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By Sabine Walter, Pierre A. Lehu

When children ask why people have sex, they often hear about love and expanding on that love by starting a family. Those reasons for sex are pretty accurate, although they leave out some of the finer points. With a more mature viewpoint, it’s worthwhile to consider the finer points about why people have sex.

  • Making babies: Biologically, people are hard-wired to have sex in order to keep the human race going. In other words, at its heart, sex is about making babies — generally and historically speaking. With the advent of contraception, sex and pregnancy aren’t inextricably linked.

    If you absolutely, positively don’t want to make a baby, then don’t have sexual intercourse — be abstinent. No birth control is foolproof.

  • Enjoying a sensory experience: Many people engage in sex for the sensory experience, the wide range of physical and emotional pleasures that a person can derive from sexual activity.

  • Partnering up: Sex can play a role in forming a bond with another person, which is yet another need that humans have.

  • For love and the long haul: The drive to find someone to love remains a strong one. Part of the glue that holds longtime love together is sex.