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October 01, 2010
Writing about web page http://www.medindia.net/news/Sexually-Active-are-Less-Anxious-Than-Virgins-Study-72077-1.htm
The activity called sex — the rubbing together of genitalia, weirdly generating a moment's stupidity — makes rodents feel better about the world.
Not long ago someone showed me a diagram purporting to show how much sex students typically have in a given university department. Mathematics students were overwhelmingly virginal, while visual arts students, if the diagram is to be trusted, are universally promiscuous.
It isn't exactly a secret that sex calms people down. The feeling of peace that permeates you when you got lucky the night before is contagious, and sometimes leads to more sex, "just because," just because you seem to be totally relaxed and somehow that attracts others. To quote the article I linked, "Sexually experienced rodents also proved less anxious than virgins, in that they were quicker to chomp down on food in unfamiliar environs." I totally relate.
It was interesting, in my first year of university, to notice how few of my scientific-minded friends were bedding each other. First Year, a little worryingly, is supposed to be about drinking and sex — isn't that why your grades don't ultimately "count"? Engineering students, biology nerds and, especially, physics geeks were immersed in homework and had neither the time nor the social skills to mingle with each other, unless it was to borrow pencil sharpeners. I'm simplifying, but there's a core of truth to it, in my experience.
While I, as an English Literature student, had only a few hours of class a week — and hardly even bothered to go towards the end — my hallmates, scientists for the most part, got up early every day to attend five or six hours of lessons before coming home exhausted and cracking the books open once more. No wonder they didn't have time for doing the dirty. They were being students in the literal, not the bohemian, sense.
What does a study about the sex life of rats tell us about anxiety? Little we didn't already know. If you don't find something to screw, you get nervous, and if you get nervous, you'll scare off future partners. I wonder how active the scientists who designed this experiment were back in their student days.