Want better sex? Science says show more gratitude
It turns out, letting your partner know you appreciate them leads to a stronger relationship. Who'd have thunk?
- A new study shows that people who express and receive gratitude from their partners are more motivated to meet their sexual needs.
- The effect was also seen with the mere perception of gratitude.
- As science is increasingly coming to understand, gratitude has many more benefits than this.
A new study finds that people who appreciate and are appreciated by their partners are more motivated to respond to their partner's sexual needs than those in relationships marked by a lack of mutual gratitude. These appreciative couples report higher levels of "sexual communal strength" in their relationships as well. These findings add to the pile of studies showing the benefits of gratitude on many facets of life.
One hundred eighteen couples were asked to record in a journal how much gratitude they expressed and received over three weeks. They were also asked to record their estimated level of sexual satisfaction. The researchers returned three months later and had the couples repeat this effort. The authors found a positive connection between gratitude and "sexual communal strength," a trait used by researchers to measure how willing a partner is to meet their partner's sexual needs even if those needs differ from their preferences.
A second study looked at how the perception of gratitude influences sexual satisfaction. This involved the researchers asking test subjects to think of a recent time when they expressed or received appreciation from their romantic partner before filling out a questionnaire on their relationship and sexual satisfaction. A second group did the same, but their moment of gratitude did not involve their partner.
This half of the study found that just thinking of your partner this way improved the levels of self-reported satisfaction among the test subjects.
How does this work? I’m asking for a friend.
Recent studies have increasingly focused on a relationship trait dubbed "sexual communal strength" or SCS. Sometimes defined as the "desire or willingness to meet a partner's sexual needs, even when different from your own preferences," it is increasingly considered an essential element successful of long term relationship satisfaction.
The specific factors that improve SCS have yet to be fully discovered, but this study shows that gratitude is one. This makes sense on an intuitive level and is supported by other studies showing how gratitude in relationships relates to responsiveness and commitment levels.
Lead author Professor Ashlyn Brady of North Carolina at Greensboro summarized the findings for PsyPost:
"Our results suggest that gratitude, an emotion that arises in response to the recognition that another person has been beneficial or valuable to us, is one factor that predicts greater sexual communal strength. Thus, simply experiencing gratitude toward, or receiving gratitude from, a romantic partner can increase your motivation to fulfill your partner's sexual needs and can help maintain this motivation over time."
She further explains that the study will lay the groundwork for further research into this phenomenon. Many questions remain, such as how long the effect lasts, if expressing gratitude for different things gives different results, or if expressing gratitude for the same thing repeatedly leads to a decline in the impact, for example.
The various benefits of gratitude
The study also shows us yet another benefit of having gratitude. Over the past few years, a slew of reports, surveys, and articles discussing the positive effects gratitude can have on our emotional and physical health have come forth.
Studies suggest that practicing gratitude moderately improves depression and anxiety. It is associated with a sense of purpose, control over your environment, self-acceptance, and personal growth, alongside lower stress levels. Feeling gratitude can also make people more altruistic and is even associated with eating better.
One way to help take advantage of these effects is to keep a gratitude journal. It can be a straightforward thing, just a list of things you're grateful for each day that you can look back on. Several studies on gratitude use journaling as a mechanism, so there is evidence associating journaling with the mentioned benefits. You can also try going a little out of your way to let people know you appreciate them and what they do. This has the added benefit of making their day.
Cicero said, "Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent of all others." While his statement might be a bit bold, it seems he was certainly onto something. So, say thank you a little more often- you'll thank yourself for it.
- Benefits of gratitude: How gratitude impacts your brain - Big Think ›
- Practicing Gratitude Seriously Rewires Your Brain for the Better - Big ... ›
- The Art of Gratitude - Big Think ›
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Scientists discover the inner workings of an effect that will lead to a new generation of devices.
- Researchers discover a method of extracting previously unavailable information from superconductors.
- The study builds on a 19th-century discovery by physicist Edward Hall.
- The research promises to lead to a new generation of semiconductor materials and devices.
Credit: Gunawan/Nature magazine
Students who think the world is just cheat less, but they need to experience justice to feel that way.
- Students in German and Turkish universities who believed the world is just cheated less than their pessimistic peers.
- The tendency to think the world is just is related to the occurence of experiences of justice.
- The findings may prove useful in helping students adjust to college life.
The world is just? That’s news to a lot of people.<p>The study is the most recent addition to a long line of work focusing on the belief in justice, our behavior, and our reactions to evidence that might suggest injustice occasionally occurs. This study focuses on a personal belief in a just world, (PBJW) rather than a general belief in a just world (GBJW). The difference between them must be highlighted.</p><p>GBJW is the stance that justice prevails all over the world and that people tend to get what they deserve. PBJW is more focused on the individual's social environment and their belief that they tend to be treated justly. While several studies show PBJW correlates with a higher sense of well-being and a variety of other positive effects, a high GBJW is associated with less life satisfaction, negative behavior, and callousness towards the suffering of <a href="https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-1-4939-3216-0" target="_blank">others</a>. This study controlled for GBJW, and focused on PBJW as much as possible. </p><p>To assure that culture was not a factor, the study included students at universities in both Germany and Turkey. </p><p>The researchers gave students at the four participating universities a series of questionnaires that asked if they ever cheated in class, if they perceived the world to be just, if they though that justice always prevailed everywhere, their tendencies towards socially appropriate behavior, their life satisfaction, and if they felt like they were treated justly by their teachers and fellow students. </p><p>The answers were statistically analyzed for relationships. While some of the connections seem trivially true, others were surprising. <strong></strong></p><p>PBJW turned out to only be an indirect predictor of if a student was likely to cheat. Both a belief in a just world and a lower likelihood of cheating were mediated by the justice experiences of the students, with more of these positive experiences lowering the rate of cheating and improving their belief in justice. This was also associated with higher levels of life satisfaction. </p><p>These effects existed across all demographics in both countries. </p>
What does this mean? Is a belief in justice a self-fulfilling prophecy?<iframe width="730" height="430" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6oMv-azHNCA" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>In a way, it seems to be. People who have reason to think the world is just to them tend to interpret events in a way to sustain that belief and behave in a just manner. In a larger sense, the take away from this study is that experiences of justice, both from peers and instructors, is vital to student's wellbeing and understanding that the rules that exist about cheating are part of a larger, legitimate, system. </p><p>The researchers, citing previous studies on the perception of justice, note that "justice experiences (1) signal that university students are esteemed members of their social group, which in turn conveys feelings of belonging and social inclusion and (2) motivate them to accept and observe university rules and norms. These cognitive processes may thus strengthen their well-being and decrease the likelihood that they cheat."</p><p>The authors also suggest that if you want people (not only students) to act justly; consider treating them with "civility, respect, and dignity."</p><p>Sometimes, all it can take to help somebody act virtuously is to treat them well. Likewise, people treated harshly can rarely find reason to play by rules that don't protect them. The findings of this study will certainly add to the literature on how we perceive justice in the world around us, but might also help us remember that there are real consequences to our actions which can be much larger than we imagine. <strong></strong></p>
This could change how researchers approach vaccine development.
- The reason children suffer less from the novel coronavirus has remained mysterious.
- Researchers identified a cytokine, IL-17A, which appears to protect children from the ravages of COVID-19.
- This cytokine response could change how researchers approach vaccine development.
A member of staff wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) takes a child's temperature at the Harris Academy's Shortland's school on June 04, 2020 in London, England.
Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images<p>Experts don't want to place kids at the back of the line, regardless of how strong their immune systems appear. At least one company, Moderna, <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-vaccine-for-kids-moderna-plans-pediatric-trial-2020-9" target="_blank">hopes to begin testing</a> vaccines in pediatric volunteers by year's end.</p><p>Innate immune response is especially high during childhood (compared to adaptive immunity). This makes evolutionary sense: nature wants an animal to survive until its ready to procreate. Turns out the children in the study possessed high levels of cytokines that boost their immune response. The biggest impact is made by IL-17A, which appears to protect the youngest cohort from the ravages of the coronavirus. </p><p>While both age groups produced antibodies to fight off the infamous spike protein, adults that produce neutralizing antibodies actually suffer a <em>worse</em> fate. Herold says this "over-vigorous adaptive immune response" might promote inflammation, triggering acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). </p><p>This matters for vaccine development. As Herold says, </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Our adult COVID-19 patients who fared poorly had high levels of neutralizing antibodies, suggesting that convalescent plasma—which is rich in neutralizing antibodies—may not help adults who have already developed signs of ARDS. By contrast, therapies that boost innate immune responses early in the course of the disease may be especially beneficial."</p><p>Herold says current vaccine trials are focused on boosting neutralizing-antibody levels. With this new information, researchers may want to work on vaccines that boost the innate immune response instead. </p><p>With <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/science/coronavirus-vaccine-tracker.html" target="_blank">at least 55 vaccine trials</a> underway, every piece of data matters. </p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Researchers from the University of Toronto published a new map of cancer cells' genetic defenses against treatment.