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Determining Love Study Facts from Fiction

One of the problems with the Internet, besides all of the gross websites and MySpace, is that research gets passed along like fact, when it should be looked at skeptically or interpreted differently. Relationship studies are a prime example. A study will be published, and numerous blog posts and articles will be written about what the studies mean and how they should be interpreted, and most of these will be completely wrong.

But it’s easier if we use examples, so here are two different studies that were interpreted one way, but can be interpreted a myriad of other ways.

Study 1: Men Need Cuddling to Be in a Healthy Relationship

A research paper from the Kinsey Institute determined that relationship satisfaction was linked to cuddling. The survey showed that men that are able to cuddle with their partners report higher satisfaction scores than those that did not. Numerous articles were then published about how if you want to make your man happy, you should cuddle.

It’s a cute idea, and it may be true, but it’s probably not. This is a correlational study. Men in happy relationships reported that they liked cuddling. That’s it. But of course men in happy relationships like cuddling more than men in unhappy relationships. What man in an unhappy relationship wants to cuddle with his partner? What woman for that matter? There is assuredly a link between cuddling and happy relationships, but cuddling is unlikely to cause happy relationships.

Study 2: Men Think About Sex X Times in a Day

It doesn’t matter what “X” is. Any article that claims there is a number is immediately wrong. Research at Ohio State University showed that men think about sex 19 times per day, compared to women at 18 times. Once again, thousands upon thousands of news sources reported this number as fact.

It is not. The reason it’s not fact is because the mere presence of being asked “press the clicker when you think about sex” is going to make people think about sex more often, both men and women. Do men think about sex more often? Probably. But any article that claims there is a number or reports any number or percentage as fact is wrong, because unless they can secretly measure brain waves, the presence of any type of counter is going to change the outcome dramatically.

Taking Sex and Love Research With Less Than a Grain of Salt

These studies are just a small example of research that is taken way out of context, passed around the Internet, and gets quoted as “fact” despite the problems with interpretation. Whenever you see any article online that quotes new research quoted on the news or online, be wary, because chances are it is another example of real research being interpreted incorrectly.

One of the problems with the Internet, besides all of the gross websites and MySpace, is that research gets passed along like fact, when it should be looked at skeptically or interpreted differently. Relationship studies are a prime example. A study will be published, and numerous blog posts and articles will be written about what the studies mean and how they should be interpreted, and most of these will be completely wrong.

But it’s easier if we use examples, so here are two different studies that were interpreted one way, but can be interpreted a myriad of other ways.

Click Here for the 15 Mistakes You Should Never Make when Rebuilding a Relationship

Study 1: Men Need Cuddling to Be in a Healthy Relationship

A research paper from the Kinsey Institute determined that relationship satisfaction was linked to cuddling. The survey showed that men that are able to cuddle with their partners report higher satisfaction scores than those that did not. Numerous articles were then published about how if you want to make your man happy, you should cuddle.

It’s a cute idea, and it may be true, but it’s probably not. This is a correlational study. Men in happy relationships reported that they liked cuddling. That’s it. But of course men in happy relationships like cuddling more than men in unhappy relationships. What man in an unhappy relationship wants to cuddle with his partner? What woman for that matter? There is assuredly a link between cuddling and happy relationships, but cuddling is unlikely to cause happy relationships.

Study 2: Men Think About Sex X Times in a Day

It doesn’t matter what “X” is. Any article that claims there is a number is immediately wrong. Research at Ohio State University showed that men think about sex 19 times per day, compared to women at 18 times. Once again, thousands upon thousands of news sources reported this number as fact.

It is not. The reason it’s not fact is because the mere presence of being asked “press the clicker when you think about sex” is going to make people think about sex more often, both men and women. Do men think about sex more often? Probably. But any article that claims there is a number or reports any number or percentage as fact is wrong, because unless they can secretly measure brain waves, the presence of any type of counter is going to change the outcome dramatically.

Taking Sex and Love Research With Less Than a Grain of Salt

These studies are just a small example of research that is taken way out of context, passed around the Internet, and gets quoted as “fact” despite the problems with interpretation. Whenever you see any article online that quotes new research quoted on the news or online, be wary, because chances are it is another example of real research being interpreted incorrectly.