TORONTO — Researchers have found that more frequent sexual intercourse may strengthen women’s memory power. According to a research team at McGill University in Canada,having frequent penetrative sex can improve young women’s ability to remember and recall abstract words.
The study, published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, has found that penile-vaginal intercourse (PVI) positively affects a woman’s brain.
“These results suggest that PVI may indeed have beneficial effects on memory function in healthy young women,” claimed the study. The study consisted of 78 heterosexual women aged 18-29 years and looked into the effects of sex on memory performance. Previous studies had reported the beneficial effects sexual intercourse on memory function in animal models.
To determine whether variation in penile-vaginal intercourse would be associated with memory performance, Larah Maunder and colleagues asked the participants to complete a computerised memory paradigm consisting of abstract words and neutral faces. The researchers found that frequent sex resulted in the growth of new tissue in the hippocampus — thought to be the centre of emotion, memory, and the autonomic nervous system.
“Because memory for words depends to a large extent on the hippocampus, whereas memory for faces may rely to a greater extent on surrounding extra-hippocampal structures, our results appear to be specific for memory believed to rely on hippocampal function,” the researchers explained.
“The chemicals involved with signalling reward to the brain – hormones and neurotransmitters – have also been shown to be associated with both memory and sexual activity, said Jens Pruessner, a psychology professor at McGill University who was one of the authors on the study.
The researchs also explored the impact of PVI within a relationship and memory performance. They found that being in a relationship can no impact on memory performance.
“Those single women who self-reported a high frequency of sex demonstrated higher memory scores than those coupled women who self-reported either not having sex or having a low frequency of sex. This suggests that it is PVI, and not the presence of a relationship, that accounts for the beneficial effects found in this study,” the study said.