Loading...
Simply Chic Simply Chic Blog Home

Study: Sex Can Make You Smarter, Less Depressed

Scientists say getting it on is good for the brain.

By Kristin Wong Aug 21, 2012 3:22PM
Photo: Getty ImagesDespite that episode of Seinfeld in which George Costanza has a surge of cognitive function after abstaining from sex, scientists seem to think getting busy is actually what boosts brainpower.

Research shows that people who have lust on the brain perform better when presented with analytical problem solving assignments. What's more, scientists have also found that sex bolsters brain growth and can reduce depression.

Recently, Dr. Jens Forster of the University of Amsterdam led a study in which participants were presented with a series of critical thinking problems. Forster found that lustfully-minded subjects performed better than participants who didn't have sex on the brain.

In Jesse Bering's book, Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That? And Other Reflections on Being Human, he references this research and also discusses studies performed by Gordon Gallup, a psychologist at the University of Albany.

According to Bering, a "snapshot" of Gallup's recent research shows that "semen-exposed women perform better on concentration and cognitive tasks." Interestingly, Gallup's findings support a Princeton study that measured the cognitive function of sexually active rats.

In the Princeton experiment, scientists introduced adult male rats to sexually receptive female rats. Researchers then compared the brain function of the sexually active rats to that of virgin rats. The results? The sexually active rats experienced a growth in brain cells.

But Gallup's research is a bit different, as he's not just studying the health benefits of sex, but semen in particular. And his research, while valid, has not been without controversy.

In 2002, Gallup attracted media attention when he studied the mood-enhancing chemicals in semen. Bering lists these in his book:

"Perhaps the most striking of these compounds is the bundle of mood-enhancing chemicals in semen. Such anxiolytic chemicals include, but are by no means limited to, cortisol (known to increase affection), estrone (which elevates mood), prolactin (a natural antidepressant), oxytocin (also elevates mood), thyrotropin-releasing hormone (another antidepressant), melatonin (a sleep-inducing agent), and even serotonin (perhaps the best-known antidepressant neurotransmitter)."

With this knowledge, Gallup studied the antidepressant properties of semen and found that women who had regular unprotected sex indeed showed less depressive symptoms than those who used condoms. After the study was released, Gallup clarified:

"I want to make it clear that we are not advocating that people abstain from using condoms, clearly an unwanted pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease would more than offset any advantageous psychological effects of semen."

In short, the consequences of unprotected sex are probably not worth it.

Getting back to sex and intelligence, this is an area that seems to intrigue scientists. In yet another experiment, German sex researcher Warner Habermehl also found that sexual activity stimulates the brain. He conducted a study among college students and discovered that participants who were having regular sex registered far more brain activity than those who weren't. The findings led Habermehl to assert:

“Sex makes you more intelligent in that experiences are collected that can be used later on in areas of your life not linked to sex."

Good news for the sexually active among us. Just remember: Smart sex is safe sex.

Photo: Getty Images

More Love & Sex from MSN Living:

What He's Really Thinking After 1, 5, and 10 Years of Marriage

What She's Really Thinking After 1, 5, and 10 Years of Marriage

Avoid These Sneaky Love Landslides

 

90Comments
Aug 21, 2012 5:55PM
avatar

Flawed theory:

How much tail does Stephen Hawking get?

Aug 21, 2012 5:48PM
avatar

A better education can't hurt.  I better tell my husband it is time to STUDY STUDY STUDY...lets see who is smarter lol

Aug 21, 2012 5:48PM
avatar

This is terrific, men get a new line.

 

...hey babe...how'd you like to be a little smarter?

Aug 21, 2012 5:42PM
avatar
Wow, I did not know that all the porn stars are the smartest people on earth!
Aug 21, 2012 5:40PM
avatar
Really Really smart: John Holmes , Wilt Chamberline , Jenna Jameson , Bill Clinton,Gaga
Aug 21, 2012 5:35PM
avatar

I knew it..........yes

I always felt that  I was getting smarter every year.

 

Dang, I'm going to have more sex so I can get my PHD

 

And maybe my Doctorate.

Aug 21, 2012 5:26PM
avatar

This is a **** lie by some man to get laid.

Otherwise, the sexual preditors are the smartest among us.

Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

beauty tips and style advice

  • Sisley Phyto Lip Twists

    10 weatherproof beauty products to combat April showers

    Sprinkle in these wet weather essentials so you'll be ready for whatever these springtime days bring.

  • Getty Images

    9 key fashion items every girl needs

    Let's face it: winter's bitter cold left us feeling disillusioned with our wardrobes. So with warmer days ahead, it's time to shop for must-have pieces that'll keep your look fresh for months to come.

  • a1

    The 10 commandments of wedding-day makeup

    Every bride deserves to look flawless on her wedding day. So we say: Indulge a little. Book a facial (or six!) and invest in a great waterproof mascara. With this guide, getting ready for your big day has never been easier.

  • a1

    The 9 most fabulous beauty moments in reality show history, re-created

    Reality TV: such a mindless guilty pleasure, mostly filled with questionable spray tans and insane hair extensions. But in honor of the season premiere of one of our favorites, The Real Housewives of Orange County, we decided to celebrate a select few reality stars who’ve displayed legitimately great hair and makeup. Yes, there actually are a few! And we had to go all the way back to The Real World of the mid-’90s to find our first.

  • Delphine Achard

    5 crucial makeup tips every spring allergy sufferer needs to know

    I can’t tell you how many times one ill-timed sneeze ruined all of my hard work with a mascara wand. #allergyproblems.

  • Lucky

    The best drugstore lipsticks

    While we’re not averse to shelling out upwards of $30 for an amazing lipstick, many of our standby lip colors cost a whole lot less than that. The drugstore is full of high-quality, long-lasting lipsticks in gorgeous shades that—wait for it!—ring in under $10. Click through above to shop our favorites!

  • Lucky

    From bra straps to butterfly clips: The 18 hair accessory trends we’ll never forget

    What’s the perfect add-on to your beauty look? A hair accessory, of course! Just when you think you’ve seen it all, every year there seems to be a new “it” hair piece that rules the moment. In the ’50s, a dainty bow-tied head scarf was perfectly housewife-chic. In the ’60s and ’70s, real flower crowns officially became the epitome of boho style—your outfit simply wasn’t complete without a daisy topper. Fast-forward to the ’90s and you had a bevy of creative hair charms and baubles, including butterfly clips, hair wraps and those infamous bra strap headbands (shudder).

  • a1

    The best blush colors for your skin tone

    The right blush can warm up your complexion, create the illusion of cheekbones, and even make you look younger. (Yes, really!) Here, the most flattering shades for fair, medium, olive, and dark skin.

  • a1

    The top anti-aging products $25 and under

    Think you can’t put a price on looking younger? Well, we did—and it’s $25. We challenged dermatologists to find great products that don’t cost even one cent over that amount.

  • a1

    6 things you can wear to look younger now

    You want to dress in a way that’s young and cool but that doesn’t suggest you’re on your way to a One Direction concert. “The trick to looking younger is adding one fashionable piece to a classic outfit,” says stylist Cher Coulter. Here’s how to nail it.

  • a1

    8 aging hair-color mistakes—and how to fix them

    Hair color is one of the most effective anti-aging tools we have—except when it isn’t. Take your dye job too far (or inky, or frosty) and you can add years to your appearance. Three top colorists weigh in on what to avoid.

  • a1

    10 hairstyles that make you look 10 years younger

    News flash: Your youth fix doesn’t have to come in a bottle—or a needle. Your hairstyle could actually take years off (or add them to) your look. Don’t believe us? Check out these celebrities—each one gorgeous, of course, but also looking older due to certain overly perfect hairdos. Anti-aging tip number one? Mess it up a little.

follow us
follow us follow us on facebook follow us on pinterest follow us on twitter
buzzing now on msn living
Loading...
about our blog contributors
Loading...
style videos
editor's picks
Loading...