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November 02, 2006

Thank You Captain Obvious

File under "duh":

Researchers also found that married people have the most sex, and that there has been a gradual shift to delay marriage, even in developing countries.

And double duh...

The swinging-singles stereotype has been oversold – a global survey of sexual behaviour shows married people have more sex.

A Lancet medical journal analysis of sex in 55 countries, published online today, found that married people had the most sex.

Fewer than half of unmarried non-virgins reported having sex in the past month. The study did not consider New Zealand.

Along with other industrialised countries, Australia was one in which having two or more sexual partners in the past year was comparatively common.

In what researchers said was proof the sexual double standard was still strong, more men than women reported having more than one partner.

*crickets chirping*

"These findings beg the question of who the men are having sex with," they wrote.

If they hadn't excluded New Zealand, we might have been tempted to ask the sheep.

Posted by Cassandra at November 2, 2006 05:17 PM

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In what researchers said was proof the sexual double standard was still strong, more men than women reported having more than one partner. [snip] "These findings beg the question of who the men are having sex with," they wrote.

Actually this is quite possible.

Let's take 2 populations of 10 each, one male one female.

We'll call the males:
a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j
and the females:
A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J

Both A and B sleep with all 10 males. 100% of the men have had multiple partners while only 20% of females did. The average number of partners per person would be equal (assuming heterosexual activity only) but the proportion with multiple partners don't have to be.

Yes, I'm an analyst who's overthinking a fun post. So beat me (but, I might like it).

Posted by: Masked Menace© at November 2, 2006 06:02 PM

...and more overthinking:

Of course this study is conducted by that paragon of statistical virtue, The Lancet.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at November 2, 2006 06:04 PM

Yes, I'm an analyst who's overthinking a fun post. So beat me (but, I might like it).

/smack!

another possible interpretation is reporting error. And knowing male behavior, I would want to know how these questions were asked.

They have done trials with sex studies that show if you put a man in a closed room and ask him questions about how many partners he's had, etc. (i.e., questions that tend to make him feel good/bad about his experience/prowess) on average you'll get 'inflated' answers if you place lots of people in a room and 'more honest' answers if you put a person alone in a room. And forget interviewing - you have to let them fill out a form to eliminate the influence of "bragging". Women, they found, were slightly less susceptible to this behavior (I'd think we'd underreport due to other biases. I know I would).

Interesting, no?

People are weird.

Posted by: Cassandra at November 2, 2006 06:14 PM

Mother Superior wishes for me to express to you, Miss Cassandra, that this story is highly inappropriate and of poor taste for your readers at the Convent. And attitudes around here don't change quickly about things. One of the sistern recently, tired of the same old day after day Chardonnay was elated to hear Mother Superior announce there was a new case of Gonorr___somethig or other. I forget. Since I'm not really a wine conniseur (or speller thereof), I was wondering if that was white or red whine..?

Posted by: Rocky Mtn Lioness, Convent Spokesperson at November 2, 2006 08:18 PM

[overthink]
"Bragging/shame bias" is something that good statisticians try to eliminate up front, especially surveys. There are several techniques that any good survey sampling course should cover. Not all of them require removing the interviewer. One makes use of randomly choosing one of two questions to answer and *not* telling the interviewer which one you answered.
[/overthink]

Posted by: Masked Menace at November 3, 2006 12:28 AM

I've often said that the people who talk about sex the most...are generally the ones doing it the least.

Posted by: camojack at November 3, 2006 01:33 AM

I think that depends on how you're talking about it, camo.

If you mean bragging about it, that might be true. On the otter heiny, I've noticed in my own life (with some amusement) over the years that with me at least there seems to be a fairly direct correlation to how happy I am / frequency (though if you're married that is pretty much a given and so the whole self esteem thing is kind of taken out of the equation :).

IOW, under normal circumstances I guess I think about it fairly often, though not for very long, and so I'll make little quips and whatnot just because I'm happy. The only time that changes is if my husband is deployed (IOW I'm *not* having sex). Then I am not terribly happy and I'd just as soon not think about it at all because I miss him, so I tend to put the subject out of mind completely and focus on other things rather than think of something I can't have and be miserable.

Posted by: Cassandra at November 3, 2006 04:42 AM

I guess that's another man/woman thing I've never understood: why more partners/more frequency would be something you'd brag about. I find a lot of this stuff interesting, just as I find most anything related to human behavior interesting. But I'm not sure quantity is better than quality and especially if you're married I could see an argument for quality/satisfaction outweighing quantity.

Certainly once you are married there is no great status implied in 'scoring' with your mate, and therefore not really much to brag about :p It's simply one of the things that makes life worth living - something you do together, not something that redounds to your credit.

I mean, unless you're going to get into the gory details, which I can't imagine even women doing (and we talk about this stuff far more than men do, and in more detail and we don't even go there) how could you ever 'compare' your sex life with someone else's? Why would you want to?

I usually put this stuff up because:

(a) first and foremost, I find it interesting
(b) secondly, I think it's funny - most of these studies have at least one comical aspect to them from a human interest standpoint
(c) I think people are interested in whatever the 'norm' is perceived to be, but often that idea is skewed to one side or another by some bias
(d) as Menace pointed out, the studies themseslves often have interesting flaws and I'm interested in sampling techniques
(e) I just have a slightly dirty mind, and I love to laugh!

Posted by: Cassandra at November 3, 2006 04:58 AM

I think that depends on how you're talking about it, camo.
Posted by: Cassandra at November 3, 2006 04:42 AM

No argument here. :-)

I'm interested in sampling techniques...
Posted by: Cassandra at November 3, 2006 04:58 AM

Heh. Yeah, me too; the more techniques I "sample", the better. :-D
(That's a "two-way" street...)

Posted by: camojack at November 3, 2006 08:15 AM

"...there is no firm link between promiscuity and sexually transmitted diseases."

Am I the only one who laughed at this particular word choice? Maybe it really is too early in the morning for me to try thinking seriously......

Posted by: Sly2017 at November 3, 2006 11:25 AM

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