Psychologist Norman R. Brown at the University of Michigan has done several studies on the discrepancy between the number of sexual partners reported by men and women.

In the recent web-based survey of 2,065 heterosexual non-virgins with a median age in their late 40s, women reported on average 8.6 lifetime sexual partners. The men claimed 31.9! Someone’s been telling some porkies!

Beyond proving that the truth and the penis just don’t seem to meet, it does seem that both sexes are fudging the truth because Brown decided to ask further on in the survey for respondents to rate the truthfulness of their response. Now the thing to bear in mind here is that the question wasn’t asked a few days later, it was a couple of minutes later and 5% of respondents said that they lied and a further 10% said that they knew that their answers weren’t accurate!

Do we really need those couple of minutes for our ego to be boosted? Are we so insecure that we can’t even be honest in a survey that doesn’t reveal who you are to the public?!

Seemingly the discrepancy is down to the method that we use to calculate how many people we’ve slept with. Women tend to use the ‘I just know’ method and reel off names, with men using a rough approximation.

Now we all know that women do tend to underestimate and ‘block out’ bad experiences or the cheeky shag that no-one else knows about, because they think it seems better to have a lower number. On the other hand guys are competitive and as usual it’s a numbers game and will overestimate or should we say grossly exaggerate their partners. Hence no wonder there is such a discrepancy between the numbers.

Apparently his next study will be done by phone to see if this makes a difference to the result. Something tells me it won’t.

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