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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

"I thought it would boost my social status!"

Two researchers at the University of Texas have apparently spent a great deal of time and money in an attempt to figure out why people have sex. The results are interesting.

Out of the 237 reasons given by more than 1500 respondents (ages 17-52), the top answer was "I was attracted to the person." The bottom answer?

To give someone an STD.

And that's the only bottom answer I believe. The top 50 are pretty predictable: "It feels good", "I was horny", and "The opportunity presented itself" are all ones I would have guessed. Take a look at the bottom list, though, and let's try to figure out how many of these people were being honest, while the Top 50 people lied through their teeth:


Someone offered me money to do it
I wanted to get a raise
It was an initiation rite to a club or organization
I wanted to get a job/promotion
The person offered to give me drugs for doing it
I wanted to punish myself
I wanted to hurt/humiliate the person
I wanted to breakup my relationship
I wanted to breakup another’s relationship
I wanted to be used or degraded
I wanted to gain access to that person’s friend
I wanted to get a favor from someone
I wanted to enhance my reputation
It would get me gifts
I wanted to make money
I wanted to hurt an enemy
Because of a bet
It was a favor to someone
I wanted to end the relationship
I wanted to break up a rival’s relationship by having sex with his/
her partner
It would damage my reputation if I said ‘‘no’’
The person had a lot of money
Someone dared me
I wanted to have more sex than my friends
I wanted to even the score with a cheating partner
I thought it would boost my social status
I wanted to be popular
I wanted to get a special favor from someone
I was afraid to say ‘‘no’’ due to the possibility of physical harm
I wanted to relieve menstrual cramps
My friends pressured me into it
I felt sorry for the person
I felt jealous
My regular partner is boring, so I had sex with someone else
I wanted to get rid of a headache
I wanted to change the topic of conversation
The person had too much to drink and I was able to take
advantage of them
I wanted to impress friends
The person was famous and I wanted to be able to say I had sex
with him/her
I wanted to get out of doing something
I wanted to get even with someone (i.e., revenge)
I wanted to make someone else jealous
I was competing with someone else to ‘‘get the person’’
I thought it would help ‘‘trap’’ a new partner
I was slumming
I wanted to brag to friends about my conquests
The person demanded that I have sex with him/her
I wanted to stop my partner’s nagging
I felt guilty
The person bought me jewelry


There are several reasons I can think of for these surprising results:
  1. People lie about why they have sex.
  2. I am too jaded.
  3. The only people I talk to about our sex lives are under 36.
  4. Too many reasons were closely worded and bumped other, more frequently-occurring reasons down in the lists.
  5. Soap operas, movies, and TV do not accurately present reality.

Do you have any theories?

6 comments:

Erica said...

Oh, I had to click on the article and skim it. How sad that people are that desperate for tenure that they would put their names next to such a thing. Yes, a great mystery: Why people have sex...

Brannon said...

Funny I didn't see "to distract them while I probed their body for delicious parasites."

Erin said...

Also conspicuously absent, I think, is "making a baby."

Erica said...

Hmmm... The baby one actually did not cross my mind--yikes. I was thinking that the "I was horny" covers it for most people... I guess the "researchers," if you can call them that, only asked those godless UT students and not the aging faculty trying to salvage the last bits of their fertility after finally getting tenure.

Brannon said...

Hey, you, start posting again. What you post is really very interesting, but after reading it for the 10th time, it begins to loose its appeal. Your adoring fans miss you.

Elaine said...

oops! That was me, Elaine. I forgot to change who was signed in on blogger. B hates it when I post in his name. So rather than delete and leave you wondering... I just added another comment.