I shared an article on Twitter the other day about the prevalence of infidelity, which prompted a response from my pal Dan Savage about how cheating is associated with the length of a relationship. Basically, he wanted to know whether cheating is more or less common when you look at couples that have been together for a very long time. This is an interesting question and one that I’ve actually never been asked before, so I did some digging and here’s what I found. It turned out to be a pretty interesting story.Read More
One of the most reliable findings across studies of human sexual behavior is that heterosexual men report substantially more lifetime sexual partners on average compared to heterosexual women. In theory, the numbers reported by straight men and women should be fairly similar, right? However, we often see guys reporting partner counts that are twice as high as that of women. So why is that? How do we explain this gender difference?
A new study published in the Journal of Sex Research offers some valuable insight.Read More
How many different reasons are there to have sex? At least 237, according to one study. However, that study was primarily based on young college students, which begs the question of how people’s sexual motivations might differ based on age. It’s also reasonable to wonder whether men and women experience similar or different changes in their reasons for having sex as they get older, too.Read More
There’s a lot of research out there looking at how many people have cheated, their reasons for cheating, and what “counts” as cheating; however, surprisingly little work has looked at who people are actually having sex with when they commit infidelity. Is it usually with someone they know, or with a stranger? And does this differ for men and women? A new study published in the Journal of Family Psychology offers some answers.Read More
Are Americans today more or less likely to cheat on their spouses than they were in the past? And how have their attitudes toward infidelity changed—have they become more or less tolerant of this behavior? A recent study published in the Journal of Family Psychology offers some insight into these questions.Read More
Several studies have found that women are more likely to have regrets about their previous experiences with casual sex than men. While men can certainly have regrets about casual sex, they’re more likely than women to regret opportunities they passed up instead of times they actually had casual sex. So why is that? What explains this gender difference?Read More
Pink and blue are colors that are commonly associated with gender in many Western cultures. Specifically, pink is widely considered to be a “girl color,” whereas blue is widely thought of as “boy color.” However, this hasn’t always been the case. In fact, historically, we didn’t associate these colors with a particular gender—and there was even a period not that long ago when some argued that pink was for boys and blue was for girls.Read More
A reader asked:
“What percentage of men and women actually enjoy giving or receiving oral sex?”
Good question! Let me start by saying that oral sex has become an incredibly common sexual practice in the United States in recent years. In fact, nationally representative survey studies have routinely found that the vast majority of both men and women have engaged in this activity. For example, recent data from the National Survey of Family Growth finds that 86-87% of American adults aged 18-44 have done it at least once (see here for stats on other sexual behaviors).Read More
Study after study has found that men and women have different age preferences when it comes to choosing both sexual and romantic partners. On average, men seem to prefer partners who are a bit younger while women seem to prefer partners who are a bit older than they are (of course, there's individual variability when it comes to what people want and not all men and women share these preferences). Evolutionary psychologists argue that it's adaptive for most heterosexual men to have a preference for younger women because they're likely to be more fertile; by contrast, they argue that it's adaptive for most women to have a preference for older men, who are likely to have more status and resources. If that's the case, though, then what happens when reproductive concerns are removed from the equation, such as in the case of same-sex relationships?Read More
My social media feed has been blowing up lately with links to article headlines like this one from HuffPost, “Women Want More Sex Than Their Partner Does, According To New Study.” Naturally, as a sex researcher, I was intrigued--I wanted to read the paper and learn more. However, I was disappointed to learn that this wasn’t actually a scientific study and that numerous media outlets were reporting on it like it was legit science. Let's take a closer look at this "study" and what it does and doesn't tell us.Read More
The question of whether men and women differ when it comes to intelligence has long been a subject of scientific debate. For instance, some researchers have argued that men have superior intellect because their brains, on average, tend to be larger compared to women. Others, however, have argued that brain size in and of itself is a relatively meaningless metric to consider, especially in light of the fact that numerous animal species have larger brains than humans, but aren’t necessarily smarter than we are.
For a brief overview of what the research in this area has found, check out the video below from our friends over at ASAP Science.Read More
Much has been said and written about the "orgasm gap," or the idea that men tend to have far more consistent experiences with orgasm than women. However, the vast majority of the research on this topic to date has focused on heterosexuals, which begs the question of how sexual orientation might factor into this equation. In other words, is there still an orgasm gap between men and women who are either gay or bisexual? For a look at the answer, check out the infographic below, which features data from a new study just published in The Archives of Sexual Behavior.Read More
Several studies have found that men and women have different age preferences when it comes to selecting romantic and sexual partners. Generally speaking, it appears that men tend to prefer somewhat younger partners, whereas women tend to prefer partners who are somewhat older. Much of this research has been interpreted through the lens of evolutionary theory, which claims that it was adaptive for men to evolve a preference for younger women because they're likely to be most fertile; by contrast, this theory suggests that it was adaptive for women to have evolved a preference for older men because they presumably have more status and resources.One thing you might be wondering, though, is just how stable these age preferences are likely to be across the lifespan. Do they change as we get older? And, furthermore, what about persons who aren’t heterosexual? How are gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons’ partner age preferences similar or different? A new study published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology offers some insight into these questions.Read More
Pornhub recently released their annual year-in-review of users’ viewing habits and, as usual, the results were fascinating. Among other things, they reported that nearly 92 billion videos were viewed on their site in 2016 (to put that number in context, that’s the equivalent of each person on earth watching 12.5 videos). In addition, the most popular porn-watching times were between 11 PM to 1:00 AM (or “fappy hour,” as they call it), and the most popular search term overall on the site was “lesbian” (for the second year in a row) You can check out the full report here in all its glory, but if you’re just after a few highlights, here are some of the things that stood out to me during my review of the data.Read More
The amount of sexual experience you have (or don’t have) could potentially affect how willing other people are to date or have sex with you, according to a new study published in the Journal of Sex Research. However, what makes for a desirable sexual history depends upon many things, including whether you are male or female and, further, whether we’re talking about desirability for a short-term sexual relationship vs. a long-term romantic relationship.Read More
Most Americans who are in relationships have a spoken or unspoken agreement to be monogamous. In other words, they've agreed not to have sex with anyone but each other. Let's imagine for a moment that you're one of those folks. Got it? Ok, now let's suppose that your partner approaches you one day and says they would like to have sex with someone else. How would you respond?Read More
There are undoubtably some important differences between the male and female orgasm. Among other things, men tend to reach orgasm more often, women are more likely to have multiple orgasms, and women are more likely to say that they've faked an orgasm.
However, when it comes to the actual orgasmic experience--that is, what men and women say an orgasm really feels like, as well as what goes on inside the brain during a climax--well, that's another story entirely. In fact, it turns out that male and female orgasms really aren't that different when you look at how they're experienced.Read More
Most of us—men and women alike—have been turned on by the thought of a threesome before. Indeed, study after study has found that this is one of the most common sexual activities people fantasize about.
Surprisingly, though, we don’t actually know all that much about what people want when it comes to a threesome. Why? Because the questions included on most sex surveys to date have been pretty generic, as in: “have you ever fantasized about having a threesome?”
Questions like this obviously leave out a lot of important details, such as who the other two people are. Are both of them of the same gender, or different genders? And do you know them personally, or are they strangers?
It turns out that who’s participating makes a big difference, according to a new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.Read More