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June 26, 2007

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the average is probably so low since Wilt Chamberlain is dead.

i have a friends who is still celebate, and he's pushing 40. it only takes a couple of zeros in the formula to drag the average down. there are also people with religious beliefs that would restrict their sexual activity. even if we exclude all the hippocrats, that still leaves a bunch of low scorers (if you'll excuse the pun) to pull the number south.

but yeah, there's probably also some lying. the key is the disparity between the numbers for men and women. if we exclude all the homosexual contacts, the male and female numbers would have to be exactly equal. and yet, if you look at sex surveys that carve out purely hetero sex rates, you still always see a sex difference in the reported number of partners. women have a cultural incentive to underreport (to avoid seeming slutty) and men have an incentive to overreport.

ok, so you're probably right, in a lot of respects, but let me add a few things:

- generally I think it's probably safe to assume that the number of people who lie and say that they've had way *more* sex is probably about equal to the number of people who say that they've had way *less* sex than they've had. that doesn't mean that this skew's the gender breakdown or other statistics, (because different groups of people are more likely to lie in certain directions...)

- I wonder what they mean by sexual partners? do they mean, people with whom you've had genital contact or people with whom you have had regular/multiple genital contact?

- Figure that the typical experience is for most folks have a couple (2) relationships before they get married, and that given the divorce rate and what not, a big chunk of people have another marriage or and maybe another couple relationships via one way or another. that's... 6? which doesn't seem unreasonable...

- Speaking to the above point, is there a hint of what kind of central tendency they're measuring: in a study like this, I can imagine that it would matter.

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