The study interviewed 444 people and came up with 237 ‘unique’ reasons to have sex. Then 1500 and some odd college students were surveyed to find out how those 237 reasons ranked. Statistically, there are a couple of problems here.
444 people provided 237 unique reasons and the surveyors thought they had a comprehensive list. It should have been plainly obvious that they did not yet have anywhere near a complete list. 237 unique answers from 444 people means that a large number of those answers were original, that is the answer was given by only one of the 444 people. While it is impossible to compile a list of every possible reason for doing anything, collecting answers until you have at least two votes for every answer on your list would be a good start.
So then, 1500 and some odd college students taking psychology were asked to rank those 237 reasons at they applied to their experience. It is important to recognize that population sample for what it is. 1500 college age people who take psychology. The article does not indicate that any bias analysis was done but that sample group was very probably full of bias. It was not a reasonable sample of any population group save college age psychology students.
The article is kind of fun and it talks about sex which means it will be the talk of the water cooler for a few weeks. However, I have seen a few articles that make broad application of the conclusions mentioned in the article without acknowledging the fact that the samples involved clearly do not, in any way, represent any significant demographic other than college age psych students.
The headline might be more accurately stated: Why do college age psych students have sex: It feels good.
[posted with ecto]