Some college students have cited as many as different reasons for having sex. From pleasure to procreation, insecurity to inquisitiveness -- today's reasons for taking a roll in the hay seem to vary as much as the terms for the deed itself. To make babies, to feel good, or because you're in love. Today, sexual behaviors seem to have taken on many different psychological, social, cultural, even religious meanings.
Yet, some sexologists say, at the most basic level, there is only one true reason people seek sex. Wired for Sex "We are programmed to do so," sex therapist Richard A.
Carroll, associate Northwestern University psychiatry and behavioral sciences professor says. Our brains are designed to motivate us toward that behavior. Cultures differ markedly in what are considered to be 'appropriate' reasons for having or avoiding sex. Why do you seek sex? Motivations generally fall into four main categories, according to psychologists at UT-Austin who asked more than 1, undergraduate college students about their sexual attitudes and experiences: Pleasure, stress relief , exercise , sexual curiosity, or attraction to a person Goal-based reasons: To make a baby , improve social status for example, to become popular , or seek revenge Emotional reasons: Love, commitment, or gratitude Insecurity reasons: To boost self-esteem, keep a partner from seeking sex elsewhere, or feeling a sense of duty or pressure for example, a partner insists on having sex Continued The Difference Between the Sexes Generally speaking, men seek sex because they like how it feels.
Women, although they very well may also derive pleasure from the act, are generally more interested in the relationship enhancement that sex offers. Researchers describe these differences as body-centered versus person-centered sex. Body-centered sex is when you have sex because you like the way it makes your body feel.
You aren't concerned with the emotions of your partner. Person-centered sex is when you have sex to connect with the other person. You care about the emotions involved and the relationship. As men reach their 40s, 50s, and 60s, their relationship becomes more important. In , Janell Carroll and colleagues found that most college-aged males had casual sex for physical reasons without emotional attachments.
She repeated many of the same study questions to a new audience in Stress reduction is one of the leading reasons Americans, particularly men, say they have sex, Richard Caroll says. Boosting mood and relieving depression Duty.