People who use emojis in text messages have more sex than people who do not, according to new research.
Dating site giant Match.com released its annual “Singles in America” survey this week which polled 5,675 single people — representative of the US population as a whole, based on census results — and found a positive correlation between sex and use of emojis.
Helen Fisher is a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University, New Jersey, who helped lead the study. She told TIME: “It turns out that 54% of emoji users had sex in 2014 compared to 31% of singles who did not.”
The results show a correlation between the friendly little icons and sexual activity: the more emojis people used, the more sex they tended to have.
The vertical Y-axis in the graph below represents the percentage of single people who had sex at least once monthly, and the horizontal X-axis shows emoji usage.
These statistics held true for men and women in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
People said they “love” emojis most because they “show personality”, which can be especially difficult in a text message.
“Here we have a new technology that absolutely jeopardises your ability to express your emotion,” said Ms Fisher, "there is no more subtle inflection of the voice."
"So we have created another way to express emotions and that is the emoji.”
The study shows that emoji users don’t just have more sex. They go on more dates and they are two times more likely to want to get married: 62% compared to 30% of people who have never used an emoji.
The most frequently used emojis were: Wink 53%, Smiley 38%, Kiss 27%
Single men were more likely than single women to use a kiss and “heart eyes” emoji, where single women were more likely than single men to use smiley face and kiss emojis.