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In a survey of studies comparing male and female sex drives, Roy Baumeister, a social psychologist at Florida State University, found that men reported more spontaneous sexual arousal and had more frequent and varied fantasies.

"Men want sex more often than women at the start of a relationship, in the middle of it, and after many years of it," Baumeister concludes after reviewing several surveys of men and women.

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Some have theorized it's related to the greater power of men in society, or differing sexual expectations of men when compared to women.

Laumann prefers an explanation more closely tied to the world of sociobiology.

Men are more likely to seek sex even when it's frowned upon or even outlawed: What turns women on? Northwestern University researcher Meredith Chivers and colleagues showed erotic films to gay and straight men and women.

They asked them about their level of sexual arousal, and also measured their actual level of arousal through devices attached to their genitals.

"They won't necessarily do it, but they have the capacity." Bailey's idea is backed up by studies showing that homosexuality is a more fluid state among women than men.

In another broad review of studies, Baumeister found many more lesbians reported recent sex with men, when compared to gay men's reports of sex with women.

For men, the results were predictable: Straight men said they were more turned on by depictions of male-female sex and female-female sex, and the measuring devices backed up their claims.

Gay men said they were turned on by male-male sex, and again the devices backed them up. Straight women, for example, said they were more turned on by male-female sex.

"For women there is a need for a plot -- hence the romance novel.

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