Will the Pill Make You Gain Weight? This and Other Common Sex Myths, Debunked


Are bigger breasts more sensitive than smaller ones? Do men think about sex every seven seconds, really? Can a guy die with an erection? In Mental Floss's latest debunking video, Dr. Aaron Carroll answers these questions and more, debunking 20 common myths about sex. I warn you, it may feel weird accepting sex facts from a man whose "salon" décor includes a toy giraffe, Pez dispensers, and a Hello Kitty in a jar. To spare you from the eerie experience of being educated about sex while staring at your favorite childhood toys, I’ve selected three of the video's most interesting myths for you.

1. Most women are going hairless downstairs

Myth! Playboy centerfolds may be increasingly bare downstairs, but since when are Playboy models representative of the average American woman's grooming habits or sexual preferences?

“A 2010 survey of more than 2400 women found that only 11 percent of women aged 18-68 remove all of their hair, most of the time,” Carroll explains in the video. “Twenty percent remove no hair at all and only about a quarter remove their pubic hair some of the time.” Pubic hair removal is also somewhat related to age, with 18-24 year olds being the most likely to remove it.

The bottom line? The majority of all women of all ages keep some hair down there.

2. Men peak sexually before women

You've probably heard this one used to explain the cougar phenomenon, or why women go for younger men. But it's not true. As Carroll explains, if peak is defined as the frequency of sex, then studies have found that both men and women are least likely to go a year without sex during their 20's. If it's defined by masturbation, both sexes masturbate most in their late 20's. If the "sexual peak" is defined by having sex at least four times a week, then men reach their peak in the 30's and 40's while women reach it in their late 20's. "There's no metric that makes this myth true," Carroll concludes.

3. The pill makes you gain weight

Wrong again! When the contraceptive pill was first developed, it contained far higher levels of estrogen and progesterone, and therefore messed with women's bodies far more. The birth control pills that exist today are much more refined, with far lower levels of these hormones. A meta-analysis of 49 studies comparing the pill to placebos found no difference between the two, with respect to weight gain. This is good news, but it means we can't be blaming the pill for changes to the scale.

There's lots more where that came from. What is the average penis size? Are your masturbation habits typical? See the full video below.

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