Previous research was preformed surrounding the topic of sex dreams and why they occur. “Although dreams have been a source of fascination for people throughout recorded history, many questions remain about what dreams are, why we dream, and what informs the content of our dreams” (Hmidan &Weaver, 2019, pg 5). The study identifies the reasoning behind a person’s brain related to sex dreams and how a person responded to these dreams based on several factors. The hypothesis takes a further look into the facts of the study and contributes to the overall results of the study and helps look at other questions related to this study in order to further understand what the overall take away is.
Hmidan & Weaver (2019) performed a study to take a closer look at the idea of sex dreams. In this study, the authors looked at different factors that would affect a person’s dream to cause them to have these sexual related dreams. The results of this study found that there was more of a positive correlation between woman and having sexual related dreams, as well as people who scored higher with sociosexuality also had more sex dreams than people who had lower results.
The main body of this paper will go into detail of the methods, procedures, and results of this study which will help further examine the main factors that contributed to this experiment and its relevance.
There has been little research preformed in history that relates to sexual dreams and their relevance to a person’s life experiences (Hmidan & Weaver, 2019). When looking back on history, there has been many hypothesis based on different people surrounding the question of what dreams are and why people have them. Some say that dreams are messages from God (Donald, 2000 as cited in Hmidan & Weaver, 2019). There have also been research theories that dreams are only a result of being unconscious, having no real meaning (Brill, 1997 as cited in Hmidan & Weaver, 2019). Finally, there has been more research that suggests that having dreams is based on neurons and the brain signaling random neural firing (Hobson & McCarley, 1977 as cited in Hmidan & Weaver, 2019). All of these previous theories have been looked at in this new research study that looks at sexual dreams and the impact they have on the cause and effect relationship of a person.
Hmidan and Weaver (2019) created a method pertaining to this study by using 482 participants that were above the age of 18 coming from either a university in Canada, or a random online study that was collected through Reddit. The argument from the study explains that sex dreams happen because of sociosexuality, gender, and erotophilia. This was looked at with three different hypothesis. The first one was that men would report having more sex dreams in a positive way than woman. Then the second one was that men would have higher scores of sociosexuality and erotophilia than woman. The final one was that any person who had higher scores in sociosexuality and erotophilia would also have a higher rate of sexual related dreams and would have more of a positive correlation to these dreams (Hmidan & Weaver, 2019).
The method performed by Hmidan and Weaver (2019) was done by giving the participants a questionnaire that looked at their own life including the “age, gender, ethnicity, academic year, religious attitude, sexual orientation, and relationship status” (Hmidan & Weaver, 2019, pg 7). All of these factors contributed to the results of the study that was performed. The questions would help the results become more clear based on what the participants answered. There was also different questions that factored in a person’s attitude towards certain things such as sexual relations and number of partners. The study looked at many different factors that would play an important role in the results of the analysis to help support the hypothesis that was originally represented. The study took different surveys and gave them to the people who were participants in the trial. This helped them gather more info and allowed them to further their knowledge of the results. One of the questionnaire surveys asked the participants about their sexual dreams in detail and assessed the positive or negative correlation to these dreams (Hmidan &Weaver, 2019).
The Design of this research done by Hmidan and Weaver (2019) was to gather people based on the internet or the University. There was a total of 20.5% of students who were recruited from the University and then the rest were gathered from the internet. These factors affected the results of the study based on how they were gathered in the first place. There was also a bonus point given to students who completed the study completely. This factor helped more students participate in the study. Overall, these participants were gathered in order to take part in the research study that was given via questionnaires that looked at the person’s connection to sex dreams (Hmidan & Weaver, 2019).
Hmidan and Weaver (2019) collected the data and saw that it was based on the person’s gender differences across different study cases. These different factors such as frequency of sex dream, positive or negative correlation, valence, and gender/sexual orientation, were all looked at while the study was being performed. There were also different results based on the person’s lifestyle including how many sexual partners they had, setting, and type of sex dreams they were having (Hmidan & Weaver, 2019). The types of dreams that the participants had greatly affected the results that linked back to the hypothesis because of the specific details that were provided. Different results related to certain aspects of the study performed. Hmidan and Weaver (2019) also gave a consent form that helped keep these participants in line in order to have permission to collect data.
The data that was provided based on the participant’s answers to the questionnaire were first cleaned out by Hmidan and Weaver (2019). There were some flaws that had to be filtered in order to have true results that were accurate. “Data for three participants under the age of 18 were removed. Data for a further 17 participants were removed for not meeting the dream recall requirement” (Hmidan & Weaver, 2019, pg 11). Most of the participants were females and they only had a few men and even fewer transgender/nonbinary people. The majority of the participants were from the population recruited from online resources. This data that was collected from Hmidan and Weaver (2019) contributed to the results of the lab and procedure because of the main sources that these participants were coming from.
Over a period of time, the participants were to answer from the questionnaire that Hmidan and Weaver (2019) gave them which asked how many times a week they had a sexual related dream. These answers were filtered and separated based on the response to the dream and the correlation to the attitude of the person having the dream. There was only a few recorded answers that had to be canceled because of the factors that made these answers inaccurate such as the age of the participants and the amount of times the participants answered (Hmidan, Weaver, 2019).
The data analysis showed Hmidan and Weaver (2019) that the main participants were female and were not religious. These factors are important based on the detail of the participants having the sex dreams. There were several variables that were given in the questionnaire to describe the type of dreams the person was having and how it related to their waking life, if it did at all. These also incorporated that most of the participants were married or had a significant other, with only 37% being single and not seeing anyone at the time. Most of the participants recorded having a dream that relates to sex about 3 times a week, and then there was just under the majority who recorded having a dream less often (Hmidan & Weaver, 2019).
Hmidan and Weaver’s (2019) data showed as having a somewhat positive dream, then the rest of the data showed that less people (31.5%) had a neither positive or negative dream, finally with the least amount of participants having mostly negative dreams. The majority of men had more positive dreams while the woman had more negative dreams. There was also 16% of participants who recorded having a dream that signified a past trauma related to sexual factors. Hmidan and Weaver’s (2019) data explained that many of the participants had their first sexual dream at the age of 10-15, with more men recorded than woman.
Reports gathered by Hmidan and Weaver (2019) showed that men had more dreams that involved people who were complete strangers to that person while woman reported having dreams that involved people they knew/had a relationship with. The explicitly of the dreams showed that men had more detailed dreams and woman had simpler dreams that involved more lightweight things such as flirting or kissing. The process of this involved recording the data correlation involving men and woman whereas people who were transgender or nonbinary were discluded from the gender based results (Hmidan & Weaver, 2019).
To test the final hypothesis, Hmidan and Weaver (2019) looked at erotophilia and its correlation with the testing. Participants who had higher data of sexual related dreams recorded having a higher erotophilia score as well. This factor also showed that people with higher erotophilia also recorded seeing these dreams with a more positive outlook. Gender was a huge factor that contributed to the results of this article because the researchers wanted to know if gender would have a large effect on the data. The gender relation to the dream has been previously lacked research and consideration. The data showed that there was an indirect effect on gender and sex dreams through sociosexuality (Hmidan & Weaver, 2019).
Some of the data couldn’t be concluded by Hmidan and Weaver (2019) because some of the participants left out important information such as details of the sex dream or the lack of remembrance of the most recent sex dream that occurred. There was a constant repeating results that described having the same descriptions of the dreams which analyzed having “similar dreams with no defining gender differences” (Hmidan & Weaver, 2019). Most of the dreams didn’t have a specific location which made that section of the data almost irrelevant to the study. There were reoccurring developments of dreams that stayed constant throughout the study such as frequency and gender differences (Hmidan &Weaver, 2019).
As explained in the main body, Hmidan and Weaver (2019) showed many factors of the results of the participants determining gender differences of the sexual related dreams as well as the hypothesis being tested. The results showed that there were more woman having a negative correlation to the dream and men having a positive correlation to the dreams and the results showed that people who had higher results of erotophilia also had more frequent dreams. (Hmidan & Weaver, 2019).
There were many strengths presented in the article such as the use of several factors that contributed to the study. Hmidan and Weaver (2019) looked at many aspects of the details regarding the study such as the gender differences, sociosexuality of the participants, and the erotophilia ratings. These little details made the article better to understand and gave the researchers more of an overall collection of data. Also, the article was published through a university which helps make it more valid and reliable.
There were several flaws that are important to understand in this article. There was an interest in looking at the location that this research took place. The participants involved had a very impactful effect on the research given. Hmidan and Weaver (2019) gathered all of the participants that either came from the Canadian University or from an online recruitment. This information goes to show that the data provided is specific to location which not only changes the results of the data, but the accuracy of the data. This is because doing a study that is online changes who is involved in the study but also changes the accuracy of what is recorded based on how much the participant cares to provide. Also, the Canadian University participants were rewarded an extra bonus point if they complete the study. This might change the motivation of the participants based on why they are doing the research study which also changes how much effort they actually put into the study.
All of the participants were above the age of 18 as provided by Hmidan and Weaver (2019). This information can impact the data because it is really specific to who the data is centered towards. The data is specific to a certain group of people and shows that the data only shows the scientific factors of adults. Not only did the age affect the results of the study, but the amount of participants (482) also impacts the research. (Hmidan & Weaver, 2019). Although there was a higher number of people involved in the study, there were also a percentage of people who failed to report their answers and give a good amount of research in order to collect accurate data. This information shows that the data was not 100% complete throughout all of the participants.
One of the most unreliable factors was that most of the participants involved in the study were woman. This greatly impacts Hmidan and Weaver’s (2019) study because the data isn’t completely centered on all factors of gender identification. It was more specific to woman which doesn’t support the hypothesis of sex dreams being based on gender. If there were more variety of gender or even transgender/nonbinary people, the accuracy of the data would be more relevant to consistency. This makes the study less neutral.
Overall, there were a few flaws that made the study less reliable. This research done by Hmidan and Weaver (2019) and data that was given had a different effect on the results of the study and there were different contributions that put a negative toll on the research provided. Had they changed the different parts of the studies such as the gender differences and frequency of the recorded answers, the results could have been more reliable and specific to detail.
- Hmidan, A. Weaver, A.D. (2019). Sex dreams: Gender, erotophilia, and sociosexuality as predictors of content, valence, and frequency. Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 28 (2), 177-189.