In truth, graduate students in mathematics are more concerned with prime numbers than they are with primal instincts. I did not even kiss a girl until a full two years after I got my doctorate... Mathematics, though a predominantly male endeavour for whatever reason – is definitely not testosterone-fuelled.Let's break this apart, bottom to top. Can't the last sentence read "is definitely not hormone-fuelled" or something of the like? True, it is predominately male, but that's not to say that the sex drive of mathematicians has to be driven by testosterone. Women have just as much of a right to be crazy sex-monkeys as men and initiate whatever the hell they want.
I am sorry, but "did not kiss a girl until a full two years after I got my doctorate"?! Please do not associate the fact that you are a mathematician with that. You just possibly destroyed a whole future generation of potentially brilliant mathematicians who now think that if they study mathematics, they will not kiss a girl until their late-20s. Not really selling the whole "Math is cool" concept, now are we? We want to encourage young, hormonal teenagers into studying mathematics, not scaring the hell out of them.
The line "...graduate students in mathematics are more concerned with prime numbers than they are with primal instincts" really drives me nuts. Okay, now I am not a graduate student in mathematics (astrophysics is my master!); my degree in mathematics may only be at a Bachelor's level, but man, did I live up the title of "Bachelor degree". My primal instincts ruled most of my decisions during those years and yes, I found complex analysis and the male persuasion equally sexy (though that would fluctuate depending on the time of day). Let me tell you, the day I learned about Cauchy's Integral Theorem, I went straight home and showed my boyfriend exactly how to integrate my curves!
Right, let us discuss this bit:
There is a noble lineage of brilliant mathematicians who probably never dated and who never married...Fair enough, but here is a logical statement: Some brilliant mathematicians hated sex and never married. This does not imply that all mathematicians hate sex, nor that if you hate sex you will be a brilliant mathematician. Imagine some young, impressionable, intelligent boy or girl read this and think to themselves, "Oh no! I am attracted to that hot, young thing in my English class, that must mean that I will never be a brilliant mathematician." That is not the impression we want to be giving.
True, mathematical brilliance may not necessitate an understanding of passion or love, in the same way lyrical brilliance might, but that does not mean it is mutually exclusive. I would argue that to see the beauty in mathematical proofs and concepts, it helps to see the beauty in the world around us. I remember first learning about Green's Theorem and suddenly realising that math was indeed beautiful. In fact, that was the same day I decided to pursue mathematics as a separate degree; I wanted to learn as much as I could about how mathematics describes the world.
I am not an expert on sex drive, nor by any means am I a mathematical genius, but one should never exclude the other. I never dated until I was out of high school, but I do not think that had anything to do with my skills in mathematics, that was just because I did not feel a desire to. I certainly had a sex drive, but just was not ready to pursue it. It came in time, and never once along the way did anyone tell me that my skills in math came in exchange for a sex drive, like this article is implying.
Sex is distracting, no one can argue that. When you are in the middle of writing a thesis or doing top research, sex is a bit of a deterrent, one need only use my last 6 months of my undergraduate degree as an example. So, okay, maybe when you are working on the next Maxwell's Equations, or simply trying to finish a proof for your linear algebra class, it may not necessarily be the best idea to have a naked person in the room with you. I don't know about you, but for me I found it easier to walk away from my Abstract Algebra assignments for said naked person, then say, my Complex Analysis, therefore clarifying in my mind where my priorities lay that's what she said.
No one should ever imply that mathematicians are not and can never be sexy. Mathematicians may be the only people in the world who find math itself sexy, but believe me, we are capable of also finding people sexy and frankly, I think it makes us much more fun.