Tossed around like a juicy sex rumor, the idea that men think about sex every 7 seconds is apparently completely false. Actually, one would need more than 8,000 thoughts in 16 waking hours to live up to that imaginary expectation.
A study released in the Journal of Sex Research by Terri D. Fisher, Zachary T. Moore and Mary-Jo Pittenger points out that men aren't thinking about sex significantly more than woman. And, in fact, thoughts including wanting a hamburger or catching some Z's -- basic needs -- take up almost as much brain space.
For you guys out there who didn't fall into the 7-second category and feared that something was amiss, rest assured!
And ladies, this is our counter-weapon to the irritating societal "sexual norm" that we don't think about it much at all. In fact, we think about it half as much as men, and that doesn't make us sluts -- reality check, Mr. Limbaugh.
According to the study's results, the average daily tally revealed that in a 7-day research span, men reported sexual thoughts about 388 times, compared to a mere 140 for women. The median daily tally count for men was 18.6, compared to a median of 9.9 for women.
The study focused on163 female and 120 male college student participants between the ages of 18 and 25, and required them to carry a golf tally counter to track their thoughts about sex -- as well as eating and sleep.
Kristen Jozkowski, Ph.D., professor of Community Health at the University of Arkansas where she teaches human sexuality, sexuality in the college culture, and applied health behavior theory, highlighted an important part of the study in her analysis on Kinsey Confidential:
"...researchers note that 'with the median suggesting just slightly more than once per waking hour,' men are spending time thinking about other things, unrelated to sex. Finally, findings related to the variability in sexual cognitions suggest that women and men have different baseline levels regarding how frequently they experience need-related thoughts. However, across the board, regardless of gender, those who think more about sex, also have more thoughts about food and sleep."
She also references another issue that should be addressed related to the social constructions regarding 'sexual [and cultural] norms' present in stereotypes and standards predisposed in our culture that likely affected the final results.
"Although gender difference in frequency of sexual thoughts emerged, researchers stated that the difference may be due, in part, to women's increased reluctance in reporting such cognitions (related to both sex and food). Researchers (from the study) believe this suggests that perhaps the women in the study were influenced by stereotypes, social expectations or contemporary culture in their reporting of their thoughts whereas men were likely not influenced."
Dr. Jozkowski explained her examination to AfterDarkLA via email:
"...I think this speaks to our cultural views of women, men and sexuality. That is, it is okay [sic] for men to think about and engage in sex -- in fact it is expected. But women have to be careful. They can think about sex and want sex (at least we see that in the media), but yet, we also don't want women doing it too much -- speaking from the cultural views. So women kind of walk this fine line, because there are repercussions of crossing it and thinking or having sex too much."
Does this mean that men are likely to be more erotophilic (in layman's term: comfortable with sexuality) than women? Not really. Women are likelier and more characterized to follow society's disposition, "such that they did not want to accurately report their frequency of food (and sex) related thoughts."
So...man or woman, whether you're having sex or none at all -- or perhaps, something in between -- if you're erotophilic, your daily sex thoughts are frequent. Erotophobes not fully applied, but welcome.
Dr. Fisher, of the study, wants to break these stereotypes and shed light on what "inner erotophilics" are faced with. Her thoughts as follows, which she shares with Science Daily:
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"It's amazing the way people will spout off these fake statistics that men think about sex nearly constantly and so much more often than woman do. When a man hears a statement like that, he might think there's something wrong with him because he's not spending that much time thinking about sexuality, and when women hear about this, if they spend significant time thinking about sex they might think there's something wrong with them. Correcting this stereotype about men's sexual thoughts is important."
Perfectly and factually said, Dr. Fisher.
If you're erotophilic, you probably just thought about sex at least an hour ago...am I close?
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