January 29, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 66  

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Students’ dreams studied: men like sex

By Mark Weir
Gazette Writer

Finding out what our confusing and often mysterious subconscious is thinking was the subject of a recent study on the dreams of university students. The study has since ignited the interest of students across the country.

About 1,400 students from the University of Alberta, McGill University and Trent University participated in a questionnaire about what the mind does when we decide to get some shut-eye.

“[We were] trying to get at the basic dimensions of dreams,” said the study’s lead author, Tore Nielsen.

Nielsen, the director of the Dream and Nightmare Laboratory at Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur in Montreal, said the most common dreams of university students involve being pursued, sex, falling and school.

The mysterious nature of dreams is what inspires researchers to try to make sense of them, said King’s College philosophy and religious studies professor James Schmeiser. “Dreams will always reflect our environment,” he said. “[They] have an extremely significant impact on our daily lives.”

Dreams can also elicit strange emotions, explained second-year administrative and commercial studies student Taryn Laing. She said she often incorporates her professors into her dreams. “It’s almost like you can’t get away from them.”

The study also showed that while there are similarities among students in their responses, differences arose depending on sex and location of the students, Nielsen said. Men seem to dream about sex more often than their female counterparts, he noted.
Third-year philosophy student Jessica Payne said she agreed. “[When dreaming about sex], they would want to remember,” she said.

Apart from sex, women generally seem to be more in tune with their subconscious, Nielsen said. “Women seem to be more interested in their dreams than men,” he added.

Interested students can fill out the questionnaire at www.jtkresearch.com/dreamlab.



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