A Blog Around The Clock

Circadian Rhythms in Human Mating

Blogging on Peer-Reviewed Research

i-710d005c8660d36282911838843a792d-ClockWeb logo2.JPGA short-but-sweet study (March 18, 2006):

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I remember from an old review that John Palmer did a study on the diurnal pattern of copulation in humans some years ago. You can see the abstract here.

Now, Roberto Reffinetti repeated the study and published it in the online open-source Journal of Circadian Rhythms here.
i-4266cd0c00b24ceddaacaab01ad45e13-circadian rhythm of sex.jpg
The two studies agree: The peak copulatory activity in people living in a modern society is around midnight (or, really, around bedtime) with a smaller secondary peak in the morning around wake-time.

Dig through the papers yourself for additional data on workday-weekend differences and the temporal patterns of the female orgasm.

Comments

  1. #1 plummet
    November 28, 2006

    I can understand 2 AM, but why isn’t anyone copulating at 4 PM?

  2. #2 coturnix
    November 28, 2006

    That is strange. Am I really the only one?

  3. #3 PZ Myers
    November 28, 2006

    You guys have the wrong attitude. You just have to understand that it’s midnight somewhere all of the time.

  4. #4 Rip van Winkle
    November 28, 2006

    “The peak copulatory activity in people living in a modern society is around midnight (or, really, around bedtime) with a smaller secondary peak in the morning around wake-time.”

    Are you implying that this is not really a (biologically influenced) circadian rhythm but a socially constructed (conventional bed-time and wake-time) rhythm?

  5. #5 coturnix
    November 29, 2006

    It’s a combo, I think. Primitive societies also have the same pattern, except that midnight is a time in-between two bouts of sleep, while for us it is the beginning of a single, consolidated bout of sleep.