Happy couple in bed

How often do people think about sex?

How often do men and women think about sex?

Stereotypical beliefs argue that men constantly think about sex or at least much more than women. This is often expressed in humorous images showing the male brain to be full of sexual thoughts, while the female brain is shown to include many other thoughts besides sex.

To establish the truth, an interesting experiment was implented in 120 men and 163 women aged 18-25 years. The instruction given to them was that they had to press a button every time they thought about sex, eating or sleeping.

According to the results, the men had sexual thoughts more often than women. More specifically, they made sexual thoughts about 19 times a day, while women about 10 times a day. Moreover, apart from sex men think about eating and sleep more often than women.

How are the discrepancies between genders in the frequency of sexual thoughts be explained?

There are many factors that could explain this difference and certainly a biological predisposition is one of them. However, this study showed that the most powerful factor predicting the frequency of sexual thoughts are not biological sex, but how positive and progressive beliefs one has about sexuality.

It seemed that a variable called erotofilia and refers to having positive views about sex, affect the frequency of thoughts more than gender.

In other words, apart from the biological parameters, social or cultural factors affects thoughts. Therefore, the stereotypes that men constantly think about sex may encourage them to do so.

Fisher TD, Moore ZT, MJ Pittenger (2012) Sex on the brain ?: an examination of frequency of sexual cognitions as a function of gender, erotophilia, and social desirability. J Sex Res 49: 69-77.


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