Sex and happiness go together, surely! Well, it turns out that actually it’s not so direct a correlation. There’s even a major gender disparity, with men being two and a half times more likely to associate sex with happiness than women.
This is based on a major survey of over a thousand male and female respondents. They were given fifteen words – including love, family, relationships, wealth and safety – in random order and it turned out that sex rated fourteenth, that is one above bottom of the list in giving happiness.
Men are 250% more likely to link sex with happiness than women
In the gender breakdown – and 58% of those surveyed were men and 42% women – it turned out that 20% of males, though only 8% of females said they would associate sex with happiness. It makes men 250% more likely to make that association.
It seems to fly in the face of other studies which have shown that sex certainly increases our positive moods, that couples who have weekly sex are the happiest and that a higher quantity and quality of sex IS correlated with an increased feeling of well-being. On the other hand, one interesting study found that couples who doubled the amount of intercourse they had did not find any increase in happiness. Indeed, increasing frequency of sex resulted in a decline in wishing for and enjoyment of sex – so an actual decrease in sex drive.
Then there’s the considerable gender difference. What could explain why men are so much more likely to associate the word ‘sex’ with the word ‘happiness’? One reason could be the orgasm gap. One study found that among college student hook-ups, only 40% of women achieved orgasm where over 80% of the men did.
There may also be a double standard – such that a stigma can be attached to women who engage in casual sex where for men it can be considered a conquest. So one night stands are more likely to be high risk/low reward for women but the opposite, low risk/high reward for men. Other factors – such as far higher use of sex workers and much greater use of porn sites – suggest that men have a stronger, maybe simpler, acceptance of their sex drive than women.
Still, it is an extraordinary finding that sex ranks so low in its association with happiness. Of all those other things in life – family, joy, laughter, contentment etc – it is at the bottom, only one above ‘enlightenment’! Overall, leaving gender aside, only 15% of people are likely to associate sex with happiness.
See more on the study at: https://www.