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Rex Sorgatz

The Grey Album is less great in retrospect

aug 12
2007

Promiscuous Girl

I see survey after survey declare that men have more sexual partners than women. And it annoys me every time, because this is of course statistically impossible. The New York Times finally takes up the issue. The answer? Men aren't more promiscuous -- they lie more. Or, perhaps, women lie by underestimating.

9 comments

My guess here is the lying is nearly equal. And, please don't think this sexist, but I think women might actually under-lie a bit more than men over-lie. The social pressure for women to be pure is greater than the pressure of men to be virile.

I dated a girl a while back who threw a conniption when I asked how many people she had slept with. Although viscerally psychological, her reaction also seemed sociologically created.

posted by Rex at 5:57 PM on August 12, 2007

If they're just sleeping with other men, then it's possible.

posted by Scooter at 9:41 PM on August 12, 2007

The article and the studies all state clearly that they are about hetero sex.

posted by rex at 11:38 PM on August 12, 2007

See this website

posted by OTI at 2:54 PM on August 13, 2007

Maybe they're all deluded, like the guy in the classic Savage Love who claimed he was 110% straight after going for a (male) massage and getting a thumb up the exposed side. And then going again.

posted by Scooter at 8:45 AM on August 14, 2007

It's not statistically impossible at all. If you have four women who each sleep with one guy, and one who sleeps with ten. Then if you have five guys who have each slept with three women, you have a study that shows men are more promiscuous than women.

Of course, the lying thing probably wouldn't help. I haven't read the article, but I'd be curious if it goes in to what each gender considers what sex is. Maybe men are more likely to include oral sex as sex than women, for example.

posted by Johnny at 3:04 PM on August 14, 2007

I just read the article and I am curious why they didn't talk about outliers. If, like in the example I brought up, four women slept with one and one slept with ten, there would be a strong argument that says you should throw out the woman who slept with ten, making the averages more equal.

The other problem is that this article doesn't cite a specific study that shows that men are more likely to exaggerate. It merely says that men have more partners than women, so they might be exaggerating more.

posted by Johnny at 3:18 PM on August 14, 2007

You're right on the math, but wrong on the potential for difference. In other words, it's mathemetically possible to account for all of this with outliers, but to account for 100% differences would create ridiculous outliers. There might be an outlier factor, but it can't reasonable account for most of the difference.

posted by Rex at 3:38 PM on August 14, 2007

And also: if gender-defined outliers were really the cause, that would be an extraordinary story unto itself.

posted by Rex at 3:46 PM on August 14, 2007




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