Volume 92, Issue 32

Friday, October 30, 1998

big money


Survey says sex is a hot topic

By Ian C. Robertson
Gazette Staff

A national survey of the sexes has taken the first important step to solve all your dating problems.

Compas Inc. and Sun Media Corp. recently completed a national survey of 1,479 Canadians about sex and relationships. This is the first ever sex study of Canadians, said Denise MacDonell, research analyst at Compas Inc. "Sex is a hot topic, people love to read about it," MacDonell said.

The survey said Canadians feel women should initiate dates and pay as often as men. It also said 55 per cent of men hope to have sex the first night they meet a woman, but only eight per cent of women share that hope.

Heather McDonald, health education coordinator for student health services, said an attitude like this could be dangerous if people are not educated. "People have to realize that just because you meet some well-dressed people at Western, that doesn't mean they don't have STDs," she said.

"There was a willingness of Canadians to discuss sex and relationships openly and honestly," MacDonell said. Seventy-nine per cent of Canadians said they decide on a person's attractiveness before having a conversation. The survey said the opinion of attractiveness is formulated by looking at the smile (25 per cent), eyes (18 per cent), good looking face (17 per cent) and neat appearance (15 per cent).

Alex McKay, research coordinator at the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada, said it is reasonable for physical appearance to formulate our opinion of the opposite sex, because sight is the first sense which consciously notices them. "Men seem to place greater importance on appearance than women," McKay said.

Regardless of gender, the survey discovered only half of Canadians are comfortable asking someone, regardless of how well they know them, for a date.

According to the survey, women find it harder to locate a suitable spouse than men. "Humans are predisposed to look for certain characteristics, mainly that they look reproductively healthy. Women look more for intelligence and ability to be a provider," McKay said. He added there is no scientific way of attracting others to you.

The survey found that despite a man's hopes, for 24 per cent of those surveyed, sex usually does not occur until two to five weeks into the relationship. Twenty-two per cent of people said they could wait over 52 weeks to have sex in a relationship.

"There's no litmus test to tell when you should have sex," McDonald said. It is important to remember that familiarity with your partner does not mean they are necessarily free of STDs, she added.

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Copyright The Gazette 1998