Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Do Men Really Think About Sex Every Seven Seconds?


It's good to see another man (as well as Snopes) disputing the dumbass claim that men think about sex every seven seconds, or whatever it is. People actually take this number seriously. I have often argued that I don't even think about sex seven times a day, let alone every seven seconds. Damn, more than 8.5 times a minute? Not even close.

Snopes has the lowdown on this myth:
Daydream Deceiver

Claim: On average, men think about sex every seven seconds.

Status: False.

Origins: We've no idea how long this "everybody knows" misconception has been around, but we've certainly been hearing it ourselves since we were kids, and that was decades upon decades ago.

Depending on which version you've encountered, the amount of time between naughty male thoughts will be stated differently, with "every three minutes," "every eight seconds," and "every fifteen seconds" giving "every seven seconds" a run for its money as the top finisher in this category. The number itself doesn't matter; it's the aura of authority with which the claim is invariably stated, as if this were an undisputed fact backed by scientific research.

Though steamy-minded men might be a nice concept to be enthralled by (also to come home to, but I digress), the theory doesn't hold up. According to the Kinsey Institute's FAQ, "54% of men think about sex every day or several times a day, 43% a few times per month or a few times per week, and 4% less than once a month." Though no one can swear to how often a particular thought flashes through any one guy's head, it's pretty clear from the Kinsey statement that the majority of the gender is not being overcome with naughty imaginings every seven seconds, as slightly less than half of them don't think about sex even as much as once a day.

Even if Kinsey's research is not accurate in this regard, those who assert the "seven seconds" claim was gleaned from the Kinsey Report are clearly mistaken. That connection is not hard to understand, because the Kinsey Report (more properly, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, first published in 1948, and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, first published in 1953) is considered the bible of sex research. A sex research statistic will therefore be assumed to have come from this source.

Why is this baseless belief as prevalent as it is? Its popularity stems in part from what is widely believed about men: that their behaviors are more sexually motivated than those of women, with this heightened impetus being attributable to how males of our species are physically wired rather than to matters of conscious choice or societal conditioning. A statistic of this nature works to confirm that assumption by overlaying a patina of faux science onto the "Men think of nothing but sex, sex, sex!" caricature we've become deeply enamored of.
As fun as that dismissal of the myth is, the Mancouch is even better - this guy thinks like I do, and he breaks down the numbers into their absurdity:

"Men Think About Sex Every Sex Sexonds"

I would like to debunk the so-called statistic or myth that every man thinks about sex every six seconds.

Think about it: would society evolve at all if we thought about sex that much? Probably not. I love women and all, but every man has his priorities on other things than sex. There's food, after all.

But more importantly, SCIENCE. So excuse me for trying to make the world a better place, and not focusing solely on my primal mating instincts.

Mancouch Says: Hear, Hear!

Most men will openly admit that they enjoy sex and think about it on a regular basis, but the real interval is probably closer to a few times per day, not every six seconds. Really, who the hell came up with that number? Look at these statistics:

Every 24 hour day is equal to 86,400 seconds. 86,4000 / 6 = 14,400. Assuming our brains are doing some sort of thinking even while we're sleeping, that would mean men are thinking about sex nearly 15,000 times a day, in some form or another. How is that even possible? How could any of us get through the day without having our respective poles pointing north all the time?

That said, it's a natural thing to think about, but not to the excessive point the numbers seem to suggest. Obviously, our frontal lobes have allowed us the ability to do more than constantly act on our carnal instincts. We develop interests in music, art, science (as suggested above), and any other number of productive, non-sexual fields.

Frankly, it sounds like someone rigged the numbers to make all men seem like brutish, salivating pigs. A scorned woman, perhaps?

Either way, this statistic doesn't really mean anything. Someone could've taken a random sampling of men hanging outside a strip club and skewed the language. In the end, all that matters is the individual. I know I don't generally think about sex more than a few times a day, at least not consciously. And if that's the same for men across the board, then these numbers mean nothing.

So another two cheers for interests that aren't sex, men! Let's show the world we're more than just a good lay.

How often do you think about sex?

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