Err, no Tracy

In Britain, that’s an average of 12.7 heterosexual partners over a lifetime, compared with just 6.5 for women. Except that it is logistically impossible for the average man to have more partners than the average woman.

Depends which average we\’re talking about: entirely possible for 1% of women to have hundreds or even thousands of sexual contacts and 99 % to have few.

We even have a name for those who make their living doing so: prostitutes.

11 thoughts on “Err, no Tracy”

  1. I suspect that the distribution for men is skewed in favour of a % of men having many partners (the alpha males) and the rest having considerably fewer, with a sizeable proportion having very few, if none at all. Thus the median for men would be lower than the average.

    Whereas I suspect the median and average for women is closer together – the prostitute effect is overstated in my view – it is unlikely that many prostitutes are a) included in these stats, and b) if they were, answered accurately.

  2. If the average is the mean, the distribution of the partners isn’t an issue. If you’re going to pick people up on statistics, you might as well be right.

    You could argue that there may be sampling bias against prostitutes, I suppose.

  3. The numbers of partners a man has is independent of the numbers of partners a woman has. Tracy seems to think they are dependent.

  4. “Well it can’t be median if it’s not a whole number.”

    Technically, it could be. Consider the data set: “1, 2, 3, 4” – the median is 2.5.
    That said, I think any median has to be a multiple of 0.5 (I could be wrong though – and certainly it’s possible to get other figures using more complex calculations to approximate medians).

  5. I did also wonder if lots of men are sleeping with women from abroad, or if there was a significant sampling bias among the people who answered the survey…

    I have to say, 12.7 partners seems a little crazy to me.

  6. Reminds me of the summary of an American survey I saw a few years ago – it was looking at the wildly exciting subject of masturbatory habits of teen males – and concluded that “97% of sexually-mature teenage males masturbated and 3% were liars”.. 🙂

  7. Except that it is logistically impossible for the average man to have more partners than the average woman.

    Not true. Take a population of 1 man and 10 women. Man shags each one. Men average 10 partners, women average 1.

  8. “Up to the age of around 70, the number of males and females are fairly equal. At older ages, towards the top of the pyramid, females outnumber males. ”

    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=6

    Unless you think the stats are skewed by the over 70’s, then we do not have 10 women for every man (I know you were taking an extreme example to make a point)

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