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People are more interested in sex around Christmas (according to their web searches)

The analysis shows that people are in a better mood around the holidays.

It's all down to mood, apparently.
It's all down to mood, apparently.
Image: Shutterstock

NEW ANALYSIS OF of Google search terms and Twitter posts have shown that people seem to be happier and more interested in sex during Christmas and other holiday seasons.

The research looked at data from the Christian festival of Christmas and the Eid-al-Fitr celebration in largely Muslim countries.

Both periods showed a spike in online sex searches meaning that the similar interest is likely unrelated to geography and is influenced by other factors.

It has long been observed that birth rates in Christian countries peak in September and the rise of social media has now provided researches with a pool of data with which to analyse behaviour of people nine months previous.

A study of the data from nearly 130 countries was carried out by Indiana University and the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência in Portugal. It looked at Google search terms from 2004 to 2014 and 10% of public Twitter posts from late 2010 to early 2014.

“This study is the first ‘planetary-level’ look at human reproduction as it relates to people’s moods and interest in sex online,” according to Indiana University’s Luis M. Rocha.

The analysis revealed that interest in sex peaks significantly during major cultural or religious celebrations, based upon a greater use of the word “sex” or other sexual terms in web searches.

Furthermore, Eid-al-Fitr does not happen at the same time every year but the measured increase in birth rates nine months later was found to correspond with the changing dates.

“We didn’t see a reversal in birth rate or online interest in sex trends between the Northern and Southern hemispheres — and it didn’t seem to matter how far people lived from the equator,” Rocha said.

Rather, the study found culture, measured through online mood, to be the primary driver behind cyclic sexual and reproductive behavior in human populations.

In analysing the “online mood”, researchers looked at the content of Twitter posts and determined that people “appear to feel happier, safer and calmer during the holidays”.

It was also found that a similar spike in interests in sex did not occur during Easter or Thanksgiving.

“Perhaps people feel a greater motivation to grow their families during holidays when the emphasis is on love and gift-giving to children,” said Rocha said.

“The Christmas season is also associated with stories about the baby Jesus and holy family, which may put people in a loving, happy, ‘family mood.’”

 

Read: Student sex survey: 8% of women have had non-consensual sexual contact in the last year >

Read: India bans condom advertisements from prime time television >

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Rónán Duffy

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