Tuesday, July 31, 2007

237 reasons for sex

The New York Times today had an article ("The Whys of Mating: 237 Reasons and Counting" by John Tierney) about researchers who have compiled a list of 237 different motivations people (students at the University of Texas in Austin) have had for sex.

The motivations were grouped into 4 main types. Physical: attractiveness and fun; Goal Attainment: gaining money or status, or getting even; Emotional: communication, intimacy, nurture; or Insecurity: duty, or to build self-esteem.

The study noticed the difference between men and women's responses. Women were more likely to cite emotional reasons ("I wanted to express my love") while men were more likely to cite goal attainment reasons ("boost my social status"). The study made no mention of the difference between gay and straight respondents. But perhaps related to that omission was the more interesting observation that there were 237 responses of which, presumably, "to have a baby" was only one.

Homosexual sex is often judged as less worthy than straight sex and immoral because of its non-procreative nature. But of the 237 reasons that a person might desire sex, 236 of them apply both to straight and gay couples. And the top rated reason for sex, by the way, was not to have a baby, but because for both men and women, "I was attracted to the person." Works for me.

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