Guess what, everyone — it turns out men aren't as horny as unsubstantiated statistics say they are! According to a forthcoming paper in the Journal of Sex Research, your typical college-aged guy thinks about sex an average of 18 times a day — that's less than twice the frequency of the average college-aged woman, and nowhere near the once-every-seven-seconds "statistic" that we're all so familiar with.
Psychologist Terri Fisher, who led the study, describes her team's testing methods, and its interesting results:
By means of a golf tally counter, 283 college students kept track of their [so-called "need-based"] thoughts pertaining to food, sleep, or sex for one week. Males reported significantly more need-based cognitions overall, but there was no significant interaction between sex of participant and type of cognition recorded. Therefore, although these young men did think more about sex than did young women, they also thought more about food and sleep.
Fisher claims her study suggests that men may be a little more in touch with their "physical state" throughout the day. Of course, potential explanations for this observation abound. Maybe, posits Fisher, men are just more comfortable racking up their clicker numbers:
"People who always give socially desirable responses to questions are perhaps holding back and trying to manage the impression they make on others," Fisher explains. "In this case, we're seeing that women who are more concerned with the impression they're making tend to report fewer sexual thoughts, and that's because thinking about sexuality is not consistent with typical expectations for women."
Supporting Fisher's hypothesis is a finding from the study which demonstrates that the best indicator for how often a person thinks about sex is not their gender, but their score on a sexual opinion survey designed to measure their "emotional orientation toward sexuality," as gauged by a so-called "erotophilia" score:
"If you had to know one thing about a person to best predict how often they would be thinking about sex," explained Fisher, "you'd be better off knowing their emotional orientation toward sexuality, as opposed to knowing whether they were male or female."
"Frequency of thinking about sex is related to variables beyond one's biological sex."