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Health & Sex

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Creativity May Boost Sexual Activity

Study Shows Artists, Poets, and Other Creative People Have More Sexual Partners

WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Nov. 30, 2005 - Creativity may be a boon to sexual activity, according to a new study that could help explain why many famous artists in history were also notorious womanizers.

The study showed that professional artists and poets had about twice as many sexual partners as those who don't indulge in such creative pursuits.

Although a link between creativity and sexual activity has long been suspected, researchers say this is the first study to provide evidence for it.

The results suggest that the more creative a person is, the more sexual partners he or she is likely to have, and these creative traits may have evolved over time to foster survival of the human species.

But other, less scientific factors may also be at work.

"Creative people are often considered to be very attractive and get lots of attention as a result," says researcher Daniel Nettle of the University of Newcastle in England, in a news release. "It could also be that very creative types lead a bohemian lifestyle and tend to act on more sexual impulses and opportunities, often purely for experience's sake, than the average person would."

Creativity Linked to Sexual Activity

In the study, published in The Proceeding of the Royal Society B, researchers surveyed 425 British men and women, including a sampling of visual artists, poets, and members of the general public.

The participants filled out questionnaires with information about their creative pursuits, mental health history, and number of sexual partners since the age of 18. They also answered questions designed to show if they had any potentially schizophrenic personality traits.

The results showed that creative people reported an average of between four and 10 sexual partners compared with an average of three sexual partners among noncreative people. Researchers found the number or sexual partners rose in accordance with the number of creative activities the person was involved with.

The study also showed that creative people shared many similar personality traits with the schizophrenics, such as a high degree of impulsive behavior and unusual experiences.

Although schizophrenics shared some personality traits with the creative people, they did not report increased sexual activity. Nettle says this is because people with schizophrenia also tend to suffer from social withdrawal and lack of emotion, which was associated with a lower number of sexual partners.

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