Tuesday, July 31, 2007


So I created this Yahoo Pipes newsfeeder which collects blog entries and news articles that relate to my project. In order to do this I use a group of key words to identify possible articles of interest. This often results in news articles that have nothing to do with my work. Today I received this article from the Science section of the New York Times:

The Whys of Mating: 237 Reasons and Counting

Published: July 31, 2007

Scholars in antiquity began counting the ways that humans have sex, but they weren’t so diligent in cataloging the reasons humans wanted to get into all those positions. Darwin and his successors offered a few explanations of mating strategies — to find better genes, to gain status and resources — but they neglected to produce a Kama Sutra of sexual motivations.

Perhaps you didn’t lament this omission. Perhaps you thought that the motivations for sex were pretty obvious. Or maybe you never really wanted to know what was going on inside other people’s minds, in which case you should stop reading immediately.

For now, thanks to psychologists at the University of Texas at Austin, we can at last count the whys. After asking nearly 2,000 people why they’d had sex, the researchers have assembled and categorized a total of 237 reasons — everything from “I wanted to feel closer to God” to “I was drunk.” They even found a few people who claimed to have been motivated by the desire to have a child.

The researchers, Cindy M. Meston and David M. Buss, believe their list, published in the August issue of Archives of Sexual Behavior, is the most thorough taxonomy of sexual motivation ever compiled. This seems entirely plausible.

I wish I could complete my project with a questionaire: What species would you identify yourself as? What are your reasons for identifying yourself as that species [for example: number of antennal segments, degree of hairiness, upbringing, medical testing, etc.]? Where do you normally reside? Where do you normally work? With whom do you normally associate with? What method would you most likely fall prey to: a) pitfall trap; b) winkler; c) canopy fogger; etc. etc.

Read entire article here
Read the journal paper (with list) here
Suggest new reasons here

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