- Education and Science
How Often Do Women Think About Sex?
Are Women Less Interested In Sex Than Men?
A few months ago I wrote an article titled, “Do Men Really Think About Sex Every 7 Seconds?” After hearing for many years that men think about sex every 7 seconds, I decided to research that issue and see if it was true, and report my findings.
In the process of researching men and their sexuality, I came across a lot of information about women too, and I thought it would only be right and fair to report my findings on women. It seems like men are always being singled out when it comes to sexual behavior and so to even things out a bit, I want to report my findings on women. Are women really less interested in sex than men are? How often do women think about Sex?
Might This Woman Be Thinking About Sex?
The Ohio State University Study
In a study conducted by Dr. Terri D. Fisher, Professor of psychology at Ohio State University in Mansfield Ohio, the median number of times women participating in the study reported thinking about sex was 9.9 times daily. The average number of times women participating in the study thought about sex was 18.6 times daily -- almost half as often as men participating in the same study.
Dr. Fisher found that all participants in the study, both men and women all ranging between 18 and 25 years of age, thought equally as often about food and sleep as they did about sex.
Men thought about sex, food, and sleep about twice as often as women, but they also thought about all three of those things equally often. Women thought about sex, food, and sleep about equally often, but they thought about all those things about half as often as men. Clearly these are all important issues in the lives of young college students.
The Ohio State University study was not an anonymous study. The participants interacted with the researchers and the study was conducted in such a way that the results from each participant could be connected to that individual. That is important to realize because not everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts on certain subjects, and so they might be inclined to say what they believe to be acceptable rather than what is true.
In general women have a tendency to be more concerned than men are with “social desirability.” Most men are much less concerned, in fact often completely unconcerned, with “social desirability.” As a result, Dr. Fisher says her study is not definitive regarding whether men do in fact think about sex more often than women.
This writer would agree with Dr. Fisher in that her study is not definitive. Not because the study did not include anonymity for the participants, though that is a consideration, but because the study was extremely limited in the number of people who participated – and perhaps more importantly, because the age range of the participants was extremely narrow.
I do not think the results of a study on the issue of sex that includes only people ages 18-25 necessarily transfers to people of all ages, especially people 35 and over. A man’s sexual peak is said to occur well before 35 and a woman’s by the time she is 40 or so. There is some controversy about that.
Concern about social desirability means that a person is very sensitive to how they appear to other people. Social desirability varies between individuals, but influences how concerned some people are with looking good or appearing acceptable to other people, and fitting in.
If social desirability is extremely important to a person, the truth may suffer. That in turn means that some women may be reticent about being truthful as to how often they think about food, or sex since our society has a definite opinion on how often nice girls engage in sex and how much women should eat. “There is some evidence that at least some women [Ohio State University study participants] were reluctant to report certain types of thoughts,” Dr. Fisher says.
About the Sample
Dr. Terri D. Fisher along with Zachary T. Moore and Mary-Jo Pittenger (students) conducted the study searching for the answer to how often men and women think about sex in 2011. There were 163 women and 120 men who participated, making it a total of 283 students between the ages of 18 and 25.
Dr. Fisher’s study included a rather small sample representing only a narrow segment of our population – young college people. There is no way to know how that sample relates to people who are older.
Both women and men between 25 and eternity might well have a different attitude about sex and therefore think about it more or less often than they did at 18-25 years of age.
University of Chicago Study
Another study conducted several years earlier in 1994 at the University of Chicago by Edward O. Laumann, sociology professor at Chicago University, John H. Gagnon, sociology professor at State University of New York at Stony Brook, Robert T. Michael, dean of the graduate school of public policy studies at the University of Chicago, and Stuart Michaels, researcher at University of Chicago, had somewhat different results. This study included 3,432 men and women ranging in age from 18 to 59. Because the study included more than 10 times as many participants and the age range was considerably more extensive, it would seem to be more relevant.
The University of Chicago study reports that “19% of women think about sex everyday or several times a day, 67% a few times per month or a few times per week, and 14% of the female participants in the study thought about sex less than once a month.”
More Psychology from Au Fait
- Evolutionary Psychology: Your Nose Chooses Your Mate -- Chemistry Is More Important Than You Thought
The Sweaty T-Shirt Experiment would seem to suggest that our nose plays a bigger part in who we are sexually attracted to than any other factor. Our nose can tell whose immune system will best compliment our own.
- How We Make Decisions and Develop Habits
Thinking through the habits and traditions we keep, whether they still make sense, and whether we should consider doing things differently.
- Why Are You Blaming The Other Woman?
Why do women usually blame the other woman when their husbands have been unfaithful? The other woman never made a promise or a commitment to them. The other woman never said she loved them. Hold that person accountable who did make those promises and
- Does Your Height Affect Your Success? Is Taller Really Smarter?
Height makes a difference in both employment and romantic success for both men and women. Some possible reasons why this is true.
The Kinsey Report On Sexual Behavior In the Human Female
Collier’s wrote back in 1953 when the Kinsey Report on women was released, “Fundamentally, it is a magnificent piece of basic research which will be used by scholars for years to come as a jumping-off place for further studies.” Without a doubt, this is a true statement for both the Kinsey Report on women as well as the report on men.
Before the Kinsey Report on women was conducted and released it was widely believed by thousands of men and women that women were incapable of any kind of sexual response. How anyone could even imagine such a thing seems pretty absurd, but back in the ‘old days’ many misconceptions about females, some extremely ludicrous, were accepted as scientific fact.
The Kinsey Report on women was especially shocking, not only because it turned the ridiculous belief that women were sexually unresponsive on its head, but because of some of the other findings.
For example, 13% of the participants admitted to having at least one “same sex orgasmic experience.” 62% of female participants admitted to engaging in masturbation. Half of all female participants reported having had premarital intercourse and a quarter of female participants said they had engaged in extramarital sex. Perhaps you can imagine the stir these findings caused back in 1953 when American society was considerably more conservative and it was believed that women were incapable of any kind of sexual response.
Indeed, these findings are still so shocking and offensive to some people in the year 2015, that the owners of this site threatened to unpublish this article if I did not remove all advertising from it immediately, when I first published it. I was informed that advertisers were offended by the content of this article and to remove the advertising or else. The only advertising on this article was a 900 number call company. I was totally unaware that it was even possible to offend such a company.
In fact, I was offended that the owners of this site allowed such a company to advertise on my article because this article is written in a scholarly respectful way about information that everyone should have about a part of life that was, and remains an invention of our creator. Yes, Christians know that God created humans in His image and it was God who invented sex for the purpose of human reproduction. If one bothers to read their Bible, specifically the chapter of Psalms, and a few others, they will see that God had other purposes for sex (inside marriage) as well.
This author wonders how that first meeting with God will go when those people who object to sex and are offended by God's creation of sex discuss His poor judgment in creating sex as the main means of bringing their beautiful children into this world. Interesting that God's creations (some people) believe themselves superior to Him on this subject and likely plan to chastise Him for not coming up with a better, less disgusting plan, for human reproduction. I would love to eavesdrop on that conversation . . .
Health.howstuffworks.com writes, “A major weakness of the two Kinsey reports was their failure to examine the sexual behavior of people of color in the United States. Furthermore, the samples relied heavily upon middle-class, college-educated Americans under age 35.”
Since the Kinsey Reports back in 1948-1953, there has been no study so comprehensive on the subject of human sexual behavior. More recent studies have included far fewer participants and have considerably narrowed their focus.
Could This Woman Be Thinking About Sex?
What Exactly Does "Thinking About Sex" Mean?
So far as I have been able to determine, no study has defined exactly what is included in “thinking about sex.” Does this include only sexual fantasies, or thoughts about sexual activities in the past or the future? Or does ‘thinking about sex’ also include things related to sex such as birth control use, discussion of criminal sexual behavior that took place with children or adults, planning one’s family (how many children to have and when), and the telling of sexually suggestive jokes, or a variety of other sex related subject matter?
How can we know how often people are thinking about sex if we do not first define what exactly we mean by “thinking about sex?” Clearly a sexually suggestive joke causes people to be thinking about sex, but in what context?
Considering and choosing a particular birth control method also includes thinking about sex, but again, is it what most people imagine when they hear the phrase, “thinking about sex?” To get accurate results, it is first necessary to define the questions to be asked so that the results obtained will be relevant to the question(s) asked, as well as the study's purpose.
I invite my readers to share their feelings on this article in the comments below. Was this article informative? Or simply offensive because it creates questions of credibility on the long standing stork delivery system?