The Sex Drive Battle of the Sexes
An exhaustive review of studies on sexuality, published from the late 1960s to 2000, asserted that in every sex-drive-related metric, men demonstrated stronger urges than women [source: Baumeister, Catansee and Vohs]. The psychologists from Case Western Reserve University who conducted this review also emphasized that the male mojo doesn't represent a snapshot of time; rather, it persists across age groups, marital status and sexuality. A brief sampling of this his versus hers data clearly demonstrates this gender difference:
- Percent of 25- to 29-year-olds who masturbate: Men, 94.6 percent. Women, 84.6 percent [source: Indiana University].
- Desired number of sexual partners over a two-year period: Men, eight. Women, one [source: Buss and Schmidt].
- Actual number of sexual partners: Men, six to eight. Women, four [source: Kinsey Institute].
- Expected number of dates before a couple has sexual intercourse: Men, eight. Women, 12 [source: Cohen and Shotland].
This sex drive gap isn't just a hallmark of heterosexual romantic relationships, either. Studies of same-sex couples continue the trend. For instance, relationship analysis from 1983 found that two-thirds of gay couples who had been together for two years or more acknowledged having sex at least three times per week. Among lesbian couples in the same study, the proportion dropped to one-third [source: Baumeister, Catansee and Vohs].
Evolutionary biologists attribute the sex drive gap to pregnancy risk. Theoretically, females might not be as innately compelled toward sexual behavior as a self-protective strategy to avoid the possibility of unplanned motherhood, or mothering the child of an unfit mate. In the modern age of birth control and social gender equality, that notion might not sit well with scores of sexually active women, but the host of data nevertheless bears out scientific theory [source: Baumeister, Catansee and Vohs].
Though, on average, women's sex drives aren't as relentless as men's, that doesn't mean they lack desire -- quite the contrary. In fact, studies have also discovered that women might have more fluid, or wider ranging, sexual desires than men. When, in 2004, Queens University psychologist Meredith Chivers examined both heterosexual and homosexual men's and women's arousal responses to a variety of pornographic imagery, women exhibited more heightened responses across the board, regardless of their sexual identification [source: Chivers et al]. Male participants, on the other hand, were titillated according to their self-identified sexual preferences. For instance, gay men were markedly more excited by gay male porn, as opposed to straight porn, and vice versa for straight men. So while men might win when it comes to drive, females are arguably the more erotic sex.