Lecture 13 notes
Do men and Women Differ in Sex Drive
- Sex Drive: strength of sexual motivation (intensity +frequency)
- Baumeister reviewed a large number of indicators of sex drive. In each case, the indicator was
evaluated to see what it suggested about the strength of the sex drive in men and women.
- Sexual Fantasies – Premise: stronger sex drive = think about sex more
o A study in 1994 = 50% men reported thinking about sex everyday; 20% women
- Desired Number of Sex Partners
o Premise: stronger sex drive = desire for more partners
o Next 2 years – Men = 8; Women = 1
o Rest of life – Men = 64; Women = 3
o Infidelity is also much higher for men than women
o Premise: stronger sex drive = more masturbation
o At least once a week – Men = 45%; Women = 15%
o Masturbation is unencumbered by social pressure thus the explanation for the
o People are more likely to report masturbating because it is more socially acceptable
- Seeking Sex
o Premise: stronger sex drive = initiating sexual activity
o Men are 3x more likely to initiate sex during the first year of marriage
- Prevalence of Low Sexual Desire
o Premise: stronger sexual drive = high sexual desire
o Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD): constantly low or absent desire for sexual
activity or sexual fantasies
o Woman make up 81% of diagnosed cases of low sexual desire, men 19%
- Self-Rated Sex Drive
o Premise: stronger sex drive = higher rating
o Men tend to rate their sexual desire higher than women
Conclusion – Baumeister suggests that there is a systematic difference in sexual drives between men
and women and that the gap is not closing. However this does not mean that women do not enjoy sex.
- Androgens (eg. Testosterone) is crucial in the sex drive.
- Males produce a lot more than women.
- People who are treated with testosterone show an increase in the participants’ sexual drive
o The consequences of sexual activity are much greater for women than for men
o It makes more evolutionary sense for women to be more selective of their mates and to
be less promiscuous than men
o Men “If I want my genes to survive I’ll just impregnate as many women as possible” Happiness – what makes us happy?
- A lot of things, but n