BIGGER’S BETTER: A new study contradicts earlier findings that obesity curbed sex
New York: If you think overweight women have less sex than skinny types, think again, for a new study has suggested that it’s the other way round.
Earlier studies indicated that obesity curbs sex. But, now researchers in the US have found that fat women have more sex than those with normal weight as one’s body mass does not affect one’s sexual desire.
They have based their findings on an analysis of data on more than 7,000 women collected in the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth, that looked at the relationship between body mass index and sexual orientation, age of first intercourse, number of partners and frequency of intercourse.
“Our analysis demonstrated that obese and overweight women do not differ significantly in some of the objective measures of sexual behaviour as compared to women of normal weight,” said lead researcher Bliss Kaneshiro.
Kaneshiro of Hawaii University said the data showed that overweight women were more likely to report having sexual intercourse with a man, even when researchers controlled for age, race and type of residence.
Ninety-two per cent of overweight women reported having a history of sexual intercourse with a man, as opposed to 87% of women with a normal body mass index (BMI), according to the survey.
“These results were unexpected and we don’t really know why this is the case. This study indicates that all women deserve diligence in counselling on unintended pregnancy and STD prevention, regardless of BMI,” Kaneshiro said.
Researchers suspect the stereotype could mean overweight women get different messages than thinner women from physicians regarding pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease prevention, and that their sexual behavior might therefore vary.
“Some medical practitioners may not do appropriate follow-up with women who are overweight; they might assume they aren’t having sex unless they are told otherwise,” said Oregon State University Professor Marie Harvey, a specialist in women’s sexual and reproductive health issues.
The survey relied on selfreports, however, and other studies have found that people often lie in sex surveys. The results were detailed in the September issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. A different study in 2006 concluded that obesity, as well as smoking, does curb sex.