There is an interesting article on Gene Expression about Intercourse and Intelligence (featured on Slashdot today). Many of the comments were from an NIH paper entitled Smart Teens Don’t Have Sex (or Kiss Much Either). You can read the documents yourself but here’s a few things that stood out to me.
“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 first part doesn’t shock me. Neither does the part about the elite colleges. The bit about the graduate students does. With the exception of prodigious children the average graduate student is between 21-25 years old. I won’t pass judgment but I wonder if they’d be happier if they got down from time to time.
The author acknowledges that “sexual behavior (or at least the investment needed to procure a partner or sustain one) may compete with time/resources required for other goals.” There was also data on the percentage of Wellesley students that are virgins, sorted by academic major. This resulting chart amused me.
You could argue that art students are more free spirited or have longer periods of downtime in between absurdly time consuming projects, but 0% is pretty amusing. I wonder how many art students they included in their poll, relative to the other majors. The chart suggests that the stereotypically “difficult” majors have less time to pursue sexual relations with anyone and that they likely aren’t dating any of the art majors. While the study didn’t contain hundreds of thousands of people, it certainly appears that computer geeks aren’t doing too badly at Wellesley despite how we’re portrayed in the media.
Numbers are fun, but remember all the insightful things people said about statistics.