why do we need to have sex
Your partner may come up with a dozen excuses to say "Not tonight, dear, I have a ____," but how many reasons can the two of you name for wanting to have? One? Two? Twenty? How about 200? Some college students have cited as many as 237 different reasons for having. From pleasure to procreation, insecurity to inquisitiveness -- today's reasons for taking a roll in the hay seem to vary as much as the terms for the deed itself. A 2010
Sexuality Culture review of sex motivation studies states that people are offering "far more reasons for choosing to engage in sexual activity than in former times. " And we're doing it more often too. Itвs a stark contrast from historical assumptions, which cited only three sexual motive: To make babies, to feel good, or because you're in love. Today, sexual behaviors seem to have taken on many different psychological, social, cultural, even religious meanings. Yet, some sexologists say, at the most basic level, there is only one true reason people seek sex. "We are programmed to do so," sex therapist Richard A. Carroll, associate Northwestern University psychiatry and behavioral sciences professor says. "Asking why people have sex is akin to asking why we eat.
Our brains are designed to motivate us toward that behavior. " The idea that humans are hard-wired for sex reflects an evolutionary perspective, according to University of Hawaii professor Elaine Hatfield. "Evolutionary theorists point out that a desire for sexual relations is 'wired in' in order to promote species survival," she says. "Cultural theorists tend to focus on the cultural and personal reasons people have (or avoid) sex. Cultures differ markedly in what are considered to be 'appropriate' reasons for having or avoiding sex. " What's Your Motive? Why do you seek sex? Motivations generally fall into four main categories, according to psychologists at UT-Austin who asked more than 1,500 undergraduate college students about their sexual attitudes and experiences: Physical reasons: Pleasure, sexual curiosity, or Goal-based reasons: To make a, improve social status (for example, to become popular), or seek revenge Emotional reasons: Love, commitment, or gratitude Insecurity reasons: To boost self-esteem, keep a partner from seeking sex elsewhere, or feeling a sense of duty or pressure (for example, a partner insists on having sex) Again, this table reveals that men and women are more similar than different.
Seven out of the bottom ten ranked reasons were identical. I should point out that although some of the reasons listed here are pretty disturbing (e. g. , БI wanted to spread a sexually transmitted diseaseБ and БI wanted to punish myselfБ), all of them were very rare. The average endorsement rating for each item that appeared in the bottom ten was 1. 04 or less for women and 1. 12 or less for men.
When you consider that 1 was the lowest possible response on the scale, it tells us that very few people are having sex for these reasons. Men and women are clearly similar when looking at the most and least commonly reported reasons for sex. However, when considering the reasons that appeared in the middle of the list (i. e. , things that only motivate people from time to time), a number of notable sex differences emerged. The nature of these differences were such that men were more likely to (1) report sex for physical reasons (e. g. , БThe person was too sexy to resistБ), (2) say they'd have sex because it would improve their social status (e. g. , БI wanted to brag to my friends about my conquestsБ), and (3) say they'd do it because they simply had an opportunity for sex (e. g. , БThe person was availableБ).
By contrast, women were more likely than men to report sex for reasons such as Бwanting to feel feminineБ or because they Бrealized they were in love. Б As you can see, sexual behavior is motivated by far more than just pleasure and reproduction. Humans have sex for an incredibly diverse range of reasons. Certainly, there are some important differences in what motivates men and women to get it on; however, the reasons that lead us to have sex most frequently actually appear to be quite similar across the sexes. Want to learn more about Sex and Psychology? Click for previous articles or follow the blog on Facebook ( ), Twitter ( ), or Reddit ( ) to receive updates. To read more about this research, see: Meston, C. M. , Buss, D. M. (2007). Why humans have sex. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 36, 477-507. Image Source: 123RF. com/Katarzyna Biatasiewicz You Might Also Like:
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