Study May Show That Men Are More Biologically Oriented, Says Portland marriage counselor

December 21, 2011 by

As a Portland marriage counselor, I’ve listened to countless women tell me that all their boyfriends or husbands ever think about is sex. And we’ve all heard the statistic that men have a sexual thought every seven seconds, right? For a 16 hour waking day, that would be 8,000 sex thoughts!

Well, a Psychology professor at Ohio State decided to test that theory in a study, and discovered that those numbers might a little on the high side. The median daily number of times men thought about sex was just under 19 times a day. For comparison, women in the study reported thinking about sex 10 times a day. Still almost double, but not the huge disparity you might have been expecting.

What might be more interesting, though, is that men not only think about sex more than women, but also eating and sleeping – essentially, biological needs. Looking at it this way, we can start to see how these differences in thinking might lead to relationship issues.

Relationship Issues: Do Men and Women Intrinsically Think Differently?

Another complaint I hear from women as a Portland marriage counselor is that their male partners don’t seem to understand or know how to deal with it when they are talking about their feelings. Based on this new research, it raises the question about whether this could be true simply because men aren’t thinking about those things in their own lives as much.

None of this means that members of the opposite sex should give up on each other, however. While the potential differences in the way we think may cause more relationship issues, learning about them gives us the opportunity to be more understanding and work harder to come together in ways that work for both partners. Perhaps if women engage men on a more concrete, physical level, and men can seek out their feelings when talking to their wives and girlfriends, everyone will get along better. It certainly seems simple and straightforward – which is exactly the problem I have with it.

We’re More Alike Than We Think, Says Portland Marriage Counselor

While the simplicity of saying men think more about their biological needs is nice, the truth of the matter, like most relationship issues, may be a bit more complex.

The lead author of the study admits as much when she says that whether a participant was male or female wasn’t the best way to predict who would think about sex most frequently, rather “you'd be better off knowing their emotional orientation toward sexuality."

And later she says that women who tested higher on wanting to appear socially acceptable tended to report fewer thoughts of sex, which indicates that they are under-reporting their sexual thoughts because of what they think of as “typical expectations for women” – namely, that women aren’t supposed to think about sex as much. Interestingly, as they tried to meet societal expectations, those expectations for men – 8,000 sex thoughts a day?! – were proven to be incredibly overblown.

If you feel like you and your significant other are having relationship issues due to societal pressures, contact a Portland marriage counselor today.