Why Sex Evolved

Scientists are curious people.

Some scientists are trying to determine why sex evolved.  Early life forms had to reproduce somehow, and presumably did so by natural cloning.  At some point in the past, however, sex entered the picture, and now, although some plant and even animal species that still exist reproduce without sex — bananas, starfish, and Komodo dragons are examples — sex has become the dominant method of reproduction.

Scientists wonder why.

7-water-flea-laguna-designGet your mind out of the gutter for a moment.  It’s a fair question, because scientists point out that sexual activity takes time and energy, frequently involves elaborate rituals — dating alone can be both expensive and time-consuming — and is therefore a lot less efficient than cloning.  Organisms that reproduce through cloning (which, incidentally, are entirely female, males not being needed) presumably could reproduce much more rapidly and easily than organisms that used the sexual approach.  As one scientist, Dr. Stuart Auld of the Faculty of Life Sciences of the University of Stirling, put it:  “Sex explains the presence of the peacock’s tail, the stag’s antlers and the male bird of paradise’s elaborate dance. But if a female of any of these species produced offspring on her own, without sex, her offspring should come to dominate, while the other females watch the redundant males fighting and dancing. So, why are we not surrounded by clonal organisms?”

Sex, fighting, dancing, and redundant males.  What could be more interesting than that?

Dr. Auld and his colleagues came up with an ingenious approach to trying to test why sex might have evolved.  They found an organism that reproduces both through cloning and through sex, the common water flea, and they compared offspring of the same mothers that were produced through cloning to those produced through sex.  They found that the sex-produced offspring were much more resistant to disease and parasites than their cloned sisters.  Sex evidently allows the genetic material to be mixed up and also shared, and organisms that use the sex route therefore get an advantage in avoiding illness.

Dr. Auld concludes:  “The ever-present need to evade disease can explain why sex persists in the natural world in spite of the costs.”

So there you have it.

Don’t Vex About Sex Or Guess About “Yes”

There’s been a lot of activity lately, in the legislative arena and on college campuses, about what constitutes consent to sexual activity.

In California, colleges must require “affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity,” and consent can be communicated through a verbal agreement or through actions.  Consent must be given at every step, so agreement to kissing or “heavy petting” is not consent to actual intercourse.  The underlying idea, of course, is to ensure that all parties to the sexual activity agree to move forward before matters escalate.

nastroeniya-devushka-paren-6966But if you’re concerned about complying with state law while at the same time wanting to be absolutely sure that no one will claim that you’ve exceeded the boundaries of their consent, how do you memorialize the consent in a way that will hold up?  Do you draft up a written agreement, or try to make a recording?  What are college students supposed to have at hand when passion strikes?

Leave it to a Mom to develop a smartphone app that attempts to solve the dilemma by allowing the participants to the contemplated sexual activity to log their consent.  With the “Yes to Sex” app on their phones, students can access the app when the moment arrives, walk through their agreements through the touch of a button, get a “safe word” to use when they want their partner to stop, and record an audio consent — all of which gets stored on encrypted servers in the event a disagreement arises in the future.

I guess it was inevitable that we would get to the point where people would be using their phones to document, in a legally meaningful way, that they’re engaging in sex by mutual consent.  Why not?  Phones are used for everything else these days.  Why stop at selfies?

Species-Saving Sex

Don’t look now, but the history of homo sapiens — and of human-like creatures on planet Earth — is getting progressively weirder and more titillating.

article-2029559-0d8dcb7300000578-310_1024x615_largeScientists conducting studies of human genes are learning lots of interesting information about the development of our species.  One of the more provocative findings is that our genetic information indicates that there were multiple instances of significant homo sapien interbreeding with other human-like species — specifically, the Neanderthals, and a mysterious, largely unknown species called the Denisovans —  that left indelible marks in the DNA of modern humans.  And it also appears that the cross-breeding provided us with some useful genetic material, including genes that enhanced the operation of the human immune system and helped our ancestors fight off pathogens.

Not much is known about human history before the dawn of civilization.  Most of what we understand comes from looking at fossils of human ancestors and attempting to piece together the gnarled branches of the human family tree.  Human genetic analysis provides a different kind of window to the past of our species.  It’s now obvious that the early days of the human species saw our ancestors competing with — and apparently having lots of sex with — other hominid species.  We couldn’t have been too much different from them, because the genome evidence means that when humans had sex with Neanderthals and those enigmatic Denisovans, their one-night stands produced pregnancies and non-sterile offspring that, in turn, shared their genes through mating.  All of that cross-breeding among different species helped to make humans what they are today.

We might never learn what happened to the Neanderthals, or the enigmatic Denisovans, and why they died out while humans survived and became the dominant species on the planet.  What we can now say with some confidence is that human ancestors apparently were as interested in sex as modern humans are, and weren’t particularly troubled about who — or what species — they were having sex with, either.

Is Bill Clinton’s Sex History Fair Game?

Bill Clinton’s sex life has moved to the forefront of the news again.

Thanks to Donald Trump — who wrote a tweet stating “If Hillary thinks she can unleash her husband, with his terrible record of women abuse, while playing the women’s card on me, she’s wrong!” — there’s a lot of chatter about Bill Clinton’s affairs and alleged predatory behavior and unwanted advances against women.  The Washington Post has even done a “fact check” that separates “Bill Clinton’s womanizing” into five “consensual affairs” (one of which was a “consensual affair” with a 22-year-old intern, Monica Lewinsky, when Clinton was the President) and other “allegations of an unwanted sexual encounter.”  And some are asking:  is it fair to delve into Bill Clinton’s sexual history?

article-2624332-1d9ec7da00000578-278_638x517Fair?  Seriously?  Since when does “fairness” enter the equation in presidential politics, particularly when Donald Trump is involved?  The lack of “fairness,” and the harsh spotlight that tends to shine on the families and friends of candidates for the Oval Office, is one big reason why some people decide never to throw their hat in the ring in the first place.  Every candidate — and every member of their families — has to know that.  It would be absurd to think that Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, who have spent a lifetime in politics, don’t understand that reality.

I guess the better question is, is Bill Clinton’s “sordid sexual history” — as an opinion piece by Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post described itrelevant to deciding whether Hillary Clinton should be president?  Marcus says it is, reasoning that if Hillary Clinton is going to send her husband out as a campaign surrogate and play the sexism card against Trump and others, it’s fair to point out that, in Marcus’ words, Bill Clinton’s “predatory behavior toward women or his inexcusable relationship with a 22-year-old intern,” in “the larger scheme of things,” is “far worse than any of the offensive things that Trump has said.”

The Wall Street Journal goes farther, contending that there was a “Clinton war on women” during Bill Clinton’s presidency and arguing that “Mr. Clinton was a genuine sexual harasser in the classic definition of exploiting his power as a workplace superior, and the Clinton entourage worked hard to smear and discredit his many women accusers.”  The WSJ opinion piece adds:  “This September Mrs. Clinton declared that “every survivor of sexual assault” has “the right to be heard. You have the right to be believed.” But when her own access to political power was at stake, she dismissed the women and defended her husband.”

There are many of us, I think, who would prefer not to revisit these topics. We don’t want to hear about Bill Clinton’s lechery or think about what kind of marriage could survive so many affairs and allegations of sexual misconduct.  But if Bill Clinton is going to be out on the campaign trail, and if Hillary Clinton is going to play gender politics in her bid for the White House, Bill Clinton’s personal record inevitably is going to come up.

And the Clintons had better be ready for it, because it can’t really be fully dismissed as old news.  One thing is true:  American culture has changed a lot since the ’90s, and the notion of what constitutes appropriate behavior in the sexual arena has perhaps changed most of all.  In an era where California has enacted a “yes means yes” statute to define what constitutes sexual consent, where workplace sexual harassment allegations are much more prevalent, and people’s careers can be effectively quashed simply by using language that is deemed not politically correct, how are people going to react to detailed information about a President having an “affair” with a 22-year-old White House intern, his initial lies about it, and the humiliation the intern endured at the hands of minions seeking to excuse or explain the President’s egregious behavior?  I may be wrong about this, but I doubt that a modern politician who admitted to Bill Clinton’s behavior with Monica Lewinsky — to say nothing of the other allegations about what Bill Clinton has done — would be able to survive it.

If a new generation of voters, steeped in our current culture, are hearing about that conduct in detail for the first time, how will they look at Hillary Clinton?  And how will revisiting Bill Clinton’s “sordid sexual history” in the light of current social mores affect his historical reputation and his status as a kind of avuncular figure on the American political scene?

The Arc Of Playboy

Playboy has announced that, beginning next March, it will no longer feature photographs of completely naked women.  Sure, there will still be a “Playmate of the Month” — whether there will be a centerfold is still up in the air — but the pictures will be of the PG-13 variety, with women in provocative poses.  It will be part of a redesign of the magazine, which will continue to feature interviews and articles and fiction and a sex columnist but will have more content about liquor and more visual art.

Playboy is struggling to remain relevant in today’s internet world, where photographs of naked women, and beyond, can be found with a few keystrokes.  First published in 1953, Playboy has long been credited for helping to usher in an America with a less puritanical attitude about sex — but its high point passed by decades ago.  Its best-selling issue, which sold more than 7 million copies, was published in November 1972.  Its circulation is down to about 800,000 now.  Other magazines that featured similar content no longer exist.

I haven’t seen a Playboy in years, but I remember the ’60s and ’70s, where Playboy was sold in drugstores from a little rack, separate from the rest of the magazines.  Sometimes the rack was behind the counter, but sometimes it was tantalizingly placed out in the store itself, potentially available to inspection by curious teenage boys who’d heard about it from other kids at school.  Would they have the nerve to pick up a copy and quickly riffle its pages, hoping to catch a peek at a bare breast and not be yelled at by the shopkeeper or humiliatingly seen by a Mom in the neighborhood?  Those days are long gone.

I’m not wistful about the arc of Playboy‘s rise and decline; I’ve often thought that Hugh Hefner is one of those people who has skillfully managed the media to obtain better press and more attention than his actual cultural significance merits.  But Playboy‘s decision to yield the field to the porn sites is an interesting development.  Playboy‘s website stopped displaying nude photos some time ago, and it reports that the average age of its website visitors declined — the teenage boy effect, perhaps? — and its web traffic increased.

Now they will try that experiment with the magazine, and we will finally learn the answer to an age-old question:  do people actually read Playboy for the articles?

Fake Philanderers And Just Desserts

The saga of the “Ashley Madison” website — which used the tagline “Life is short.  Have an affair.” and purported to bring together people looking for confidential extramarital liaisons — just keeps getting better and better from a “just desserts” standpoint.

The whole concept of the website is appalling, obviously, but nevertheless a number of people looking to cheat on their spouses evidently signed up.  Apparently they didn’t have any qualms about giving their personal and financial information to a website that existed solely to facilitate adulterous sexual trysts. That’s pretty amazing, when you think about it, because marital misconduct traditionally has been one of the biggest causes of blackmail and extortion in the world — which means any rational cheater would be pretty dubious of entrusting a third party to arrange for their affair.

But a bunch of unfaithful sleazebags nevertheless did so, anyway, which logically would make the “Ashley Madison” website and its trove of data about cheating husbands a prime target for hackers.  After all, if you were a criminal looking to gather information that could be used to extort money from others, wouldn’t a database that collected the information of millions of philanderers whose very participation in the website was self-incriminating be impossible to resist?  And, that’s exactly what happened.  When the hacking incident was disclosed to the website’s users, how many of those cheating spouses who were titillated by the idea of having an affair began to dread the thought of phone calls from unknown numbers and started to scan their mail for anonymous letters?

But the “chickens coming home to roost” element gets even richer.  The hacking revealed that the website’s membership was decidedly male in makeup, by about a five-to-one ratio — and now there are allegations that a number of the “female” members never actually existed.  Data experts have been looking at the “Ashley Madison” data released by the hackers and tracing it back to root IP addresses, and say they are finding that thousands of the “female” members curiously share the very same IP address.  Others are claiming that the website sent out computer-generated messages from fake female members to the scuzzball husbands who signed up for the website — and then those husbands paid the website for the privilege of responding to tantalizing messages from potential sex partners who didn’t actually exist.

So the faithless guys who tumbled to the lure of “Ashley Madison” have been hacked, exposed, become prime candidates for extortion, and now discovered that they stupidly may have been paying for a pig in a poke (so to speak).  Karma is a bitch, isn’t it?

Selling Senior Sextapes

Recently Kish and I have been receiving the AARP Bulletin.  For the most part, it’s the kind of publication you’d expect from an organization that caters to senior citizens.  This particular edition, for example, included an article about new Medicare scams taking advantage of the elderly, a how-to guide on 99 ways to save money and make that nest egg stretch farther, and an encouraging piece with the front-page teaser headline:  “Study Looks At Brain Aging:  Cognitive Decline Is Not Inevitable.”  (Hooray!)

IMG_5685The ads, too, are about what you would expect — with one exception.  In this edition, among the promotions for medical alert devices, walk-in showers, and life insurance, was a full-page ad entitled “Sex.  It’s Never Too Late To Learn Something New.”  Along with a picture of an amorous older couple, the text said “See for Yourself on Discreet Home Video” and “Real people demonstrating real sexual techniques.”  (If so, how discreet can they be?)

Eh?  Boy, that sounds suspiciously like porn, doesn’t it?  In fact, the ad copy seems to make that point so clear that even a senior citizen on the cusp of cognitive decline could grasp it by adding:  “Couples who watch together not only LEARN from what they see, but often report that the videos themselves are an ‘instant aphrodisiac.’  That’s because they show REAL couples (not actors) demonstrating the joys of REAL lovemaking.”  The ad promises that if you order within the next seven days you can get 50 percent off three of the videos, plus another three videos free — so viewers can get really educated!

The world is a fast-changing place, and we just need to accept it.  Even so, it’s weird to see AARP offering ad space to a company peddling senior citizen sextapes to the geriatric generation.  And really, what distinguishes these video volumes from the more sordid efforts that appeal to prurient interests?  The fact that it’s “REAL couples (not actors)” who are getting it on onscreen?  The fact that the videos have clinical titles like “The Art of Sex Positions” rather than bad sex-related puns on Hollywood movie titles?  Or the fact that the ads says the tapes are “recommended by leading doctors and therapists”?  (What would qualify a particular physician as a “leading doctor” for this purpose, do you think?)

Who knows?  Maybe the videos begin with a white coat wearing doctor, with a stethoscope draped around his neck, giving a little primer on anatomical matters that the sexed-up seniors have to endure before they can get to that ‘instant aphrodisiac.”

One Country’s Slow-Motion Suicide

The “replacement rate” a society must achieve to maintain its population is a matter of cold actuarial statistics:  an average woman must bear 2.1 children during her lifetime.  If that fertility rate is exceeded, a country’s population grows; if the replacement rate isn’t met, the country’s population declines.

According to tables published by the World Bank, fertility rates vary widely.  In Niger, for example, the fertility rate is 7.6.  In Japan, on the other hand, the fertility rate is 1.43 — far below the replacement rate and one of the lowest rates in the world.  And, in fact, Japan’s population is declining.  Last year, 1.27 million Japanese died, and only 1.001 million were born.  Such rates obviously aren’t sustainable long term.  They are particularly troubling if, as in Japan, the current system involves long-lived retirees receiving pensions funded by the tax payments of a shrinking pool of younger workers.  Again, cold statistics dictate that, some day, the financial crash must come if trends aren’t reversed.

Of course, cold statistics really don’t tell us the whole story when it comes to birth rates.  Why aren’t Japanese men and women getting together and having children, as they have since time immemorial?  A recent survey concluded that a big part of the procreation problem is what the Japanese call “herbivorous males” — men who have lost their “masculine confidence,” have eschewed the burdens of high-powered careers, have no interest in girlfriends or families, and are content to work at low-paying jobs and shop for recreation.  The survey also shows that many Japanese have lost interest in having sex and that even young married couples routinely go weeks and even months without it.

Why is this so?  It’s not a question born of prurient interest, but ultimately one of national survival.  After countless generations of human history in which a desire for intimacy has been a principal focus of personal interaction, why are people in countries like Japan losing interest in an activity that is essential to the survival of the species?  And how can the country change the dynamic?  It’s a crucial issue, because If the demographic trend isn’t reversed, Japan will continue to commit slow-motion suicide.

Bad Bodice-Rippers

Would you believe there’s a Bad Sex In Fiction award, given out by the Literary Review?

You will believe it after you read the passages from some of these finalists.  It’s embarrassing to even scan them, but they are pretty funny stuff.  One of them — in which a scene of deep passion is interrupted by the approach of a slobbering dog chewing on a penguin — made me laugh out loud.

I suppose it’s easy to make fun of bodice-ripper prose, with heaving bosoms and bare-chested men and moans and groans and lingering kisses and waves crashing into the shore.  After all, how many ways can you describe a physical act?  If you decide to actually try to attempt to capture the act itself, you’re inevitably going to sound trite . . . or hilarious.

Still . . . a slobbering dog and a penguin?

The Mile-High Club App

I don’t have many apps on my iPhone, and I don’t keep up on what’s available, but I saw this story about development of an app that is intended to help people find willing, anonymous partners for sex among their fellow air travelers.

The app will be called Wingman. On planes that have wifi, the app would allow people to enter their airline and flight number, find out if there are other Wingman participants on their flight, and then enter their seat number and destination so they can set up a sordid tryst in the airplane bathroom, under the scratchy blue blanket, or in a no-tell motel when they arrive.

It’s another reason to bemoan the race-to-the-bottom morality of our era, and to wonder about how much of our technological creativity is focused on finding new ways to get lonely men to spend money on testosterone boosters, hair implants, singles clubs, and other things that supposedly will allow them to increase their chances of having sex. They say that a huge portion of internet capacity is devoted to porn. How much of the app world focuses on trying to hook people up?

Wingman also should remind us all of the need to avoid use of airplane bathrooms to the maximum extent permitted by kidney and intestinal function. Now we don’t have to worry only about the sketchy characters with questionable personal hygiene who are sprinting back to the bathroom with urgent looks on their faces, or the unsteady octogenarians who’ve been in the can for half the flight. Now we also have to be concerned that lonely, desperate people might be swapping bodily fluids back there, too. If you’re planning on using the bathroom on your next flight, you might as well board in a hazmat suit.

About That “Sexual Satisfaction” Survey

In Columbus, we periodically hear about studies that rate our fair city as number 7 in this category or number 14 in that one.  Now Time magazine tells us that Columbus ranks number 2 in a “sexual satisfaction” survey by Men’s Health magazine.  (Indianapolis ranks number 1, Fort Wayne, Indiana is number 3, and Cincinnati is number 4, so the Midwest is well represented on the list.)

How do you determine “sexual satisfaction” on a city-wide basis when many, if not most, people consider their intimate relationships to be their own, deeply private business — particularly in a reserved Midwestern burg like Columbus?  Men’s Health looked at condom sales, birth rates, and the sale of sex toys and other erotic paraphernalia from two retailers I’ve never heard of (Babeland and Pure Romance).  I’m skeptical that looking at just these factors gives the Men’s Health survey the same scientific weight as, say, the Kinsey reports.  The factors may have some relation to sex, but they don’t necessarily seem to correlate with “satisfaction.”  Higher condom sales may just indicate that people are being more responsible in practicing safe sex, not that they are having more (or more rewarding) sex.  And the sale of sex toys could mean just about anything, including that the maid of honor thought a few racy gifts given to the reserved bride might spice up the bachelorette party.

I don’t know if Columbus is more “sexually satisfied” than Lexington, Kentucky, which Men’s Health placed at number 100, and I’m not going to try to find out.  We don’t talk about such things in polite company, thank you very much.

Guys And Their Flies

It’s a story as old as the human race:  a powerful older married man has an affair with a younger woman, his indiscretions are discovered, and his career comes crashing down.

The latest example, of course, is former CIA director and four-star general David Petraeus, who resigned after his affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, was discovered.  Petraeus, 60, apparently began his affair with Broadwell, 40, shortly after he resigned from the Army, and the affair continued during his service as CIA director until it ended four months ago.  The affair became public when the FBI began investigating whether Broadwell had violated federal cyber-harassment laws by sending threatening anonymous e-mails to another woman.  During the investigation, the FBI traced the e-mails to Broadwell’s computer, where they found explicit and salacious e-mails between Petraeus and Broadwell that evidenced their affair.

Petraeus, who has been married to his wife Holly for 38 years, regrets his indiscretions and says he showed “extremely poor judgment” in having the affair.  No kidding!  He not only betrayed his vows to his long-time wife, he also could have jeopardized classified information given his critical role at the CIA and his access to top-secret information.  Fortunately for Petraeus and everyone else, there is no sign that his tryst with Broadwell compromised national security.

Why do some powerful older men act so stupidly and recklessly?  Is it vanity, or a belief that they are beyond reproach, or is it just that they aren’t thinking at all — at least, not with the right body parts?  After the public disclosure, and the ritual actions of apology and contrition by the disgraced individual are played out, it’s tough to ferret out what really motivates such actions.

It’s a lesson for the rest of us, too.  Behind the carefully controlled and cultivated public image of powerful people, a silly, embarrassing inner adolescent may be lurking and ready to burst forth at any time.  We should all keep that possibility in mind the next time we think a public figure may be perfect and we are told to implicitly trust their judgment on important matters.

Polar Penguin Prudes

In 1910, on an ill-fated expedition to the South Pole, a British biologist observed the activities of adelie penguins.  He was shocked by what he viewed as depraved acts by the penguins — so much so that he recorded his observations in Greek. His later paper on the topic was so disturbing to the pre-World War II sensibilities of the British scientific community that it was never published.

The paper has been discovered in the files of the British Natural History Museum and published in the journal Polar Record.  The biologist, Dr. George Murray Levick, recorded incidents of sexual coercion, physical and sexual abuse of penguin chicks, non-procreative sex, and apparent homosexual liaisons among the penguins — but what he found most “depraved” was attempts by male penguins to mate with dead females.  (According to modern biologists, the latter conduct is explained by the fact that female adelie penguins indicate their readiness for sex by assuming a certain position, and if a dead female’s body happens to assume that same position, the male penguins have a sexual reaction and just can’t help themselves.)

It’s hard to imagine that a biologist would be morally troubled by the conduct of birds or animals, but the extreme sexual inhibitions of Victorian and Edwardian England were pervasive.  Anyone who has lived with dogs knows that you can’t assign human sensibilities to animals that think nothing of sniffing the rear ends of fellow pooches, eating rabbit droppings for a snack, or dry-humping a visitor’s leg.  You would think that penguins would be given a special break in view of the fact that they live on barren rocks in frozen climates without much else to occupy their thoughts.  After all, you can only do so much swimming or eat so many fish.

Sex (Boxes) In The City

Switzerland has a very robust voter referendum approach to democracy — and sometimes Swiss voters make interesting decisions.

Consider Zurich’s recent decision to construct so-called “sex boxes” on that city’s streets.  The “sex boxes” will consist of walled off parking spaces where prostitutes will be shielded from prying eyes and left free to practice the world’s oldest profession.  The proposal apparently was developed as a means of keeping streetwalkers away from Zurich’s tonier suburbs.

What a great concept!  A box on a city avenue is a perfect setting for intimate acts.  (Just ask anyone who has used one of those embarrassingly public sidewalk toilets found in some European cities.)  And the boxes will allow the Swiss johns not only to satisfy their evidently urgent need for urban intercourse, but also to get a brief taste of the homeless experience. You might even call it a two-fer.

One can only imagine how many streets in downtown Zurich are hoping they are selected as the location for these engines of commerce, which are certain to attract not only a high-class clientele who are likely to frequent existing local businesses before and after their trysts, but also the support personnel and friendly onlookers typically found around the sex trade.  “Sex boxes” used at random by local streetwalkers no doubt will be kept spotless and maintained in accordance with the highest hygienic standards by their very temporary residents.  And by using parking spots for the hooker shanties, city fathers will have also reduced oppressive parking congestion.

Coming soon, on a city street near you!

 

(Not) Thinking About Sex

Here’s something else that makes me proud of my alma mater — researchers at The Ohio State University have studied how often male and female college students think about sex.  Thank God that our scarce scientific resources have finally been directed at that crucial, too-often-ignored topic!

In any case, the study debunks the canard that men think about sex every seven seconds, which would mean that men think about sex 8,000 times in a 16-hour day.  Instead, the study found that the male subjects reported thinking about sex between 1 and 388 times each day, and the female subjects admitted to thinking about sex between 1 and 140 times per day.

On average, the men thought about sex 19 times a day, and the women thought about sex 10 times a day.  By way of comparison, men thought about food an average of 18 times a day and sleeping an average of 11 times a day, and women thought about food an average of 15 times a day and sleeping 8.5 times a day.

So, according to the study, men aren’t thinking about sex every waking second, and women aren’t either.  In fact, sex, food, and sleep account for only 48 of the thousands of the daily thoughts that college men presumably have.  But that just begs the question:  what in the world were these male college students thinking about the rest of the time?  Here’s my guess on some of the likely results:  (1) sports (200 thoughts per day); (2) beer (200 “thoughts” per day); (3) “This class sucks” (50 thoughts per day); (4) “Whoa, this room is trashed!” (40 times per day); (5) “When you think about it, Captain Picard was actually a better starship captain than Captain Kirk” (25 times a day).