[lit-ideas] Re: 237 reasons? just do it

  • From: wokshevs@xxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, Andreas Ramos <andreas@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2007 17:42:22 -0230

Such empirical data is quite ambiguous, at best ambivalent, without an
operationalized definition of "having sex." Awaiting further clarifications,

Walter O.
Department of Forms of Sexuality
The Academy of Platon

P.S. Sophists need not reply as having "a knack for it" provides no Socratically
justifiable account.

Quoting Andreas Ramos <andreas@xxxxxxxxxxx>:

> 237 different reasons to make love...
> yrs,
> andreas
> www.andreas.com
> The Whys of Mating: 237 Reasons and Counting
> (July 31) -- Scholars in antiquity began counting the ways that humans have 
> sex, but they weren't so diligent in cataloging the reasons humans wanted to
> get into all those positions. Darwin and his successors offered a few 
> explanations of mating strategies -- to find better genes, to gain status 
> and resources -- but they neglected to produce a Kama Sutra of sexual 
> motivations.
> For now, thanks to psychologists at the University of Texas at Austin, we 
> can at last count the whys. After asking nearly 2,000 people why they'd had 
> sex, the researchers have assembled and categorized a total of 237 
> reasons -- everything from "I wanted to feel closer to God" to "I was 
> drunk." They even found a few people who claimed to have been motivated by 
> the desire to have a child.
> The researchers, Cindy M. Meston and David M. Buss, believe their list, 
> published in the August issue of Archives of Sexual Behavior, is the most 
> thorough taxonomy of sexual motivation ever compiled. This seems entirely 
> plausible.
> Who knew, for instance, that a headache had any erotic significance except 
> as an excuse for saying no? But some respondents of both sexes explained 
> that they'd had sex "to get rid of a headache." It's No. 173 on the list.
> Others said they did it to "help me fall asleep," "make my partner feel 
> powerful," "burn calories," "return a favor," "keep warm," "hurt an enemy" 
> or "change the topic of conversation." The lamest may have been, "It seemed 
> like good exercise," although there is also this: "Someone dared me."
> The researchers collected the data by first asking more than 400 people to 
> list their reasons for having sex, and then asking more than 1,500 others to
> rate how important each reason was to them. Although it was a fairly 
> homogenous sample of students at the University of Texas, nearly every one 
> of the 237 reasons was rated by at least some people as their most important
> motive for having sex.
> The results contradicted another stereotype about women: their supposed 
> tendency to use sex to gain status or resources.
> "Our findings suggest that men do these things more than women," Dr. Buss 
> said, alluding to the respondents who said they'd had sex to get things, 
> like a promotion, a raise or a favor. Men were much more likely than women 
> to say they'd had sex to "boost my social status" or because the partner was
> famous or "usually 'out of my league.' "
> Dr. Buss said, "Although I knew that having sex has consequences for 
> reputation, it surprised me that people, notably men, would be motivated to 
> have sex solely for social status and reputation enhancement."
> To make sense of the 237 reasons, Dr. Buss and Dr. Meston created a taxonomy
> with four general categories:
> Physical: "The person had beautiful eyes" or "a desirable body," or "was 
> good kisser" or "too physically attractive to resist." Or "I wanted to 
> achieve an orgasm."
> Goal Attainment: "I wanted to even the score with a cheating partner" or 
> "break up a rival's relationship" or "make money" or "be popular." Or 
> "because of a bet."
> Emotional: "I wanted to communicate at a deeper level" or "lift my partner's
> spirits" or "say 'Thank you.' " Or just because "the person was 
> intelligent."
> Insecurity: "I felt like it was my duty" or "I wanted to boost my 
> self-esteem" or "It was the only way my partner would spend time with me."
> Having sex out of a sense of duty, Dr. Buss said, showed up in a separate 
> study as being especially frequent among older women. But both sexes seem to
> practice a strategy that he calls mate-guarding, as illustrated in one of 
> the reasons given by survey respondents: "I was afraid my partner would have
> an affair if I didn't."
> You can nominate your own reasons at TierneyLab. You can also submit 
> nominations for a brand new taxonomy: reasons for just saying "No way!" 
> Somehow, though, I don't think this list will be as long.
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