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No. 137: SEP-OCT 2001

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Sex and TGA

A curious and somewhat amusing mental phenomenon strikes about a dozen out of every 100,000 people. These hapless individuals, for better of worse, develop amnesia during or right after sex. They recover in six hours or so but have no recollection of what happened during that period.

This type of amnesia, Transient Global Amnesia (TGA), is more frequent among people in their 50s and 60s. Men are slightly more susceptible than women.

(Anonymous; "Who Was That Lady I Saw You With Last Night?" Chicago Sun-Times, June 29, 2001. Source cited: the British medical journal Lancet. Cr. J. Cieciel.)

Comment. How could we avoid commenting on this one? But we'll take the high road!

Since sexual amnesia has not been eliminated by natural selection, it very likely has (or had) some survival value. We wonder what that might be (or have been)? Could sex have been extremely unpleasant in the past---so much so that memories of the act had to be suppressed in order for the species to continue?

From Science Frontiers #137, SEP-OCT 2001. 2001 William R. Corliss

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