Sex gives meaning to life: New research

Summary:

A research published recently on APA PsycNET by Kashdan and associate draw a light on the Most debated question of all time,”what gives Meaning to life?” and found Sex Gives meaning to life.

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objectives

One of the leading questions always in debate for a long time, “what gives meaning to life? ” More particularly, The discussion has centered on the question of which is more important for a fulfilling life—pleasures of the body or pleasures of the mind.

Many philosophers, many theses, thousands of arguments but neither science nor psychology able to find an answer, until a team of researchers finds out sex is not just instrument of pleasure but also gives meaning to life.

In the last few decades psychologist have taken this ancient question into a light, tried applying scientific method rather than just debating the issue to draw a valid conclusion.

According to psychologist Todd Kashdan and his colleagues at George Mason University, studies on subjective well-being have focused more on aspects of Eudaimonia than of hedonism. This is especially true when it comes to questions of sexuality in everyday life.

Does engaging in sexual activity lead to an increased sense of meaning in life?

A study conducted on 152 students reveals some of the major findings here-

  • It could be that having sex makes people feel happy and fulfilled, but it could also be that happy, fulfilled people have more sex.
  • Time-lagged study: whether having sex is associated with positive mood and fulfillment on the next day. Indeed it was.
  • Furthermore, when the researchers compared those in committed relationships with those who were not, they found no differences in reported positive mood and meaning in life after sex. This suggests that the received wisdom about sex within committed relationships being more fulfilling than casual sex may not be true.
  • Relationship closeness was the most robust moderator in predicting greater levels of meaning in life and positive affect following sexual episodes. These data provide evidence to support the continued consideration of sex in empirical work and theoretical models of elements that comprise healthy relationships and a good life.

Final thoughts by Author:

Despite sex being a frequent occurrence and source of well-being for a large portion of the population, it is relatively absent in empirical investigations and theoretical frameworks of well-being.
If science is to reflect reality, how can theories of well-being not include sexual behavior? Perhaps the topic of sex is viewed as taboo and thus avoided.
Perhaps the measurement of sexual behavior seems complicated and invasive. Perhaps sex is considered
irrelevant to well-being. Regardless of the reason for a dearth of research, the present study provides empirical support for a positive association between sex and well-being; specifically, sexual activity leads to next-day gains in well-being. To understand the full scope of human flourishing, research on well-being needs to incorporate more rigorous scientific inquiries of sexual behavior.

Reference :

Kashdan, T. B., Goodman, F. R., Stiksma, M., Milius, C. R., & McKnight, P. E. (2018). Sexuality leads to boosts in mood and meaning in life with no evidence for the reverse direction: A daily diary investigation. Emotion, 18(4), 563-576.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/emo0000324

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