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Female libido falls after securing a partner

  1. Aug 15, 2006 #1
    Do I really need another reason not to get married? :frown:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4790313.stm

    The researchers credit evolution, pointing to animal studies.

    I had always presumed that falling sexual interest in a partner was a social phenomenon, caused by emotional differences and neglect, but perhaps those are merely byproducts of a biological need that is going unsatisfied.

    I've heard elsewhere that married women regularly fret over the fact that they will never feel that "falling in love" feeling again, and that this is why they like watching romantic films. I don't think men worry about that and that this is also a biological characteristic of women and their mating practices. Male biology may prioritize a high amount of sex in the long term while female biology may prioritize a long term sexual diversity. Are our social structures at odds with our biology?

    The same article mentions that women consistently want high levels of "tenderness" throughout the relationship, but this drops for men. I wonder what that's all about. I can't see my desires for tenderness ever dropping. :shy:

    Maybe males prioritize long term tenderness diversity while females prioritize long term tenderness amount?
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2006
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  3. Aug 16, 2006 #2

    Moonbear

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    I was tempted to move this to GD, but on second thought, let's turn it into an educational exercise. Can you find the flaws in the study?
     
  4. Aug 16, 2006 #3

    Astronuc

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    I would wonder how the study accounted for 'emotional differences and neglect'. How would they determine a biological/physiological response from a psychological cause.

    I heard that too. In fact my wife informs me that lack of romance in marriages is a significant problem for most middle-aged women.

    The differences may be in male and female psychology. It also has to do with individual psychology - whether a person tends to give or share, or is simply interested in receiving.

    Tenderness = nurturing (which tied to care, concern, love, romance). The question is then - are men as nurturing as women?

    One could also ask, what is the motivation to get married? Is it to develop a loving relationship, i.e. one of mutual support, or is it simply to guarantee a sexual partner? Sex is the easy part in a marriage - it is a basic physiological/biological function. The harder part is the nurturing because is depends strongly on the partners and their psychology.

    My father is a very nurturing man - and my parents will observe 50 years of marriage this year. My desire to give and receive tenderness has not diminished in 26 years of marriage, and more than 45 years since I have been cognizant of other people in the world.

    'tenderness diversity'? Or maybe some males feel the need for something 'new' - i.e. it is a matter of fulfilling a selfish desire - and some women also behave this way.

    I think the article is overly simplistic. One would have to read the details of the study.

    From the woman side, she would have to ask whether or not the man she is planning to marry is more concerned about himself than her. Some goes for men.

    :rolleyes: There are probably some men who worry about that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2006
  5. Aug 16, 2006 #4
    The article is written by a science journalist, and not one of the researchers, so right away we don't have a primary source to examine the study and its administrators.

    The study looks like it could be just a one time poll. It's not clear whether the answers for sexual desire in the past were actually given in the past and not in relation to the present. If it was by relation, then we should expect distortion from a selective memory bias.

    I assumed that this wasn't the case, though, when I made the original post. Wouldn't that be a glaring oversight on their part?

    Then again, they are Germans. They don't even have a word for "sexy," so it makes you wonder how they can be polled on sexual desire! o:)
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2006
  6. Aug 16, 2006 #5

    Astronuc

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    Germans often borrow words from English, French or Italians . . . and probably the Swedes. :biggrin:
     
  7. Aug 16, 2006 #6

    Moonbear

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    Well, what I was wondering is what was the control group?
     
  8. Aug 16, 2006 #7
  9. Aug 16, 2006 #8

    Moonbear

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    Great critique! It only omitted one other point that came to my mind related to the missing control group...did they interview any women at those various ages who were NOT in relationships? They're drawing sweeping conclusions about the effect of relationship status on libido, but haven't even tested the relationship status...there's no control group of women who haven't been in such a long-term relationship, either single, never married, or divorced. As that critique points out, it's not much of a surprise that as women get older, especially when you're comparing 30-yr olds (pre-menopausal) to 50-yr olds (peri- or post-menopausal), you're going to see effects of hormone status on libido that have absolutely nothing to do with the relationship, and then they try to draw conclusion by comparing them to men, who have different hormone changes over their lifetime, so of course would also differ. If you surveyed a group of women who were single and not in monogamous relationships, you'd probably see a similar trend across those ages.
     
  10. Aug 17, 2006 #9
    Oh, yeah. I don't think I ever see journalists mention control groups, because that's not the "news" part of the study, so I just expect them to leave out that kind of thing.

    Thanks for the link, Rade. That looks like an all around interesting blog.
     
  11. Aug 17, 2006 #10

    Astronuc

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    Boynton in the article cited by Rade.
     
  12. Aug 17, 2006 #11

    Pythagorean

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    me too. I have a suspicious that a wife who's not engaged and a healthy, sexual marriage would be more likely to be taking this kind of survey.
     
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