The Smarter You are, the Less Sex You Have

So someone apparently decided we needed a medical study to prove what we all already knew–that the nerdier you are, the less sex you end up having (especially if your nerdiness tends to manifest itself in the maths and sciences).

After surveying thousands of high school-aged respondents, the study found a significant relationship between IQ and sexual experience. As Gene Expression explains:

Students with IQs above 100 and below 70 were significantly less likely to have had intercourse than those in between. Also like the other study, they found teens with IQs ranging from 75 to 90 had the lowest probability of virginity (the authors note this is also the same IQ range where propensity towards crime peaks).

Depending on the specific age and gender, an adolescent with an IQ of 100 was 1.5 to 5 times more likely to have had intercourse than a teen with a score of 120 or 130. Each additional point of IQ increased the odds of virginity by 2.7% for males and 1.7% for females. But higher IQ had a similar relationship across the entire range of romantic/sexual interactions, decreasing the odds that teens had ever kissed or even held hands with a member of the opposite sex at each age.

While these authors leave off at grade 12th, it would seem plausible to expect that this relationship extends beyond high school. To explore this, plenty of interesting facts come from a 2001 campus sex survey by the joint MIT/Wellesley college magazine Counterpoint (PDF). Looking within and between colleges, IQ appears to delay sexual activity on into young adulthood.

By the age of 19, 80% of US males and 75% of women have lost their virginity, and 87% of college students have had sex. But this number appears to be much lower at elite (i.e. more intelligent) colleges. According to the article, only 56% of Princeton undergraduates have had intercourse. At Harvard 59% of the undergraduates are non-virgins, and at MIT, only a slight majority, 51%, have had intercourse. Further, only 65% of MIT graduate students have had sex.

The student surveys at MIT and Wellesley also compared virginity by academic major. The chart for Wellesley displayed below shows that 0% of studio art majors were virgins, but 72% of biology majors were virgins, and 83% of biochem and math majors were virgins! Similarly, at MIT 20% of ‘humanities’ majors were virgins, but 73% of biology majors. (Apparently those most likely to read Darwin are also the least Darwinian!)

Of course, math and science majors at Wesleyan are more oft than not to boast of their virility by joining the facebook group: People who, despite an Interest in Science or Math, are socially apt and have fantastic Sex Lives. But, you know, the facts don’t lie.

18 thoughts on “The Smarter You are, the Less Sex You Have

  1. Anonymous

    that makes me feel happy about being into science/math and not being a virgin.they should do this study at weshaha

  2. Anonymous

    that makes me feel happy about being into science/math and not being a virgin.

    they should do this study at wes
    haha

  3. Anthony

    Wellesley is a single sex college, so perhaps we should take that number with a grain of salt?But even still, it’s an impressive number. Even moreso is the MIT grad students one. That’s a holy shit.

  4. Anthony

    Wellesley is a single sex college, so perhaps we should take that number with a grain of salt?

    But even still, it’s an impressive number. Even moreso is the MIT grad students one. That’s a holy shit.

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