A new study in the UK has found that women desire sex less than men.
According to the most obvious study on the planet published in the BMJ Open, researchers surveyed 4,839 men and 6,669 women between the ages of 16-74 and found that 15 percent of men and 34.2 percent of women didn’t want to have sex for at least three months (or more).
And while some women (cough) are yelling, “Three MONTHS? I’m not sure I could go more than three days,” the study points to many reasons why this lack of interest may exist.
The study says:
“For women in particular, the experience of sexual interest appears strongly linked with their perceptions of the quality of their relationships, their communication with partners and the expectations/attitudes about sex.”
Those who found it “always easy to talk about sex” with their partner were less likely to report low interest.
This makes a lot of sense. If you aren’t connected with your partner or feel uncomfortable talking about sex, or what you need during sex, desire can wane.
My husband and I were both in previous relationships where these types of discussions rarely (never) happened, so we made it a priority to always be as open as possible about what we need — and trust me when I say, it definitely helps.
While the study found many contributing factors for low desire in women, including mental and physical health issues, age, and marital issues (which impacted both men’s and women’s libido), it seems one of the biggest areas impacting desire in women was simply being too damn tired.
I know, shocking right? After chasing toddlers, managing carpool, and preparing dinner (amongst a million other things) is it really a surprise that at the end of the day, moms are simply not that into having sex?
The study cited that women “having been pregnant in the last year was associated with lacking sexual interest, as was having one or more young child.” I’m pretty sure they could have skipped all the money and effort that went into this study and called this one a lay-up.
Parents, especially moms, are pulled in so many directions after having kids. Specifically after pregnancy, many women are dealing with hormones, breastfeeding, body image issues, and adjusting to a life where we seem to need at least five clones of ourselves to get everything accomplished.
Women are still the primary caregivers in families, regardless of whether they work or not, and it seems there is always something to do — packing lunches, making doctor’s appointments, laundry, homework, cooking — the list goes on and on. When we finally lay our heads on the pillow after the kids are tucked in for the night, it’s natural that sex isn’t top-of-mind.
The study also found men’s libido was not impacted by having kids, which was a complete shock to no one.
“This may be due to fatigue associated with a primary caring role, the fact that daily stress appears to affect sexual functioning in women more than men or possibly a shift in focus of attention attendant on bringing up small children,” the study says.
This is not to say dads aren’t pulling their weight in all cases, but there are additional factors that go into a woman’s desire to have sex including their confidence level, time of the month, mental load, and whether their partner finally remembered to unload the damn dishwasher after the hundredth time we asked.
I’m kidding … sort of.
But listen up ladies, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The study found those who are retired were “less likely to lack desire.”
So we’ve got that to look forward to, which is nice.