A 1934 study on sex differences in sex dreams by Richard Husband found various things. First, men were more likely to have sex dreams than women. Second, men’s sex dreams more often involved major forms of expression such as sexual intercourse than minor forms such as kissing and hugging. Third, that women were more likely to wake excited than men. Fourth, women are more likely to transfer emotions from their waking life into their love affairs in dreams. Finally, women are more likely to have sex dreams about people they are in a relationship with. Since there haven’t been many studies since then on sex dreams (at least that I found), we decided to try this out this semester and see how different the results would be. (You can look at the questionnaire itself below.)
The only significant correlations involved with sex were: 1) the amount of sex dreams, 2) whether or not an individual woke excited, and 3) whether dreams involved sex with a disliked individual. Males actually had less sex dreams than females. Males were more likely to wake excited than women. Females were also more likely to have sex dreams with disliked individuals. (Really, none of the males in this sample had dreams of sex with a disliked individual at all. Come on guys, were you telling the truth?)
We decided to run tests based on sexual orientation and race, as well, since these factors were probably not considered in the 30s. There were significant differences, but since there was a small sample size with some of the subgroups, these probably don’t mean much. I’ll go ahead and mention them, however.
In regard to race, there was a difference between whether individuals had a major or minor form of expression in a sex dream, and whether or not a sex dream was based on missing someone. Black individuals had a higher frequency of major sex dreams than any other race. People who listed their race as other were more likely to have a sex dream because they missed someone.
In regard to sexual orientation, the differences were based on sex dream relating to the preceding day, having sex with a disliked individual, and having vivid dreams based on depression. White individuals had a higher frequency of sex dreams having no relation to the previous day. Homosexual and bisexual individuals had a higher frequency of sex dreams with disliked individuals and vivid dreams associated with depression. Remember, though, the fact that there were only 2 homosexual and bisexual individuals may be the reason there was a significant difference. We would need a more even distribution between the subsamples for a more accurate picture. This is the case with the “other” category of the race distinction, as well.
So we found many things that were different than the 1930s study. The real question is, why have there been so few studies on this fascinating subject when Husband’s results clearly aren’t relevant any longer?