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If men have 7 sexual partners and women have 4…

November 12th, 2007     by Tuval Dinner     Comments

Okay, this doesn’t sound like the usual start to those horrible math problems you have to solve on exams but it has stumped a bunch of smarty pants mathematicians.

Lots of studies show that, on average, heterosexual men say they have had 7 sexual partners in their lifetime while heterosexual women say they have had 4. I’m embarassed to admit this but I never thought about how this doesn’t add up. Let me explain. If you have a population of 10 heterosexual people (5 men and 5 women) and the men say they have had 7 partners and the women say they have had 4 then either people are lying or some of those men slept with women from a different population who were not surveyed.

Does this make sense? Basically, mathematicians are questioning the validity of the numerous studies that say men are more promiscuous than women. Because those promiscuous men have to be having sex with someone, right? And they’re not worried just because the math is wrong. When people think they’re supposed to be like everybody else (eg. be more of a man) then they adjust their behaviour accordingly. So if studies keep telling men that they’re supposed to have more sexual partners than women are (which is mathematically impossible), then men are being pressured to be a version of masculinity that is impossible to achieve. Nevermind the effect it has by encouraging the punishment of women who choose to have a variety of sexual partners.

Check out the article here and let me know if you figure out the answer.

Tags: news flash

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