Men Are 250% More Likely To Associate Sex With Happiness Than Women, Study Finds

Written by - Last updated on November 9, 2020

Men are 250% more likely to associate sex with happiness than women are, according to our study.

This is based on the answers of 1,147 male and female respondents in a large-scale survey. Of all male respondents, 20% used the word “Sex” as a word to associate with “Happiness”. In comparison, only 8% of female respondents choose this word.

This suggests that men find sex to be more important for their happiness when compared to women.

associate sex with happiness gender

This study covers the data that was collected and explores the differences between men and women. How much does “sex drive” differ per gender? How could that translate into happiness?

(Click here to have a look at the summarized results of this study on our poster!)

What words do you associate most with happiness?

We asked 1,155 respondents the following question:

Of the following words, which 5 words do you associate most with “happiness”?

Each respondent had to pick 5 words that they felt most associated with the word happiness:

  • Laughter/Cheer
  • Joy
  • Pleasure
  • Satisfaction
  • Contentment
  • Safety/Security
  • Purpose in life
  • Love
  • Relationships
  • Family
  • Wealth
  • Freedom/Independence
  • Health/Well-being
  • Sex
  • Enlightenment
  • Other

The words appeared in random order. In total, this resulted in 5.775 answers.

This chart shows how often each word was associated with the word happiness.

word association happiness count

Associating sex with happiness

In total, the word sex was associated with the word happiness 173 times.

This means that 173 out of our 1,155 respondents (15%) placed sex in their top 5 words that are most associated with the word happiness. In other words, when asked to describe happiness, 15% of our respondents would likely use the word sex as part of their description.

However, when looking at the difference between men and women, a striking gap was observed.

Difference between men and women

Out of our 1,155 respondents, 665 were male, and 482 were female.

gender general results tracking happiness survey study 2020 2

Comparing the number of men and women in our dataset, 58% were male and 42% female.

Out of the 173 respondents that placed sex in their top 5 words associated with happiness, 134 were male. In comparison, only 38 females placed sex in their top 5 words.

Male happiness is more dependent on sex

When looking at the data compared to the number of respondents of each gender, the following observation can be made:

Men are 250% more likely to associate sex with happiness than women are.

associate sex with happiness gender
  • Of all male respondents, 20% used the word “Sex” as a word to associate with “Happiness”.
  • Of all female respondents, only 8% used the word “Sex” as a word to associate with “Happiness”.

This is visualized in the chart above, where male respondents showed a likelihood 2.5 times bigger than those female.

Sex is strongly correlated to happiness

It has been proven by other studies that sex is correlated to happiness.

Therefore, the topic of sex is relevant when focusing on happiness and well-being.

More sex doesn’t necessarily mean more happiness

In another interesting study, researchers found that doubling the amount of sexual intercourse did not lead to enhanced happiness.

The researchers suggested that the increased frequency of sex doesn’t lead to increased happiness, because it may lead to a decline in wanting for, and enjoyment of, sex.

In other words, trying to increase the frequency of sex can result in a decreased sex drive.

However, none of the studies mentioned so far discern between men and women.

Differences in men and women when it comes to sex

There is a persistent stereotype that men think about sex every seven seconds. This would result in more than 8,000 sexual thoughts on a normal day, taking into account 8 hours of sleep.

However, this stereotype has been debunked by studies, most specifically this one.

The study found that men are indeed more frequently thinking about sex, but men were also more frequently thinking about other need-based cognitions. By comparing the number of sexual thoughts with the total number of thoughts, the difference between men and women was found to be much smaller than what is stereotypically expected.

Men find sex more important for their overall happiness

Our study set out to find how people from around the world would describe happiness, without being able to actually use the word itself. Therefore, we asked each respondent which words were most associated with “Happiness”.

Our findings suggest that sex is much more important for men’s happiness when compared with the happiness of women.

Commentary from the team:

hugo huyer tracking happiness

Hugo Huijer, Founder of Tracking Happiness

It’s clear that our happiness is influenced by the quality and quantity of our sex lives. However, the difference between men and women has never been studied like this before.

Still, the conclusion that male happiness is more dependent on sex compared to women can be found in other studies as well.

For example, an in-depth analysis of prostitution in the UK found that the majority of prostitutes in the UK is female (58%). Assuming that this market is subject to supply-demand economics, this suggests that men have a higher demand for sex. The study found that there is a higher demand for female sex workers.

Additionally, internet traffic to adult sites consists largely of men. According to Statista, approximately 70% of traffic to a well-known large adult website is male.

These findings can all be explained by the results of our study: sex is more important to male happiness when compared to female happiness.

Methodology

If you’re looking for more information on how the study was performed, this article provides an overall introduction to this study. It also includes links to other result articles that are relevant to this study.

Want to know more details? Like who was surveyed, what are the demographics of the respondents, and how the study was performed? Here is a link to a document that explains it all (opens in a new window):

Poster of our study

The poster below summarizes the key takeaways from our study.

poster happiness sex association

Use the following embed code to share this poster on your website:

<div style="“clear:both”">
<a href="https://www.trackinghappiness.com/men-associate-sex-with-happiness-study/"><img src="https://www.trackinghappiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/DiB-post-happiness-sex-association.png" data-spai="1" alt="infographic of results of our study about controlling happiness" width="675px" border title="Men Are 250% More Likely To Associate Sex With Happiness Than Women: Tracking Happiness Study"></a></div>
<div><strong>Courtesy of <a href="https://www.trackinghappiness.com/">Tracking Happiness</a></strong></div>

Closing words

Men find sex to be more important for their happiness when compared to women. This is the result of a word-association study amongst 1,147 male and female respondents.

What did you think of these results? Let us know in the comments below!

Tracking Happiness, 2020. Men Are 250% More Likely To Associate Sex With Happiness Than Women, Study Finds. [online] Tracking Happiness. Available at: https://www.trackinghappiness.com/men-associate-sex-with-happiness-study/ [Accessed 9 November 2020]

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