Dame does.” He adds, “It would not be accepted by their community, by their boosters to throw him under the bus. They’re going to stick by him.” On the other hand, Burke says if he could have offered advice to Te’o and the university he would have told them to not respond to the report and “ignore it because anything that they say is going to be evidence to be used against him.” He says, “Either Manti or his father were lying about how he met her in the first place.”

The Deadspin report also focuses on Ronaiah Tuiasosopo who Burke describes as “a former star quarterback in high school who was supposedly offered scholarships to play in college and never did.” Burke says friends and relatives of Tuiasosopo said he was “doing the Lennay Kakua fake online profile for several years and that he’s caught other people in his trap but that they caught on way earlier than Manti Te’o did.” Burke says this information in addition to the fact that Te’o and Tuiasosopo knew each other and spent time together made him question, “how dense would Manti Te’o have to be to realize this was his friend who was behind the account the entire time?” He concludes by saying, “I don’t believe Manti Te’o could be that dumb.”

Filed under: Article • College • Dating • Football • Manti Te'o
June 11th, 2012
11:49 AM ET

Sniff out your soul mate at a pheromone party – creator Judith Prays explains how it works

You may not know it, but your nose may be your best tool for falling in love.

The new trend in dating: Throw a pheromone party.

It works like this: For $30, you're able to drink and mingle and have a chance to meet "the one." Each attendee brings a t-shirt in a plastic bag that he or she has worn. Women's shirts get a pink Post-It, men's shirts get blue. These bags are put in a general area where party goers can choose which shirts to sniff. When you find one that you like, you get your photo taken with it and end up on a slideshow so you can find your match and strike up a conversation.

Creator Judith Prays thought up this unique dating method by spinning the concepts of speed dating and pop science. The 25-year-old filmmaker took the idea that human scent has the ability to arouse you both sexually and emotionally.

"I ended up going on a date with someone I never would have chosen," Prays says. "We ended up dating for two years. And the thing about him is that he smells amazing to me, which led me to think that maybe I should be choosing men based on smells."

Scott Thrift attended one of these parties and had a six-month relationship with a girl he met there. "I think it makes a lot of sense," Thrift tells Soledad on "Starting Point" this morning. "I think we're attracted to people for reasons that we don't understand."

Soledad will be conducting this experiment herself. She provided a shirt to Judith and we'll have an update on who picked up her scent at a Pheremone party on Friday, June 15th.

Filed under: Dating • Pheromone