Posts tagged with "royal Society Open Science"

Use it or lose it: Sexual activity may help delay menopause

January 17, 2020

It turns out that the old saw, “use it or lose it,” is true when it comes to copulation and procreation. Women with more active sex lives may experience menopause later in life, according to the results of a ten-year study conducted at the University College of London.

Published by Royal Society Open Science, the study found that women who reported weekly physical intimacy over a decade were about 28% less likely to experience menopause than women who reported less-than-monthly sexual activity, ABC News reported this week.

The reason may be because “ovulation requires a lot of energy, and it has also been shown to impair your immune function. From an evolutionary standpoint, if a person is not sexually active it would not be beneficial to allocate energy to such a costly process,” the study’s lead author, Megan Arnot, told the news outlet.

“Doctors have long known that there were many benefits from continued sexual activity,” Dr. Jennifer Wu, a New York-based OB/GYN who didn’t participate in the project, told ABC News. “This study highlights a new finding: Women who do not engage in regular sexual activity go through menopause at an earlier age. With the earlier onset of menopause, patients experience more loss of bone and adverse cholesterol profiles.”

The study doesn’t explain the exact connection between sex and menopause, but it illustrates a possible association. Further studies would be required to establish stronger links.

The study began with a look at approximately 3,000 women— 46%  of whom were perimenopausal, meaning they had some symptoms; and 54% were premenopausal, meaning they had no symptoms. Over the next decade, 45% of the women began menopause, at an average age of 52.

The women studied were described as having sex weekly, monthly or less than once a month. Sex was defined as intercourse, oral sex, touching or caressing, or self-stimulation.

“It’s the first time a study has shown a link between frequency of sex and onset of menopause,” Arnot added. “We don’t want to offer behavioral advice at this point at all. These results are an initial indication that menopause timing may be adaptive in response to the likelihood of becoming pregnant. More research will need to be done in the future.”

Research contact: @ABC

Ask and you shall receive—but don’t expect a thank you

May 24, 2018

Common courtesy is not, well, so common anymore. Research findings released on May 23 by the University of Sydney indicate that, worldwide, people often don’t say “thank you’” when someone does a simple favor for them.

The research—conducted across Australia, Ecuador, Ghana, Italy, Laos, Poland, Russia, and the United Kingdom in the native languages of each country—found that in 1,000 instances of informal conversations among friends and families, the words “thank you” were said “in only one out of fifty occurrences.”

At the farthest end of spectrum, Ecuadorians in the study never said “thank you” when someone did them a favor.

Published in Royal Society Open Science, the findings suggest that there is an unspoken willingness by most people to cooperate with others.

“Our findings indicate a widespread assumption that saying ‘thank you’ is not necessary in the everyday contexts of our lives,” said Professor Nick Enfield of the university’s Department of Linguistics, who led the investigation—which  is part of a larger look at language and social interactions.

“When people think of social norms around gratitude, they naturally think about our interactions in formal settings, where it seems standard to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’,” said Enfield. “But in in our homes and villages – where our interactions would seem to matter most – we find people dispense with these niceties almost entirely.”

He says this does not constitute a lack of manners in most cultures—or that we are polite in public but have no manners in our own homes. “Instead,” Enfield explained, “it demonstrates that humans have an unspoken understanding we will cooperate with each other.”

The researchers found significantly higher rates of gratitude expressed among English and Italian speakers. Those whose first language is English or another Western European language were outliers, not representative of the diversity of the world’s languages and cultures.

“Everyday life works because it’s in our nature to ask for help and pay back in kind, rather than just in words,” said Enfield.

Research contact: nick.enfield@sydney.edu.au