So how often do men think about sex? Is it really every seven seconds? That’s kinda exhausting, isn’t it? It this stat is true, then that means an average man thinks about sex 514 times in one hour, or approximately 7200 times during each waking day! It sure does sound like a lot. But, how does one even begin to measure the number of thoughts one has – regardless of it being about sex or not? It’s not like thoughts are a tangible entity that can be counted. So the actual number of times that men (or anybody else for that matter) think about sex in a day is not clear-cut in scientific research.
However, there is a scientific way of doing it, and it’s known to psychologists as ‘experience sampling.’ Experience sampling involves interrupting people as they go about their day and asking them to record the thoughts they’re having right at that moment, in that place.
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In a study, Terri Fisher and her research team at Ohio State University gave 283 people a clicker. Then, they were divided into three groups and asked them to record their thoughts by pressing on the clicker each time they thought about sex, food, or sleep. The study showed that the average man thinks about 19 times a day. This was greater than women in the study, who thought about 10 times a day. But, one thing to note was that men had more thoughts about food and sleep too, suggesting that perhaps they were more prone to indulge their senses in general.
In her study, Fisher wrote,
“We weren’t able to study how long the thoughts lasted or the nature of the thoughts. We also didn’t know if all of our participants followed the instructions and really clicked every time they had the sort of thought that they were supposed to track. However, even if they didn’t, the fact that they were supposed to be clicking probably made them more aware of their thoughts about their assigned topic than they might otherwise have been, and that would have been reflected in their daily reports.”
The design of the study is inherently flawed, write cognitive scientist Tom Stafford in a column on BBC Future. Referring to the ‘white bear problem,’ he says that if you tell people to try and notice every time they think about something, it just increases the frequency of their thoughts about that particular thing, making the whole thing skewed.
This is just one of the studies done on the burning question: how often do men think about sex, and it answers one thing with certainty. The average male doesn’t think about sex every seven seconds, however, we can’t be sure what the true frequency is either. It could probably vary wildly between people, and even within a person, it depends on various factors like their circumstances. And then we come back to the same conundrum of measuring a person’s thoughts. It’s not like it’s a tangible entity which can be measured and put under a slot with a measuring unit to boot.
Since there’s no solid conclusion to the question that’s probably on everyone’s mind, you might as well have sex, followed by a snack, and then nap comfortably! Sounds like a plan, eh? 😉
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