The trope of the chronic masturbator is typically some sort of slob who jerks off to porn in his parents’ basement all day. But according to a recent study, the more educated men and women are, the more frequently they indulge in such self-gratification. So before you judge the aforementioned guy, show some respect. That’s Dr. Chronic Masturbator to you.
The research, published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, initially didn’t set out to prove that higher education was linked with more frequent fapping. The social scientists were attempting to understand the “seeming paradoxical relationship between masturbatory frequency and sexual satisfaction.” However, when they surveyed 4,160 adults between the ages of 18 and 89 about their sex and masturbation habits, they found that individuals who had master’s degrees and above were less likely to be satisfied in their sexual relationships, and more prone to masturbation. Simply put, they put the master in masturbation.
“For both women and men, higher education predicted a high masturbation frequency and sexual dissatisfaction,” the researchers concluded, citing several studies that have found this previously as well.
Although the study authors offered no explanation as to why this may be, sexologist and author Carol Queen, who wasn’t involved in the research, has a few theories. For starters, higher education can cause people to look at life through a more critical lens, which “might give you a person with less satisfaction overall, not just sexually,” Queen tells me. It’s also possible that people who don’t continue education past a bachelor’s degree have more time to go out and get laid. Or as Queen puts it, “Are the frisky people having lots of intercourse and partners and staying out late and playing, versus buckling down in a higher-ed process?”
Despite the large sample size, there are still a few reasons to take the study with a grain of salt. It looked exclusively at adults in Norway, so it’s possible that the findings don’t translate to adults in the U.S. Additionally, the researchers focused on respondents that had the highest masturbation frequency and lowest sexual satisfaction, “but the largest cohort is high masturbation frequency and high satisfaction, which is worth remembering,” Queen says. This means that a lot of intellectuals who masturbate a ton are also satisfied with their sex lives.
Finally, Queen points out that the study neglected to ask participants if they were satisfied with masturbation alone and only asked if they were dissatisfied with their sex lives, which is a much bigger and more loaded question. Even the study authors themselves note that “it is not feasible to draw any causal conclusions.”
So if you’re hoping to justify jerking off as evidence of your genius, that wouldn’t be the most intelligent interpretation of the data. But if you’re looking for an excuse to opt out of higher education beyond the cost, consider all the chafing instead.