Bad news for anyone with an attitude problem.
Going through a sexual dry spell? You could try hitting up Tinder—or you could help an elderly woman cross the street. Why? According to a recent study published in the British Journal of Psychology, altruistic people are more likely to engage in higher levels of sexual activity than their more selfish counterparts.
This information was collected in two Canadian studies performed at the University of Guelph and Nipissing University. In the first study, lead researcher Dr. Steven Arnocky had participants self-report how often they engaged in selfless behavior, like helping a stranger move a stalled car or donating to charity.
In the second study, participants were entered into a drawing for 100 dollars and given the option of either keeping their winnings or donating the winnings to charity. Researchers discovered that in both studies, altruistic participants had more sexual partners throughout their lifetimes, engaged in more casual sex and even had more sex within their committed relationships.
Now, before you run out and help a stranger carry their groceries, you should know that there is currently no causal link between being nice and getting laid. However, studies have shown that in long-term relationships, humans prefer nicer partners.
This information seems contradictory to what we’ve previously been told?—?that nice guys finish last, that women prefer bad boys to good men. But from an evolutionary perspective, these findings make sense. As Dr. Arnocky told VICE:
“The reason seems to be rooted in the fact that humans have evolved to engage in long-term pair-bonding and bi-parental care of dependent offspring. Ancestors who happened to prefer qualities in a partner that signaled a willingness and ability to invest in their partners and offspring would have been at a distinct reproductive advantage.”
And an enviable sex life is not the only reason to be nice?—?science also shows that being kind can be beneficial for your health. In a study conducted by the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, researchers discovered that participants in a “lovingkindness” meditation class were happier and more socially connected after completing the six-week course, which in turn led to a lower risk of heart disease.
Then there’s the fact that having more sex can also increase your levels of happiness. A study published in the National Bureau of Economic Research indicates that increasing your sexual activity can have the same effect on your personal happiness as getting a $50,000 raise each year.
So, to sum up: being kind can improve your health and your sex life. Having more sex can make you a happier person. And happiness can make you a kinder person, thereby completing the cycle.
When you put it like that, it doesn’t sound like nice people finish last after all.