Top 10 quirky facts about love, sex and romance

2 February 2017

A collection of unexpected and obscure facts revealed by researchers at the University of Sydney and around the world.

12th time’s a charm

University of Sydney mathematician Clio Cresswell has calculated that the average number of sexual partners had before finding your perfect match is 12!

More births on Valentine’s Day?

After a ten year study in the United States, it was discovered that mothers may be able to exert some control over when their babies are born. 

The research showed that there were approximately 4% more births on Valentine’s Day than on any day in the surrounding two weeks!

Hand size = ?

Statistically speaking, men whose right hand index and ring fingers are of different lengths are more likely to have a long penis than men with matching digits.

Love’s sobering effects

Dr Michael Bowen from the University of Sydney's School of Psychology has uncovered the sobering effect of the love hormone, oxytocin. 

The research finds that oxytocin in the brains of rats prevents alcohol from accessing specific sites in the brain that cause alcohol’s intoxicating effects.

Hear Dr Bowen talk more about his research when he presents the free public lecture: Hugs Not Drugs as part of the 2017 Sydney Science Forum series.

Enjoy giving chocolates... while you can still afford it

To meet a rapidly growing demand, global yearly chocolate production needs to increase from 4 million to 8 million tonnes by 2020.

If it doesn’t, your box of handmade chocolates might end up costing as much as a bottle of fancy champagne.

DNA kisses

If you kiss someone passionately, you not only exchange bacteria and mucus, you also impart some of your genetic code.

Regardless of the length of the encounter, your DNA will linger in their mouth for at least an hour.

Falling out of love can break your heart – literally 

Daniel Quintana and Dr Andrew Kemp from University of Sydney's School of Psychology discovered that people who suffer sustained bouts of depression (such as those going through a relationship break-up) can seriously increase their chances of cardiovascular disease.

But – with some lifestyle changes and if required, professional help, your heart can be put back together again.

Find love, lose a friend (or two!)

Oxford University researchers conducted a study about the number of people’s close friendships and how this number changed when romance entered the equation.

On average, they found that the inner core (usually consisting of five people) dropped by two as a new lover came to dominate daily life.

Eau de echidna

Did you know male echidnas have a gland on their hind legs that swells during breeding season and secretes scent? 

There’s nothing like a bit of sexy echidna scent...!

Dopes for dopamine

The head-in-the-clouds feeling you get when in love is actually linked to a spray of the chemical dopamine from areas in the brain associated with reward and motivation.

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