Today science tells us that if you like sex after the age of 26, it's probably because you're trying to fill your shriveled womb. Also, if you eat chocolate after a breakup, you're probably "addicted to love."
In the first study, psychologists at UT Austin divided women into three charmingly-named groups: high fertility (ages 18-26), low fertility (ages 27-45), and menopausal (ages 46 and up). Those almost-barren 27-and-up women were, according to the EurekAlert press release, more likely than any other group to engage in the following sexy sex things:
* Frequent sexual fantasies
* Thoughts about sexual activities
* More intense sexual fantasies than their younger counterparts
* A more active sex life and willingness to have a one-night stand
* A willingness to have casual sex
One might guess that slightly older women (such as those in the wasteland of the late twenties) might fantasize more because a) they discovered it's fun, or b) they were more comfortable with their sexuality as they aged. But the press release says these women "have a heightened sex drive in response to their dwindling fertility." Or, as study author Judith Easton puts it, "It may be more difficult to conceive past the age of 35, but our research suggests women's psychology will continue to motivate them to try until menopause." Since Easton also says "our findings suggest that women don't need to necessarily go 'baby crazy' in their 30s," it's kind of strange that her team assumes a woman's sexual behavior is always linked to a desperate (possibly unconscious?) desire to conceive. It would be interesting to learn what percentage of the study subjects were on birth control.
Meanwhile, Yeshiva University scientist Lucy Brown and colleagues have linked post-breakup pain to the cravings of addicts. According to the Daily Mail, Brown says, "romantic love, under both happy and unhappy circumstances, may be a 'natural' addiction. Our findings suggest that the pain of romantic rejection may be a necessary part of life that nature built into our anatomy and physiology." She'd be far from the first to compare breakups to withdrawal, but her experiment sure sounds fun: she ran MRIs on 15 college students "who had recently been rejected by their partners but said they were still intensely in love." Apparently areas of the brain "associated with craving and addiction" lit up — no word on the brain areas governing regrettable rebound hookups, drunk-texting, or claiming no one else has ever really understood you. Oh, and the Mail brings all this back to chocolate, writing, "jilted woman [sic] have a higher tendency to turn to wine and chocolate because their bodies are trying to compensate for an addiction to love." An addiction to babies, you mean! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to fantasize about sperm.
Image via stefanolunardi/Shutterstock.com.