New study finds more women than men are hooking up with their exes

Study found that 54% of women have had sex with a former partner, compared to 44% of men

couple's legs sticking out of sheets
(Image credit: Getty)

A new study found that nearly two-thirds of people are maintaining communication with their exes during the covid-19 pandemic, and many are still hooking up. 

The study found that 54% of women have had sex with a former partner, compared to 44% of men. The majority of respondents said they hooked up with an ex because there was comfort in being with an old partner and it is hard to start again after a long-term relationship, but 14% said they wanted to reconcile the relationship. 

Despite how common communication with an ex is, the study also found that it puts people in a bad mood. The negative feelings are exacerbated when the person is in a committed relationship but still decides to get in touch with an ex. 

In the study, which was published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, a team from the University of Oklahoma studied 397 adults in long-term relationships and found that at least 62% were keeping someone on the “back burner.” About 93% of respondents said their current relationship was “exclusive,” but many still had at least one former partner waiting on stand-by. 

“If having ex-partner back burners cascades into increased communication, increased sexual activity, and bad feelings for the admirer, then those in committed relationships might wish to exercise greater caution before forming a back-burner relationship with an ex-partner,” said study author Dr. John Banas in a statement.

“As we see society re-opening, there appears to continue to be a surge in use during what is dubbed ‘The Summer of Love,’ making it ever more important to study new trends in connecting for friendship and romance,” Dr. Brenda K. Wiederhold from the Interactive Media Institute in California told 

Rebecca Holland is a travel and food writer based in Chicago. She has written for the Guardian, New York Times, Architectural Digest, Food & Wine, Wine Enthusiast and more. She is currently a graduate student at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism. When not working, you can find her eating her way through Chicago's neighborhoods, or in non-pandemic times, traveling around the world.