According to a new study , frequent consumption of chocolate in women is linked to a lower interest in sex (self-rated) .
The study involved 723 Southern California men and women, ages 20 and older, who completed surveys that reported frequency of chocolate consumption (pieces per week) and interest in sex (rated 0-10).
Chocolate and sex
For sexual interest, participants were asked to rate "interest in sex" (last two weeks), on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 defined as "not present" and 10 defined as "maximum present". For the frequency of chocolate, the participants were asked "how many times a week do you consume chocolate?" LDL cholesterol and glucose were also evaluated based on sexual interest and chocolate.
The frequency of chocolate consumption was the strongest evaluated predictor of sexual interest in women . No relationship was seen in men, although a trend was seen in younger men.
Popular representations in which chocolate is represented as a substitute for sex and "satisfying" the need for sex in women represent a possible explanation for these findings .
It could be speculated that the differential effects in men versus women align with the observations that chocolate consumption activates and inhibits different brain regions : in men, there is greater activation of taste in the ventral striatum, insula, and cortex orbitofrontal and medial orbitofrontal and decreased taste activation in somatosensory areas; in women, increased taste activation in the precentral gyrus, superior temporal gyrus, and putamen, and decreased taste activation in the hypothalamus and amygdala.