There's been a theory circulating for some time now around the scientific and semen-loving communities, which proposes that that man-made substance can reduce depression. A sex columnist at Popular Science's website decided to investigate if the claims might be true — and good news, ladies-and-certain-gentlemen: It just might!

The origins of the "jizz as happy food" school of thought lie in a 2002 study from SUNY Albany, which investigated anecdotal evidence of mood-boosts in women who'd recently had unprotected sex. 293 college women were studied, and the findings suggested that semen was indeed the culprit:

Women who always had unprotected sex had significantly lower levels of depression symptoms than those who usually or always used condoms, as well as those who abstained from sex.

But maybe the kind of woman who would have unprotected sex — daring, say, or coupled — just led happier existences? That was the main criticism of skeptics. Gordon Gallup, Jr., the evolutionary psychologist who led the original study, still stands by his findings, insisting every control was taken to ensure it was the cum-guzzling alone that raised spirits.

Some other interesting findings about semen:

  • It may "promote bonding between the female and her sexual partner," which would work to the males "reproductive advantage."
  • Three compounds in seminal plasma are estrogen, prostaglandins and oxytocin — all of which have been linked to lower depression levels and ease of social bonding.
  • Evidence suggests some women use unprotected sex as "a means of self-medicating," and that "semen withdrawal" exists.

It's all rather encouraging! Adding semen to your down-in-the-dumps co-worker's water bottle is still very much considered a crime, however, regardless of how good your intentions were. [, photo via 20th Century Fox]