Every day there's a steady stream of studies telling us what we already know. But sometimes those researchers looking into our love lives, sex trends, or hidden habits find something that surprises us or succinctly states something we feel instinctively. Here are 30 studies we covered in 2011 that either educated or entertained us.
Tick tock, tick tock. That's the sound of a woman's internal clock, which apparently moves at a rate twice as fast as a man's. Women consider themselves old at 29, reports a British study (sponsored by a funeral planning service!), while men don't feel old until 58.
Research published this year claims previous mate preferences disappear when a woman takes hormonal birth control.
Don't hate people because they're beautiful. Hate them because they're smart, too. A study from the London School of Economics found that attractive people are more likely to have higher IQs.
According to census figures, there are 130,000 same-sex couples who say they are married.
College women who watch clips of beautiful and aggressive characters, like Angelina Jolie or Uma Thurman, are more likely to buy into the "superwoman ideal" — the idea that women should excel in traditional feminine roles, as well as traditional male areas.
A study, with the fancy name "Songs as a Medium for Embedded Reproductive Messages," examined the Billboard charts and found that 92 percent of the songs that made it into the top 10 in 2009 contained at least one or more "reproductive message."
A study found that women over 40 are rarely used in editorial and advertising images, even in magazines like Vogue with one-fifth of its readership being women over 50.
A PhD student at Cambridge University conducted a study with 3,000 British, American, and Canadian women and found that "the vast majority of women significantly increase purchase intentions when they see a model that reflects their age, size, and race."
Listen up suspicious women! If you think your partner is cheating, you might want to listen to his voice before you start any Internet snooping. Men with lower-pitched voices and women with higher-pitched voices may be more likely to stray.
For better or for worse, men can "fall in love" with a woman before even having a conversation, according to a British survey.
According to a report, concern about weight gain is one of the biggest reasons women quit taking the pill. Then some of these women are getting pregnant, which is a bit counterproductive if you're trying to not pack on the pounds.
Men who have trouble performing in bed are more likely to have sex outside of a monogamous relationship.
Similar personalities among spouses won't impact a marriage for better or for worse. A study examining married couples who have lasted at least 40 years found neither personality similarities nor differences impact how happy a couple is.
A study out of UCLA has found that kids ages 9-11 value being famous more than anything else, ranking it No. 1 compared to 15th in 1997.
New research found that oral sex may cause more cases of throat cancer in men than smoking thanks to HPV transmissions.
New research from the Girl Scouts found that reality TV is making girls meaner and vainer, with a higher percentage of the girls who watch reality TV saying that gossip is normal between girls and that a girl's value is based on her looks.
A new report by the National Marriage Project has found that American children are more likely to have unmarried parents than divorced ones.
A dating site found that San Francisco has the highest concentration of romantic men.
The American Association of University Women released a study last month that found 56 percent of the middle and high school girls surveyed were sexually harassed in the past school year.
A study of male baboons has found that being on the top is overrated. Field biologists looked at alpha male baboons and discovered that the alphas were the most stressed in their social group, and the lower in rank they got the less stressed they were.
In a study epically titled "Peacocks, Porsches and Thorstein Veblen: Conspicuous Consumption as a Sexual Signaling System," researchers found that men spend conspicuously when they're trying to have a no-strings-attached fling. And women are onto their motives.
The City of Angels is also the city of sex. Trojan's annual sex census has found that people living in LA have the most sex in the US; they get laid an average of 135 times a year. But residents in the So Cal city are not the most satisfied. That prize goes to Philadelphia, where the sexual satisfaction rate is at 82 percent.