sex and stupidity

Can sex cure stupidity?

By Steve Korver Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 13:49
The world is wet with false information about sex – and humans seem talented at believing a lot of it. So a cure against stupidity is still a long way off. But there’s good news: sex might make you smarter!... These news flashes and more in this week’s Sex in the Press.

"The problem is that God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time," comedian Robin Williams once joked.

There a lot of great one-liners that link sex with stupidity. But sex and stupidity is not always funny. Why do many boys around the world refuse to wear a condom even though they are aware of the dangers of sexually-transmitted diseases? Why do many girls around the world think anal sex is a viable way to maintain one’s virginity?

Why are we stupid about sex?

One problem is that many of us are taught the wrong things: ‘Abstinence sex education doesn't work. It teaches lies to ill-informed virgins’.

“These false, ideologically-driven programs are turning out sexually illiterate young people whose lives and health are put in literal danger by ‘educators’ handing out false information. All this, just so your teenager might be scared straight enough to forgo sex for a few extra months.”

In fact, such programmes do not stop youth from having sex. Such programmes stop them from having safe sex.

Another problem is that in our social media age we are drowning in information – without always knowing if it’s correct information. (But while it is easy to blame Facebook and Twitter about spreading misinformation, these communities also have members who can quickly and effectively debunk such falsehoods, as ‘The rapid spread of misinformation online’ points out.)

But the biggest problem is related to how people often only accept something as true if already fits into their established world view.

“When there’s no immediate threat to our understanding of the world, we change our beliefs. It’s when that change contradicts something we’ve long held as important that problems occur,” according to ‘I don’t want to be right’.

We end up rejecting this new information as unreliable – and become even more commited to our false beliefs.

Humans are funny that way.

A cure against stupidity: sex

So curing stupidity will be a long game. But meanwhile there seems to be a more short-term solution: more sex.

“Forget mindfulness meditation, computerized working-memory training, and learning a musical instrument; all methods recently shown by scientists to increase intelligence. There could be an easier answer. It turns out that sex might actually make you smarter,” according to ‘How sex affects intelligence, and vice versa

“Researchers in Maryland and South Korea recently found that sexual activity in mice and rats improves mental performance and increases neurogenesis (the production of new neurons) in the hippocampus, where long-term memories are formed.”

But sadly, while sex may promote neuron growth, it doesn’t stop neuron death. “You can make new cells with exercise, Prozac and sex. If you do mental training, you’ll keep alive more cells that you produced. And if you do both, now you have the best of both worlds – you’re making more cells and keeping more alive,” notes one neuro-scientist.

So keep reading! Keep discussing your new knowledge with your partner! Have sex! And whether it’s anal or not, wear a condom!

Why do you think we are often stupid when it comes to sex? Share your stupid experiences! Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Facebook.

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