This is a rush transcript from "The Big Story With John Gibson," August 30, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
JULIE BANDERAS, "BIG STORY" GUEST HOST: Is it still a one-night stand if you have been chatting on the Internet? Well, a new study out of Houston claims women who are going to great lengths to screen possible suitors online are not as picky once they meet the person in person. The study shows one in three women who meet a guy they have chatted with online reported having sex on the first date. Three-quarters of those women said they didn't use protection.
So why are women who are being so picky when choosing a possible mate online willing to take sexual risks when in person? With me now is relationship expert and sexologist Logan Levkoff.
Logan, this is sort of disturbing. Women are online, they're meeting these guys and then they're going out and having sex after they're so picky. What's up?
LOGAN LEVKOFF, RELATIONSHIP EXPERT: Women really have a skewed perception of risk. The fact is that you need to screen men online as well as offline once you meet them. The fact that they are having sex with these guys is not as disturbing to me as the fact that they are foregoing the condoms completely. So they're trusting that these guys are sexually healthy, that their lives aren't at risk for meeting someone who may or may not have created a totally different persona online. That's the part that's really scary.
BANDERAS: And when they're online, they don't necessarily think they're about to have sex? I mean, one expert, I read, said that people behave differently in the heat of the moment from when they plan ahead. So are women's emotions making them lose their common sense?
LEVKOFF: One of the experts in the study said that, yes, some of what's being said is in the heat of the moment and people make poor decisions about sex. But you know what, that's not really good enough anymore because we know that sex can be risky. It's best with a condom when it's protected and if you know you're going to meet someone you've had this intimate relationship with online, then shouldn't you be prepared?
BANDERAS: OK. What's virtual intimacy? It's mentioned in the study. What's that all about?
LEVKOFF: It's basically the idea that online you can develop these intimate emotional kinds of connections, but it really is just virtual. There is no guarantee that who you are or who you meet online is going to be who they are face-to-face.
BANDERAS: OK. And most of these conversations, how long do they last before they actually go out on that first date and eventually hop into the sack?
LEVKOFF: Well everyone is different. Some people speak for days, some people speak for months. But the fact is we have to use the same screening if we met someone in a bar as we do online. It's the same thing.
BANDERAS: OK, but let's just speak on the emotional side of women. Would you say from your personal experience knowing this industry that women are looking for love or looking for sex online? What do you think?
LEVKOFF: There is a lot of wanting to have an emotional connection, but the fact is that sex is important and sometimes it's easier for women to look for it online.
BANDERAS: And what about men?
LEVKOFF: Men might look online. That doesn't mean they get it though.
BANDERAS: You don't necessarily think men are looking for their future wives online as much as maybe women are looking for husbands?
LEVKOFF: I think that we're so busy trying to balance work and play that we have to look online sometimes to find romance.
BANDERAS: It's tough to find romance.
LEVKOFF: It is.
BANDERAS: All right. Logan Levkoff, thank you very much. Surf safely, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you so much.
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