Study: People Happier When They Think They’re Having More Sex Than Others

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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Similar to how people have long gauged their wealth against the riches of others, a new study suggests there’s a correlation between happiness and a self-perceived, better-than-average love life.

Published in the February edition of Social Indicators Research, the findings suggest happiness levels may be linked to feeling more sexually successful than others.

Conducted by Tim Wadsworth, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, the study relies on statistics and data gathered through the General Social Survey between 1993 and 2006.


“Thinking that we are having more sex than

other people makes us even happier.”

“There’s an overall increase in sense of well-being that comes with engaging in sex more frequently,” Wadsworth said. “But there’s also this relative aspect to it. Having more sex makes us happy, but thinking that we are having more sex than other people makes us even happier.”

Wadsworth found respondents who reported having sex at least two to three times a month were one-third more likely to report a higher level of happiness than those reporting no sex in the previous year.

The study points to a media culture that regularly reports on sexual trends and statistics as providing, in part, the opportunities for comparison.

Citing such publications as Glamour, Cosmopolitan and even AARP The Magazine, the study notes such information is now readily available.

The study reminds people often make similar determinations about their own attractiveness, intelligence and humor — all in relation to others.

Still, when it comes to relations with others, Wadsworth said believing you have a healthy batting average may hold the key to happier living.

“I can’t think of a better explanation for why how much sex other people are having would influence a person’s happiness,” he said.

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