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Submission + - The Myth, the Math, the Sex (nytimes.com) 3

gollum123 writes: "A nice article in the NYtimes talks about how statistical data which has been repeatedly given out about why men are more promiscuous than women, cannot be logically consistent with math ( http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/weekinreview/12k olata.html?em&ex=1187150400&en=a1f8d851ad6790a6&ei =5087%0A ). One survey, recently reported by the federal government, concluded that men had a median of seven female sex partners. Women had a median of four male sex partners. Another study, by British researchers, stated that men had 12.7 heterosexual partners in their lifetimes and women had 6.5. but mathematicians contend that the conclusion that men have substantially more sex partners than women is not and cannot be true for purely logical reasons. The number of partners must be about the same,not different by a factor of 2. Sex survey researchers say they know that this is correct. Men and women in a population must have roughly equal numbers of partners. So, when men report many more than women, what is going on and what is to be believed? The most likely explanation for such a result according to the math people by far, is that the numbers cannot be trusted. The problem is that when such data are published, with no asterisk next to them saying they can't be true, they just "reinforce the stereotypes of promiscuous males and chaste females"."
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The Myth, the Math, the Sex

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  • there are more females on the planet, or at least in the test areas than men..... How many more? Do the math.
  • Median != Mean (Score:2, Informative)

    by Agenor ( 1136719 )
    The argument is mathematically sound provided the statistics point to the mean number of sexual partners. However the statistics refer to the median number of sexual partners, so it should be no surprise that the prom night example and the data don't match. What is more distrubing is what it implies about the authorship or the sources. Either the NY Times was being loose with their terms and confused the statistician quoted or the medical statistician couldn't spot the fallacy.
    • Agreed, but the second study seems to be a mean, since it is fractional. You also need the assumption of 1:1 gender ratio, but that should be roughly satisfied.

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