Health

Flashback Friday: Google search patterns reveal human mating season.

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Photo: flickr/sarahrosenau

Humans like to think that we're different from other animals, even down to our sexual behaviors. But as we've previously shown on this blog, we still have a lot in common with our furry (and sometimes non-furry) pals, from fellatio to ménage à trois. Well, here's something else you can add to the list: mating seasons. Previous work has shown that signs of human sex and mating behaviors--for example, births, STDs, and condom sales--follow a seasonal pattern that peaks every six months. Here, two researchers show that even Google searches follow this pattern. More specifically, searches for topics related to pornography, prostitution, and mate-seeking (e.g., "xxx", "boobs", "brothel", "eHarmony") peak in the winter and early summer, consistent with the patterns of other human mating behaviors. So there you have it: you're nothing but a mammal, so do it like they do on the Discover... Magazine :)

Seasonal variation in internet keyword searches: a proxy assessment of sex mating behaviors. "The current study investigated seasonal variation in internet searches regarding sex and mating behaviors. Harmonic analyses were used to examine the seasonal trends of Google keyword searches during the past 5 years for topics related to pornography, prostitution, and mate-seeking. Results indicated a consistent 6-month harmonic cycle with the peaks of keyword searches related to sex and mating behaviors occurring most frequently during winter and early summer. Such results compliment past research that has found similar seasonal trends of births, sexually transmitted infections, condom sales, and abortions." Related content: People prefer mates with a 22% resemblance to themselves.Male squid with underdog mating strategy also make giant swarming sperm.Insect fossil porn: Jurassic edition.

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