Do Men Really Think About Sex Every Seven Seconds?

Thanks to modern folklore, many of us believe that men think about sex every seven seconds, amounting to 514 sexual thoughts per hour, or 7,200 each day. If that seems high to you, you're not alone.

What's the Latest?

Thanks to modern folklore, many of us believe that men think about sex every seven seconds, amounting to 514 sexual thoughts per hour, or 7,200 each day. If that seems high to you, you're not alone. Tom Stafford, Lecturer in Psychology and Cognitive Science at the University of Sheffield, UK, decided to examine the ways that scientists measure the frequency of our thoughts. In one study conducted at Ohio State University, scientists distributed handheld counters called "clickers" and instructed volunteers to record each time they had a sexual thought. On average, the men had about 19 sexual thoughts per day; the women, about 10.

What's the Big Idea?

Because volunteers in the OSU study were given instructions to record their sexual thoughts specifically, Stafford argues that the frequency of having sexual thoughts was bound to increase (due to a phenomenon called "the white bear" problem). A different study, this time conducted by Wilhelm Hoffman in Germany, found a much lower frequency of recorded sexual thoughts. When individuals were sent text messages at random times of day and simply asked to record their thoughts (without specific reference to sexuality), sex was a less frequent subject of thought than food, sleep, coffee, personal hygiene, and television programs. 

When it comes to statistical surveys that try to get inside our head, the devil is in the details.

Read more at BBC Future

Photo credit: Ollyy/Shutterstock

The world and workforce need wisdom. Why don’t universities teach it?

Universities claim to prepare students for the world. How many actually do it?

Photo: Take A Pix Media / Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Many university mission statements do not live up to their promise, writes Ben Nelson, founder of Minerva, a university designed to develop intellect over content memorization.
  • The core competencies that students need for success—critical thinking, communication, problem solving, and cross-cultural understanding, for example—should be intentionally taught, not left to chance.
  • These competencies can be summed up with one word: wisdom. True wisdom is the ability to apply one's knowledge appropriately when faced with novel situations.
Keep reading Show less

What the world will look like in the year 250,002,018

This is what the world will look like, 250 million years from now

On Pangaea Proxima, Lagos will be north of New York, and Cape Town close to Mexico City
Surprising Science

To us humans, the shape and location of oceans and continents seems fixed. But that's only because our lives are so short.

Keep reading Show less

Six-month-olds recognize (and like) when they’re being imitated

A new study may help us better understand how children build social cognition through caregiver interaction.

Personal Growth
  • Scientists speculate imitation helps develop social cognition in babies.
  • A new study out of Lund University shows that six-month-olds look and smile more at imitating adults.
  • Researchers hope the data will spur future studies to discover what role caregiver imitation plays in social cognition development.
  • Keep reading Show less

    New study connects cardiovascular exercise with improved memory

    Researchers at UT Southwestern noted a 47 percent increase in blood flow to regions associated with memory.

    An elderly man runs during his morning exercises at the promenade on the Bund along the Huangpu Rive the Bund in Shanghai on May 18, 2017.

    Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images
    Surprising Science
    • Researchers at UT Southwestern observed a stark improvement in memory after cardiovascular exercise.
    • The year-long study included 30 seniors who all had some form of memory impairment.
    • The group of seniors that only stretched for a year did not fair as well in memory tests.
    Keep reading Show less
    Scroll down to load more…