Want More Happiness In Your Life? Study Says Have More Sex
April 15, 2013

Want More Happiness In Your Life? Study Says Have More Sex

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

Not only does how often you have sex help modify your level of happiness, but so does knowing how often other people have sexual encounters.

A study published in Social Indicators Research by Tim Wadsworth, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Colorado Boulder, says that people are generally happier when they believe they are having more sex than their peers.

"There's an overall increase in sense of well-being that comes with engaging in sex more frequently, but there's also this relative aspect to it," he said in a statement. "Having more sex makes us happy, but thinking that we are having more sex than other people makes us even happier."

He analyzed data from the General Social Survey, which has included questions about sexual frequency since 1989. The sample included 15,386 people who were surveyed between 1993 and 2006. Respondents in the survey who reported having sex at least two to three times a month were 33 percent more likely to report a higher level of happiness than those who reported having sex during the previous 12 months.

Respondents in the study who reported having sex once a week were 44 percent more likely to report being happier, and the studs who reported having sex two to three times a week were 55 percent more likely to report a higher level of happiness.

Wadsworth said people use mass media and other sources like magazines to find out how men or women know how frequently their peers are having sex. He said "there is plenty of evidence that information concerning normative sexual behavior is learned through discussions within peer groups and friendship networks."

The researcher found that if someone believes members of their peer group are having sex once a week, even though they are really having sex two to three times a month, their level of happiness drops about 14 percent.

"We're usually not looking down and therefore thinking of ourselves as better off, but we're usually looking up and therefore feeling insufficient and inadequate," Wadsworth said.

The study echoes claims made at the Gerontological Society of America´s (GSA) 64th Annual Scientific Meeting in 2011. Researchers at this event said they found a link between happiness and people in their mid-to-late 60s who have sex. They said that the frequency of sexual activity was a significant predictor of both general and marital happiness in this age group.