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EDITORIAL: Continue examining the relationship between marijuana and sex



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The November issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine reports on the link between marijuana use and frequency of sexual activities. The report found that those who smoke weed more frequently have more sex.

While this may bode well for those who do smoke marijuana, remember correlation does not equal causation. Just because people who smoke have more frequent sex does not mean the sex is due to the weed. 

Regardless, medical research on the relationship between marijuana and sex should absolutely continue. 

Researchers conducted a 13-year trial between 2002 and 2015 by asking 50,000 people about their daily, weekly and monthly use of marijuana and how frequently they have sex.

The conclusion: women who smoked marijuana had sex on average 7.1 times a month and men who smoked marijuana had sex on average 6.9 times a month. This is about one time more per month than those who do not smoke. 

The Editorial Board doesn’t think weed is driving more people to have sex. Young adults who typically smoke marijuana are more likely to engage in so-called risky behaviors like sex. 

An important piece of missing information is how many of these people are single, in committed non-marital relationships or married.

Participants' relationship status is possibly more important than the religion of the participants, which researchers took into account. For instance, unmarried couples who are living together have sex more often than married couples, whether or not they are high.

Relationship status has an effect on sexual frequency and should be accounted for.

Even more interesting is the fact the overall amount of sex Americans are having has dropped in the past decade. Time Magazine reported that between 2010 and 2014, Americans were having sex nine fewer times each year compared to the four year period between 2000 and 2004. 

Among married couples, it is sixteen fewer times each year. 

While those who smoke are having more sex than those who don’t, the marijuana certainly isn’t making up for this national downward trend. 

One would think that since marijuana is becoming less stigmatized, Americans would be having more sex if the plant were indeed an aphrodisiac. 

Jean M. Twenge’s study on sexual behavior between 1989 and 2014 shows that Americans have become more open to the idea of premarital sex and same-sex relationships, and American youth have more access to sexual education than ever before. 

We don’t think it’s entirely plausible to say weed is causing people to have a lot more sex than those who don’t smoke. We do, however, think it is intriguing these studies are being made, and we look forward to the future of sex and studies about our sexual habits. 

It’s too soon to determine whether more smoking leads to more sex, but research examining the relationship between substances and sex is important for the future of sexual health.

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