01
Aug
07

Is the battle of the sexes over? Ummm, I think not…

A recent study suggests that, contrary to traditional beliefs, both men and women enjoy sex for primarily the same reason:

After exhaustively compiling a list of the 237 reasons why people have sex, researchers found that young men and women get intimate for mostly the same motivations. It’s more about lust in the body than a love connection in the heart.

College-aged men and women agree on their top reasons for having sex – they were attracted to the person, they wanted to experience physical pleasure and “it feels good,” according to a peer-reviewed study in the August edition of Archives of Sexual Behavior. Twenty of the top 25 reasons given for having sex were the same for men and women.

Expressing love and showing affection were in the top 10 for both men and women, but they did take a back seat to the clear No. 1: “I was attracted to the person.”

“It’s refuted a lot of gender stereotypes … that men only want sex for the physical pleasure and women want love,” said University of Texas clinical psychology professor Cindy Meston, the study’s co-author. “That’s not what I came up with in my findings.”

Forget thinking that men are from Mars and women from Venus, “the more we look, the more we find similarity,” said Dr. Irwin Goldstein, director of sexual medicine at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego. Goldstein, who wasn’t part of Meston’s study, said the Texas research made a lot of sense and adds to growing evidence that the vaunted differences in the genders may only be among people with sexual problems. – [AP]

Well, as usual (I guess) somehow I didn’t find this study to be that helpful. It could just be me, but the results seemed to be a little obvious. Not to mention that the study seemed to cripple itself in the universality department.

The first issue I saw in the study was stated in the article. They were essentially studying college kids. And the vast majority of college age kids, both male and female, spend a great deal of time thinking about sex. Their primary motivation is fun, not marriage or settling down, etc. So of course, their reasons are going to primarily be lust driven. Strike one.

Next, even within the more sexually balanced middle-aged group, the claim to gender stereotypes may not particularly be culturally valid anymore.  I happen to have known several men who were really pushovers, and women who were much, much worse than men in terms of sexual predation. (Think “Sex in the city.”) Strike two.

And last, but not least, even within the hormonally boosted college demographic you could still see gender differences in the attitudes towards sex, with men tending towards being more opportunistic, and women apparently doing so to please their partner. That kinda hints that the men/Mars women/Venus thing still isn’t entirely as baseless as they suggest. Strike 3. Out!

Perhaps we shouldn’t simply abandon the idea of men being from Mars and women being from Venus. Maybe we all just ought to remember that both Mars and Venus still occupy the same solar system…

Why People Have Sex: It Feels Good – [AP]

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