Men will associate sex with happiness more than women: Study


Talk about a happy ending … for men at least.

Men were 250% more likely to associate happiness with sexual intercourse than women, according to a new study.

This is based on the answers of 1,147 male and female respondents in a large-scale survey. Of all male respondents, 20% used the word “Sex” as a word to associate with “Happiness”. In comparison, only 8% of female respondents choose this word.

This suggests that men find sex to be more important for their happiness when compared to women.

associate sex with happiness gender
  • Of all male respondents, 20% used the word “Sex” as a word to associate with “Happiness”.
  • Of all female respondents, only 8% used the word “Sex” as a word to associate with “Happiness”.

This is visualized in the chart above, where male respondents showed a likelihood 2.5 times bigger than those female.

Sex is strongly correlated to happiness

It has been proven by other studies that sex is correlated to happiness.

Therefore, the topic of sex is relevant when focusing on happiness and well-being.

More sex doesn’t necessarily mean more happiness

In another interesting study, researchers found that doubling the amount of sexual intercourse did not lead to enhanced happiness.

The researchers suggested that the increased frequency of sex doesn’t lead to increased happiness, because it may lead to a decline in wanting for, and enjoyment of, sex.

In other words, trying to increase the frequency of sex can result in a decreased sex drive.

However, none of the studies mentioned so far discern between men and women.

Differences in men and women when it comes to sex

There is a persistent stereotype that men think about sex every seven seconds. This would result in more than 8,000 sexual thoughts on a normal day, taking into account 8 hours of sleep.

However, this stereotype has been debunked by studies, most specifically this one.

The study found that men are indeed more frequently thinking about sex, but men were also more frequently thinking about other need-based cognitions. By comparing the number of sexual thoughts with the total number of thoughts, the difference between men and women was found to be much smaller than what is stereotypically expected.

Men find sex more important for their overall happiness

Our study set out to find how people from around the world would describe happiness, without being able to actually use the word itself. Therefore, we asked each respondent which words were most associated with “Happiness”.

Our findings suggest that sex is much more important for men’s happiness when compared with the happiness of women.

Commentary from the team:

hugo huyer tracking happiness

Hugo Huijer, Founder of Tracking Happiness

It’s clear that our happiness is influenced by the quality and quantity of our sex lives. However, the difference between men and women has never been studied like this before.

Still, the conclusion that male happiness is more dependent on sex compared to women can be found in other studies as well.

For example, an in-depth analysis of prostitution in the UK found that the majority of prostitutes in the UK is female (58%). Assuming that this market is subject to supply-demand economics, this suggests that men have a higher demand for sex. The study found that there is a higher demand for female sex workers.

Additionally, internet traffic to adult sites consists largely of men. According to Statista, approximately 70% of traffic to a well-known large adult website is male.

These findings can all be explained by the results of our study: sex is more important to male happiness when compared to female happiness.


If you’re looking for more information on how the study was performed, this article provides an overall introduction to this study. It also includes links to other result articles that are relevant to this study.

Want to know more details? Like who was surveyed, what are the demographics of the respondents, and how the study was performed? Here is a link to a document that explains it all (opens in a new window)


A study suggested by Psychology Today noted women are less likely to orgasm during sex, which could explain the rift between both genders. That survey queried 24,000 college-aged women and revealed that 40% of them climax during sex while 80% of their male counterparts

So why do men associated happiness more with sex than women?

The Psychology Today report also noted a double standard for lovemaking in men and women. Unlike men, when women engage in casual sex, there’s a stigma attached.

This result suggests that females are half as likely to orgasm during sex compared to men.


Closing words

Men find sex to be more important for their happiness when compared to women. This is the result of a word-association study amongst 1,147 male and female respondents.