Last month, University of Chicago anthropologist Marshall Sahlins resigned from the National Academy of Sciences to protest the election to the group of Napoleon Chagnon, a peer whose specious arguments in favor of a natural human tendency toward violence have helped militarize the discipline and legitimize wars of aggression.
As old stereotypes about the differences between men and women continue to resurface in the form of the latest book releases (see: “Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps” or “Men Are Clams, Women are Crowbars”), scientific evidence continues to refute them. What does the evidence show? What any chatty man or any woman of few words can tell you: The sexes are not so extremely opposite as we’re made to believe.
Granted, social science must always be consumed with caution. Still, papers about people’s sex lives are entertaining if not always illuminating. Here, we’ve taken the 10 most frequent reasons cited by participants of a sex study conducted by the University of Texas psych department in which people were asked to select motivations for having sex from a list of 237 choices. The choices ranged from “I realized I was in love” to “I was slumming.”