Roy F. Baumeister at Florida State University, Kathleen Catanese at a Midwestern college and Kathleen Vohs, a professor of marketing, set out to find the truth, reports Oxford University Press.
They approached the problem like this. Imagine two women (or two men for that matter), such that one of them has truly a stronger sex drive than the other. What differences in preferences and behaviour would you expect to see between the two of them?
After months of reading and compiling results, the answer was clear. There is a substantial difference, and men have a much stronger sex drive than women. To be sure, there are some women who have frequent, intense desires for sex, and there are some men who don't, but on average the men want it more.
Every marker pointed to the same conclusion: Men think about sex more often than women do. Men have more sexual fantasies, and these encompass more different acts and more different partners.
Men masturbate more than women - much more. Masturbation is considered by sex researchers to be one of the purest measures of sex drive, because it is not much constrained by external factors (such as the need to find a partner, or the risk of pregnancy or disease).
Men take more risks and incur more costs for sex. They want sex more often than women, whether one is talking about young couples or people who have been married to the same person for forty years.
Men also want more different partners than women want, and men like a greater variety of sex acts than women do.
Men initiate sex often and refuse it rarely. Women initiate it much more rarely and refuse it much more often than men. Given an opportunity for sex, men leap at it, while women say no.
Women find it easier than men to go without sex. An adult woman who is between relationships can easily go for months, sometimes even years, hardly thinking of sex and not minding if she doesn't have it. Men go nuts without sex (or at least some do). A man who loses his girlfriend will often start masturbating by the next day or two.
Even when both men and women make a heartfelt, sacred vow of chastity, the men find it much harder to keep than the woman. Catholic priests have much more sexual activity than the nuns, even though both have committed themselves to the single standard of complete abstinence and have backed this up with a sacred promise in the context of the most important beliefs and values in their lives.
In short, every study and every measure fit the pattern that men want sex more than women. It's official: Men are hornier than women.