Flashback Friday: Google search patterns reveal human mating season.

By Seriously Science | April 10, 2015 10:59 am
Photo: flickr/sarahrosenau

Photo: flickr/sarahrosenau

Humans like to think that we’re different from other animals, even down to our sexual behaviors. But as we’ve previously shown on this blog, we still have a lot in common with our furry (and sometimes non-furry) pals, from fellatio to ménage à trois. Well, here’s something else you can add to the list: mating seasons. Previous work has shown that signs of human sex and mating behaviors–for example, births, STDs, and condom sales–follow a seasonal pattern that peaks every six months. Here, two researchers show that even Google searches follow this pattern. More specifically, searches for topics related to pornography, prostitution, and mate-seeking (e.g., “xxx”, “boobs”, “brothel”, “eHarmony”) peak in the winter and early summer, consistent with the patterns of other human mating behaviors. So there you have it: you’re nothing but a mammal, so do it like they do on the Discover… Magazine :)

Seasonal variation in internet keyword searches: a proxy assessment of sex mating behaviors.

“The current study investigated seasonal variation in internet searches regarding sex and mating behaviors. Harmonic analyses were used to examine the seasonal trends of Google keyword searches during the past 5 years for topics related to pornography, prostitution, and mate-seeking. Results indicated a consistent 6-month harmonic cycle with the peaks of keyword searches related to sex and mating behaviors occurring most frequently during winter and early summer. Such results compliment past research that has found similar seasonal trends of births, sexually transmitted infections, condom sales, and abortions.”

Related content:
People prefer mates with a 22% resemblance to themselves.
Male squid with underdog mating strategy also make giant swarming sperm.
Insect fossil porn: Jurassic edition.

  • Lindsay AndChristopher Duff

    We just had like 6 babys, born pretty close together, to the employees at my small vet clinic of like 14 staff. I’m super convinced that our clinic has represented a breeding ground of sorts.. that when surrounded by other pregnant women hormones that we were unknowingly biologically encourage to mate.

    • Dottie Hart

      I’ve heard of that happening a couple times in the last 20 years or so… one of which I was a part of! I worked at a Wal-Mart store around 18 years ago in Groton Connecticut where I believe in the end, 10 or 12 of us ladies were pregnant at the same time! Becoming pregnant within a few weeks to a few months of one another, starting mid to late summer! Our bosses would say it was something in the water at that Wal-Mart store! Not to mention… the wives of a few of the men that worked there also became pregnant! If I’m not mistaken, all but 1… maybe 2 were baby boys… I had my 3rd son that spring!

  • Guest



Seriously, Science?

Seriously, Science?, formerly known as NCBI ROFL, is the brainchild of two prone-to-distraction biologists. We highlight the funniest, oddest, and just plain craziest research from the PubMed research database and beyond. Because nobody said serious science couldn't be silly!
Follow us on Twitter: @srslyscience.
Send us paper suggestions: srslyscience[at]gmail.com.

See More


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Collapse bottom bar