Could it be that men aren't the sex fiends they're made out to be? A new study found that statistic we've all read in some magazine (most likely Cosmo) about men thinking about sex every seven seconds is indeed totally absurd.
Terri Fisher, a psychologist at The Ohio State University, studied a group of male and female college students and found men think about sleep and food just as much as they think about sex. And the median number of sex thoughts for guys was only 18 times per day, which isn't too far off from the median for women, which was 10 thoughts per day.
Previous studies have asked people to remember how many sexual thoughts they had per day, which is obviously pretty inaccurate. For this study, 163 women and 120 men carried golf-stroke tally counters, and were told the study was about health-related thoughts. 60% of the students were asked to click the counter when they thought about sex, and the rest were asked to keep track of their thoughts on food and sleep.
They found that for both men and women, there was a wide range in the number of sex thoughts. Some had sex on the brain only once a day, and one young man said his thought sturned to l'amour 388 times. Even he only thought about sex once every 158 seconds during his waking hours.
The men thought about sex a little more than once per hour and the women's tally was about half that, but men thought about food more too. Scientists aren't sure if men are more aware of their physical state, or if they were just more willing to admit what they were thinking. The women who who said that they care a lot about what other people think of them were less likely to report food and sex thoughts, yet there was no difference for sleep thoughts. This may be because women get the message that they shouldn't be pondering sex and food all the time, while there's no shame around sleep.
Fisher is currently studying sex thoughts among adults over 25, and says she hopes to continue researching popular ideas about gender. "When people hear about some of these differences, I think sometimes they don't question it because it fits the stereotypes we have of men and women," says Fisher. "When you stop and take a closer look at the origins of some of these alleged differences, they sometimes have no empirical support." Especially when you hear a statistic that suggests thinking like a man is like thumbing through a Victoria's Secret catalogue all day long.
Men Think About Sleep & Food As Much As Sex [LiveScience]
Image via Levent Konuk/Shutterstock.