Young women are having three times as many erotic dreams as their grandmothers did 50 years ago, according to a new study.
The amount of time women between the ages of 16 and 30 spend dreaming about sex is now almost as much as that spent by men of the same age.
And, according to psychologists, women today are more likely to remember erotic dreams than those of previous generations because they no longer feel shame about admitting having them.
More than one in five dreams experienced by younger women have an erotic element, the new research reveals, with women under 30 having three times as many erotic dreams as women of that age reported in a similar study conducted in 1966.
More than one in five dreams experienced by younger women have an erotic element, the new research reveals (stock image)
The previous study was conducted on the brink of what is now known as the Sexual Revolution, just before the Pill became commonplace and pre-marital sex was still widely frowned upon.
The latest study, conducted by researchers from the University of Freiburg in Germany, asked 2,907 men and women aged between 16 and 92 about their dreams. The results were published in the journal Psychology & Sexuality.
Overall, for both sexes, 18 per cent of dreams are erotic, three to four times the number of dreams we have about sport or politics.
An erotic dream was defined as having ‘sexually motivated’ activity that could also include flirting and kissing.
The results showed 83.8 per cent had experienced an erotic dream, and that, overall, 18.2 per cent of dreams were erotic. The 16 to 30 age group had the highest rate of erotic dreams: 25.3 per cent for men and 22.1 for women. That compared to dreams about music (6.15 per cent), sport (5.94 per cent), and politics (4.11 per cent).
Previous studies in 1966 and 1998 both found fewer than four per cent of women reporting erotic dreams, compared to around 12 per cent of men.
The latest study, conducted by researchers from the University of Freiburg in Germany (pictured), asked 2,907 men and women aged between 16 and 92 about their dreams
The latest report concluded: ‘The gender difference in the percentage of erotic dreams in men and women aged 16 to 30 in the present study is lower than that found in a 1966 study, which could reflect the evolution induced in modern societies by the feminism movements. One might speculate that younger women in modern society deal with sexuality more openly than older women of previous generations.’
Behavioural psychologist Jo Hemming, who has studied the results of the survey, believes women are more likely to remember an erotic dream if they feel good about it.
She said: ‘Women are on more of a level playing field in terms of relationships than they were.
‘We are more likely to remember the good dream before it disappears back into our subconscious.
‘Erotic dreams are more likely to fall into that category as opposed to making us feel guilty.
‘What they don’t go into in the report is the type of dreams women are having compared to the ones men are having, which I suspect are still pretty different.’