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Some people just thrive in the dark and are more likely to kick into gear after the sun goes down.
But do those people have better sex lives? Or for that matter, worse relationship patterns?
Both were findings from a new University of Chicago study aimed at understanding how this schedule shift impacts our waking hours.
According to the research, women night owls were found to have sex more often but a lesser chance of getting married compared to traditional female clock-watchers.
Females who stay up long after dark also were found to share some risk-taking behaviors seen among male night owls. Each were found to have a decreased chance at getting married.
“Women night owls have more sex
but a lesser chance of getting married.”
Lead researcher Dario Maestripieri, a professor in comparative human development, said cortisol is the most likely culprit here. It and testosterone were found in higher levels among late-minded women, comparable to the levels normally seen in most men.
Increased cortisol is associated with easier arousability and having more energy but also with taking greater risks.
Among men in the study, those classified as night owls were found to have about twice as much sex compared with those men early to bed.
“From an evolutionary perspective, it has been suggested that the night-owl trait may have evolved to facilitate short-term mating, that is, sexual interactions that occur outside of committed, monogamous relationships,” he said. “It is possible that, earlier in our evolutionary history, being active in the evening hours increased the opportunities to engage in social and mating activities, when adults were less burdened by work or child-rearing.”
The study was published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology.