Sex By Numbers: Under the Influence

A weekly look at sex and culture, by the numbers.

Our sex lives are governed by a host of factors— some are external and beyond our control, while others are products of our own choices. This week’s edition of Sex by Numbers takes a look some of the influencers of our sexual selves.

37%: Percentage of births in the U.S. that are a result of unplanned pregnancies. According to the CDC, the number—which has been rising since the mid-1990s—is owed to a number of diverse factors.

3 vs 6: When male participants in study were asked to judge if 3 months and 6 months seemed “very short” or “very long” distances from the present, they were more impatient after being shown sexual imagery, proving that sexual arousal heightens not just our immediate desire, but our overall perception of time as well.

3,518: Number of commenters on user-generated site Reddit that responded to a pleading thread entitled “Ladies, please help us male Redditors out: What is the best way to approach you in public if we’re interested in you?”

7: Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, seven categories of preventative medical services for women—including mammograms, screenings for cervical cancer, prenatal care, and birth control—will no longer require a co-pay and will be fully covered by insurance.

500mg: Amount of caffeine contained in some energy drinks (the equivalent to 6 cups of coffee), which researchers have found makes individuals more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior when consumed in combination with alcohol.

$3: Cost of a pregnancy test for sale in the bathroom of a Minnesota bar, which is intended to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome by reminding women they could, in fact, be pregnant while drinking the beer they just ordered.

1 Touch: San Francisco based organization One Touch is trying, er, single-handedly to rectify the masculinity crisis by reviving the art of the female orgasm. Their goal is to influence men to “learn orgasmic meditation and everything that goes with it” so they can be of better service to females.

57%: Percentage of 12 to 14 year old adolescents for whom movies and media serve as their main source of sexual information. A study published in Psychological Science found that exposure to sexually explicit content through film was a driver in early adolescent sexual activity.

Image: Lotus Carroll

Rosie Spinks

Rosie Spinks is a freelance journalist from California with a degree in Environmental Studies. Her work has been published in publications including Sierra magazine, GOOD magazine, the Ecologist, and the Guardian Environment Network. A passion for travel, running barefoot outdoors, and reconnecting people to what is good dominates most of her thoughts. You can follow her writing on Twitter and Tumblr.