Ha! I KNEW this.

It’s common knowledge that men generally have significantly more sex partners in their lifetimes than women, right?

Nope. It’s mathematically impossible.

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7 responses to “Ha! I KNEW this.

  1. If person A has sex with 10 women who were virgins before their encounter with person A, and then each of these 10 women got married and had sex with their husbands, then person A would have 10 sex partners and each of the women would have 2 each. The numbers add up, but it still is possible, for men to have more different partners than women, right??? What am I missing.

  2. If you exclude homosexual sex, there has to be an even number, I think. But the article suggested that women were less inclined to accurately report their numbers, and that men tended to, well, embellish theirs. It made me laugh, ok?

  3. nm

    John, it works like this. In the scenario you present:

    10 women have 2 partners each

    11 men have 10 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 20 partners, or an average of 1.9 each

    There’s no statistically significant difference there. You could add in the husbands’ previous partners, of course, and the men’s average number of partners would rise. But you would also have to add in those previous partners to the number of women, and add the husbands (again) to the women’s total partners. And so on.

    For every man having sex with a woman, there’s a woman having sex with a man. So on average, women and men will have the same number of heterosexual sex partners. The only way out of the pattern is threesomes.

  4. The only way out of the pattern is threesomes.

    That’s what i was thinking. The article doesn’t take into account threesomes and I suspect (among you crazy heterosexuals at least ;-)) that MFF threesomes are FAR FAR more common than MMF threesomes.

  5. nm

    Far, far more common statistically, I’m sure. In the sense that (pulling numbers out of the air here) 3 out of 1000 males might do MFF and 1 out of 1000 females might to MMF. But that won’t change the overall mean number of partners for all men and all women all that much.

    No, I think that the difference in the average reported number of partners for men and women results from two things only: the lack of sex workers as respondents and lies (men lie their numbers up; women lie their numbers down).

  6. Where does one find a good MMF threesome anyway? Um, you know, just speaking rhetorically… not for me. A friend… I have a friend who would love to be the eminently squeezable filling in a manwich.

  7. Ahh.. Another thought.

    Extreme outliers. Let’s suppose men have a greater variance in their number of sex partners than do women (you have the “stud” who has slept with 500 women and the “nice guy” who saved himself for marriage). If that were the case, it could simply be a case of sampling error. A few extreme outliers (which per the assumption above would be more likely to occur among the men than the women) could skew male numbers towards a higher mean.

    For instance (for simplicity’s sake we’ll use a sample of 2 of each gender) if you take 2 men and one has slept with 20 women, and the other is a virgin, then the average number of women they have slept with would be 10. If two women have each slept with 6 men, then the average number of men they have slept with would be 6. Therefore the average for male sample would be higher than the average for the female sample, despite the fact that the female sample had slept with even more men than the male sample had slept with women! It’s sampling error, but if the difference in variance between genders were high enough, it would be nearly impossible to avoid such sampling error with realistic sample sizes.

    I know it’s alot of assumptions but I was just trying to stretch it to see if we COULD make the numbers work.

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