Sunday, April 06, 2008

Who lies more about sex: men or women?

In 2005 a survey by a psychologist, Norman Brown of the University of Alberta, found that men reported an average of 31.9 partners. When asked the same question women reported an average of 8.6 partners.

Another trashy sex article in 'The Times', which used to be a quality newspaper. I'm not against articles about sex, but this one is just so poorly written and confused. For example, she starts by saying that the 'experts' explain the difference in sex partner numbers by the fact that men over-exaggerate and women under. But if she'd bothered to do her research properly, she'd have found that:

Surveys suggesting that men are more sexually active than women may be wrong because women are more likely to lie when answering questions about their own sexual activity, a clever new U.S. study has found.

And this is not new: it was found 5 years ago. Basically they asked men and women, whilst under different conditions, to answer questions about their number of past sexual partners. One of the conditions involved the participants thinking that they were hooked up to an extremely sensitive lie detector machine which would reveal if they were lying, even if they were writing down the answers. Tellingly, under this condition it was women, not men, who revised the number of sexual partners they admitted to.

Yet Rachel Johnson inaccurately writes: "To explain this bizarre discrepancy experts resort to the conclusion that men like to present themselves as sexual conquistadors... and women present themselves as restrained and picky when it comes to sexual partners. The truth is probably somewhere in between."

In other words, shes claiming that both men and women lie: men over-report, women under-report. But whilst this claim might SEEM reasonable, its not what the evidence shows.

Yet she THEN says: " It’s interesting to note, though, that if asked a direct question, men are still tempted to give a direct answer about their sex lives, and to exaggerate, while a woman’s instinct is almost always to lie."

Make your mind up! Who is lying Rachel? On the one hand you say that men are exaggerating, yet on the other you are saying they are direct and women's instinct is to lie.

Do you see how poorly written and confused this is?

Finally, after implying that a man who reports 30 previous 'conquests' is exaggerating for effect, she then says that 30 is actually a small number, because assuming a sex life beginning in the mid teens, a person in their 30s would have had more than two sex partners a year.

Well that is CERTAINLY the case for MOST single women (other evidence suggests that most women are having regular sex with a small number of highly promiscuous men). So, just think about this if you are tempted to commit to a woman who is in her mid 30s:

It will have been easy for her to have had AT LEAST 4 sexual partners a year since she was, lets say, 15. If she is now 32, that means she'll have slept with at least 68 men. Now, the figure may be higher (as its easily possible for a woman to sleep with more than 4 per year) or lower (if she had long term relationships during those years) but my main points are that:

1. It could Easily be this high


2. She would probably NEVER tell you the truth about it.


Mirror Of The Soul said...

Consider the following:

1) It was written by a woman, therefore lacks the logical and systematic thinking needed to communicate ideas to a greater audience of vastly superior minds - such as you and me.

2) Women "journalists" are sophomoric at best, juvenile at worst...most major newspapers are run by women so why are we not surprised their content resembles that of a high school newspaper.

3) The decline in major newspaper subscriptions [both offline (paper) and online] is at an all time low and will continue to fall until they collapse into oblivion being replaced by the online content of superior quality websites and blogs.

Newspapers run by women thrive on sensation (in their news stories, editorials, etc. - this is why most major newspapers these days read like a soap opera instead of a paper of accurate record to say) instead of inspiration - reflecting the nature of woman (sensational) compared to the nature of man (inspirational).

Darren said...

The papers are definitely getting 'old hat', and ever degrading in quality. There are still some good (male) journalists plying their craft, but it seems the tabloid style has otherwise taken over.

Anonymous said...

Is it actually possible for the avergae number of partners for men to be diffrent from women?

Darren said...

Depends what type of average you are using. If its a mean average, then no. If its a mode (the most popular number) or median (the middle number) then yes.

However, what a mean average hides is the fact that the distribution of sex partners is more spread out amongst women, and more concentrated in men. For example, if you had a situation whereby MOST men were not having sex, but a tiny minority were having sex with the majority of women, then the averages numbers of sex partners for men and women would be the same, but would be hiding the true story.

Anonymous said...

To be honest I think all these numbers are exaggerations. Alternatively I could have been missing something. No I will go with my first instinct and say I expect that the truth is nearer to men having a 'few partners'. So more that one but less than many. Other claims are either boasts or come from rock stars and I am not one of those.

Darren said...

Its not so much the exact numbers that are the issue, rather the logic through which one gets to them, and then interprets them.

RW said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

To be honest again I think that men's sexual instinct, if not to say obsession, is one of our weakest characteristics. I see it as just a permanent state of discontent. To be honest if there could have been one thing I could have changed within myself it would have been to delete my need and desire for women. It is just a destructive part of my personality causing much pain.