They also think about food almost as much as sex – 18 times a day – closely followed by sleep, which crosses their mind 11 times a day.
This confounds the long-held stereotype that men think about sex every seven seconds while awake, amounting to 8,000 times over an average 16-hour day.
However, US scientists discovered that, on average, men still think about sex twice as much as women, who entertain the thought just ten times a day. Women also thought less about food and sleep daily, thinking about them just 15 and 8.5 times respectively.
They put the new numbers down to previous studies, which they say were headline-grabbing but poorly set-up.
The researchers say that in those studies volunteers were often asked to make a guess at how often they thought about sex rather than actually recording it, with the results wrongly influencing men and women for years after.
The team, from Ohio State University recruited 160 women and 120 men aged 18 to 25 to monitor their thoughts. In the group, 59 were randomly assigned to count how often they thought about food, 61 sleep and 163 sex.
Before beginning the experiment, participants were asked questions designed to gauge their attitudes to sex, food and sleep. They also estimated how many times they thought about each daily, before being given a special tally counter they could use whenever they thought about their assigned subject.
A closer look at the results, published in the Journal of Sex Research, revealed that men thought about sex between one and 388 times daily, with a median of 18 whereas women thought about it between one and 140 times a day, with a median of ten.
The authors say the figure for women was ‘a broader range than expected.’
Results also showed that those who claimed to be most comfortable with their sexuality when questionned beforehand thought more about sex, although women who prioritised being seen as ‘socially acceptable’ tended to think about it less.
Continue reading at Telegraph.co.uk