A weekly look at sex and culture, by the numbers.
The differences that distinguish males from females are often the same things that attract us to each other. However, that’s not to say that what’s good for one gender is always good for the other. From oxytocin-laced semen to walnuts and golf courses, this week’s Sex By Numbers examines some curious elements of the gender differential.
JQ1: Name of the compound that researchers are experimenting with to develop a non-hormonal male contraceptive. In the unlikely event that all goes perfectly, scientists say the drug still won’t be available for another 5 to 10 years.
2: Researchers at UCLA have found that eating 2 handfuls of walnuts per day increases the fertility of males, thanks to the effect that Omega 3 fatty acids have on sperm.
293: Number of women who participated in a State University of New York study which found that oral sex can be helpful in combatting female depression; the mental boost is apparently due to mood elevating compounds found in semen, including oxytocin and melatonin.
48: When researchers asked students from 22 universities how they viewed sexual exploits of men versus women, 48 percent said they judged them equally and applied no double standard to females.
300 ft: The radius within which a male moth can detect a nanogram—one billionth of a gram—of sexual pheromones secreted by a female.
1st: This week, Augusta National golf club admitted its first female members—former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore—since the club opened in 1932.
2: Number of species—cattle and llama—in which researchers identified an ovulating inducing factor (OIF) in male semen. While the OIF doesn’t work the same way in humans (thankfully), it appears to “trigger the ovaries to release an egg” upon insemination in many mammalian species.
1%: Percentage of the world that’s believed to be asexual, or lacking sexual attraction or desire of any kind. Author and academic Anthony Bogart posits that our over-sexualized culture could be partially to blame.