A couple of critiques have now appeared on the web that examine the experiment, its conclusions and the media handling of the story.
Petra Boyton tackles many of the unmentioned details of the study while Cory Silverberg notes that the study’s conclusions might be overgeneralised given the relatively limited activites that were recorded.
Just like in any other area of science, knowing the details of a sex study is crucially important for understanding its implications.
Unlike other areas of science, however, the details in these studies are, by their very nature, sexually explicit. This can mean that the popular media shys away from giving the crucial information and prefers to focus on the unqualified general conclusions, leaving the public misled both about sexual chemistry and sex research.
Perhaps with sex research, more than for other areas of science, tracking down the original research reports allows for a more critical insight into the researchers’ (or anyone else’s) conclusions.
Link to study abstract in the journal Biological Psychology.
Link to study summary from New Scientist.
Link to ‘Is sex with a partner truly 400% better?’ by Petra Boyton.
Link to ‘Orgasm Study Offers Status Quo and Universal Generalizations’ from Cory Silverberg.