Friday, October 14, 2011

Sex and Death

Evolutionary psychologists have found another link between sex and death. Apparently death makes men more interested in sex.

Researchers at the University of Kansas told men to think about their own deaths, and found that men responded more vigorously to sexual pictures and had increased heart rates when viewing them, compared to when they thought about dental pain. Apparently this proves that men with low life expectancy are likely to shag anything that moves, in the hope of passing on their genes. Oh, for intercourse sake!

The researchers believe that contemplating one's death mimics conditions of 'low survivability'. It obviously hasn't occurred to them (a) that the contemplation of one's own death is a standard meditative practice, and that (b) contemplating dental pain is probably a lot more realistic and unpleasant than contemplating one's death.

(Contemplating one's own death may actually result in a longer and happier life, and we might imagine that women would prefer to get pregnant by men with better life chances. We might also imagine that the total quantity of sexual activity is influenced by female psychology as well as male psychology, but that's probably too complicated for Omri Gillath and his colleagues to work out.)

Bad Economy Means More Sex For Men (Science 2.0, October 2011)

See also Wynne Parry, Why thoughts of death may be good for you (LiveScience, 4 May 2012)

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