Can Sex Make You Smarter and Happier? A New Study Says Yes
A new study by a University of Amsterdam researcher, Dr. Jens Forster, suggest that those who are sexually active and have lust on the mind actually perform better during critical thinking exercises.
Dr. Forster’s experiment involved presenting a group of participants with critical thinking exercises. The results showed that those with lust on their minds performed the exercises better than those that were not thinking about sex, MSN’s Kristin Wong notes. The results might be linked to a previous study that found stress was often linked to a lack of sexual activity thereby possibly inhibiting the growth of new cells in the brain.
That particular study involved researchers measuring cell growth in the hippocampus of rats who were exposed to regular sexual activity, and those who were not. The scientists in this study found that rats who had regular sexual activity actually experienced a growth in the number of cells and connections between cells in the brain. Furthermore, the rats that did not have access to sex during the experiment had higher levels of stress hormones and expressed more symptoms of stress in new environments.
Admittedly, rats and humans have quite different environments and ways of interacting, but research conducted over the last 10 years seems to suggest that sexual activity releases positive chemicals in the body, promoting healthy brain cell growth and encouraging happier moods.
As Kristin Wong points out, a study conducted 10 years ago by Gordon Gallup suggested that women whose partners did not use condoms had less likelihood of becoming depressed, noting that semen might act as a type of anti-depressant. The study involved nearly 300 women who were given a series of questions about their mood and the frequency with which their partners used condoms. Researchers discovered the women whose partners did not use condoms were less likely to be depressed, leading Gallup to conclude that the positive chemical makeup of semen produces positive effects on the body.
All in all, healthy sex might actually prove to be a boon to intellectual and mental growth and health. But scientists and researchers agree that the newest study linking critical thinking to sexual brain activity should not encourage people to have unsafe or emotionally disruptive sex in an attempt to garner intellect and fulfillment. Gallup himself noted back in 2002 that he was not advocating unprotected sex after his study on semen, citing the stress of unexpected pregnancies and possible disease as serious drawbacks to any positive aspects of having contact with semen.
Still, the newest study is good news for those with lustful thoughts, since it appears they might boost your critical thinking skills.
Photo Credit: Chris Ruggles