(Photo:Flickr/El Caganer)

It’s a common conception that men think about sex more than women do — on average about every six seconds. But an Ohio University study debunks that rumor, finding that men also have other things on their minds.

As the “every six seconds theory” stands, the average male would have approximately 8,000 thoughts about sex for every 16 waking hours, leaving little time for other ruminations. But on average, the college men in the study thought about sex almost 19 times per day, food almost 18 times per day and sleep almost 11 times per day. The study did confirm that men think about sex more than women; on average, the young women surveyed reported thinking about sex almost 10 times a day. However overall, men thought about their needs more then women, as they thought about eating only 15 times a day and eating approximately 8.5 times.

“If you had to know one thing about a person to best predict how often they would be thinking about sex, you’d be better off knowing their emotional orientation toward sexuality, as opposed to knowing whether they were male or female,” said lead author Terri Fisher. “Frequency of thinking about sex is related to variables beyond one’s biological sex.”

She said debunking the stereotype about how often men think about sex is important.

“It’s amazing the way people will spout off these fake statistics that men think about sex nearly constantly and so much more often than women do,” Fisher said. “When a man hears a statement like that, he might think there’s something wrong with him because he’s not spending that much time thinking about sexuality, and when women hear about this, if they spend significant time thinking about sex they might think there’s something wrong with them.”

Source:  Ohio State University

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at hrudow@counseling.org.

Follow Counseling Today on Twitter.