Woman who stay up late get laid more than their sun-saluting sisters, says a new study from the University of Chicago. Apparently, that’s because lady night owls tend to have the same “risk-taking propensities” as “risky men” — and night owls of both genders have a lot more casual sex than their early bird peers, who are busy nesting or something.
The difference, scientists say, is hormones — specifically, cortisol. In general, men are known to have higher levels of both cortisol and testosterone than women, but researchers found that night-owl ladies have just as much cortisol as men. And high cortisol levels tend to mean high metabolism, high energy, high cognitive function, and high arousability — all traits, the UChicago team suggests, that might cause the night owls to take more risks. Risks like not settling down, and also sex. Lots of sex.
As lead author Dario Maestripieri explains, the “night-owl trait” may actually have evolved to help our cavemen ancestors “facilitate short-term mating” outside of their committed relationships. Once the buffalo is hunted and the kids are in bed — that’s when the “social and mating opportunities” really begin. Or at least, that’s Maestripieri’s current hypothesis, supported by the fact that male night owls have twice as many sex partners as gentleman early birds.
Pretty much, this is good news all around. Early birds tend to commit, and commitment is great. Night owls, meanwhile, tend to have a sex with a bunch of different people — sex, too, is great. Everyone dances to the beat of their own circadian rhythm! And if you’re a night owl and your partner is not, I don’t know, coffee?