A new study led by the University of Minnesota — "The Financial Consequences of Too Many Men: Sex Ratio Effects on Saving, Borrowing, and Spending" — concluded that when men outnumber women, men save less and spend more, presumably to show off. When women outnumber men, men save more and spend less, presumably because they figure they are manna from heaven, so why bother with the dipping sauce? Which just may lead you to wonder: What other shocking sexual secrets are scientists finally cracking?
Maybe they can study the subtle effects of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue on the male brain. Does the brain respond? If so, favorably? Does the brain actually have any way of communicating to the rest of the male at all when this particular issue arrives?
On the flip side, perhaps some scientists could research whether there is any correlation between the number of times a male invites a female to spend the evening at his brother's place, watching wrestling and eating mac and cheese without a fork, and the number of times a male gets turned down. Or even punched in the nose. Could a change in the activity, menu or venue change the outcome? We need hard numbers!
And then there's the biggest question of all: Why do researchers keep studying these things?
Academics seem downright ... insatiable when it comes to studying sexual relations. So insatiable that they seem eager to study pretty much any question about sex, no matter how naked the answer is already.
For instance, two University of Texas psychologists, Cindy Meston and David Buss, took it upon themselves to study "Why Women Have Sex." They even wrote a book by that title. And what did they find out?
Some women have altruistic sex — that's when they feel sorry for the guy — and some have sex to keep a guy. That's a motivation the authors dubbed marriage, er, "mate-guarding." Some women have sex for revenge. Some do it to boost their self-confidence. And some actually have sex as a way to "barter" for gifts or household chores.
Can you imagine that? Call the Nobel Prize committee! That's breakthrough stuff! But wait. There's more. The researchers also discovered that some women also have sex for reasons of "emotional connection" and/or physical attraction.
I'm dialing Stockholm now.
Of course, those researchers might have to battle it out with the brains who discovered that women find men who look plain old "happy" less attractive than they do men who are swaggering or brooding. It's almost as if bad boys are somehow magnetic. I'll let the rap industry know. At the same time, men find smiling women attractive, a revelation that could lead many women to start smiling at men they'd like to meet. Ladies, thank the University of British Columbia for that new arrow in your arsenal.
But what about the biggest hypothesis of all, the never scientifically proved belief that men think about sex more than women? Boldly, Terri Fisher, a professor of psychology at Ohio State, decided to see whether that gender difference really stands up. For her experiment, she had male and female students keep a tally of their daily thoughts about sex (on a golf score card). Her discovery? Men do think about sex more — about twice as much more.
If you're a woman, you might have guessed that. If you're a man, you're probably thinking, "What would Terri Fisher look like in a bikini?"
Clearly, more research is needed.
Lenore Skenazy is the author of "Free-Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry)" and "Who's the Blonde That Married What's-His-Name? The Ultimate Tip-of-the-Tongue Test of Everything You Know You Know — But Can't Remember Right Now." To find out more about Lenore Skenazy ([email protected]) and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.