Researchers hope their findings will help men who may have heard that they're supposed to be thinking about sex all day to feel normal.
A study of college students may help dispel the idea that men think about sex every seven seconds. According to the findings, it's more like once every hour.
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The men in the study reported thinking about sex an average of 19 times a day. If they were really thinking about sex every seven seconds, that would be over 8,000 times in a 16-hour waking day. Women in the study reportedly had sex on their mind only ten times a day. So according to the study, men do think about sex twice as often as women.
The study did not address how often subjects actually had sex -- just how often they thought about it. These are self-reported findings, but who ever lies about sex?
The study also looked at how often the students thought about other biological needs. Once again men had food (18 times a day compared to 15) and sleep (11 times a day compared to 8.5) on their minds more often than women. So men do seem to be a bit closer to their caveman roots.
The study also found that when it comes to thinking about sex, there's no such thing as one size fits all. People varied widely in how often their mind was on it. The high for men was 388 thoughts per day while the low was just one thought. Women ranged from one thought to 140 per day.
The study looked at 283 college students aged 18-25. One hundred sixty three were women and 120 were men. They all recorded how often they thought about sex, food, and sleep each day for one week, using a golf tally counter.
The best predictor of how often people thought about sex was not whether they were male or female, but how comfortable they were with sexuality. The more comfortable they were, the more they thought about sex.
The researchers hope the findings will ease the fears of men who might have heard that they're supposed to be thinking about sex every seven seconds and feel substandard because they don't. And they also hope it will help women who think about sex more often than their peers be more comfortable with themselves.
An article on the study appears in the Journal of Sex Research.
Image: Yuri Arcurs/Shutterstock.
This article originally appeared on TheDoctorWillSeeYouNow.com, an Atlantic partner site.