Now, I have to imagine that there are more male hands than female in the air right now.
And I base that opinion on nothing more than the experience that most women I've known don't consider it a badge of honor to claim to have bedded a guy, any guy, unless he's a Pitt, or a Clooney, or some other stereotype.
Most guys I've known, however, will tell you that at some point they have lied about hookin' up. Most I know say those lies were most prevalent in their teens and early 20s.
All this leads me to a very interesting article from New York Times science writer Gina Kolata. Ms. Kolata reported that men claim a median of seven female sexual partners, while women claim a median of four male partners. Scientists and mathematicians cited by Ms. Kolata concluded the guys must be lying. Men interviewed in a recent British study claimed 12.7 female partners. And women in that study claimed 6.5 male partners.
So. Somebody's lyin', lyin' like a rug. Or maybe not.
Math was not always my strong suit, but I know that when you measure these sorts of things using a strict group of subjects in strict parameters - say 100 men and 100 women who are known to socialize in the same circle in the same areas, the numbers of partners each can legitimately claim will be close to even. And I know that when it comes to "romance" you can't apply those types of parameters. It won't work.
- As of the 2000 Census the female to male population in the U.S. was almost 51% to 49%. There are more women than men, so it stands to reason guys will have a shot at a greater number of women than women have at guys.
- It's a completely non-scientific theory, but women are pickier than guys. A straight guy - my buddies, anyway - would have jumped into the sack with any woman who was born a woman and had two breasts and appropriate plumbing when they were younger. Women seem to be able to "do without" easier than guys. And so I don't think it's a stretch to think the average woman is hooking up with one out of umpteen guys who take a shot at her.
- In terms of pure effort, guys, who seem to have an inherent need to "spread" themselves around when they're younger, just try harder to hook up. Guys of a certain age are desperate to make things happen. It is logical that if I try to hook up with 20 women, and 80% of them shoot me down, that still leaves four women who caved in. If my female counterpart, without breaking a sweat, entertains pitches from just 10 guys and shoots down 90% of 'em, well that's just one hookup for her.
On the other hand, guys do lie about this stuff. I haven't for some time, 'cause I haven't had anything to prove and my ego has lost weight over the years thus needing less support. But back in the day, in my late teens and very early 20s - I'd say 17ish to 21ish - I lied like gangbusters about how many young women I hooked up with. It wasn't that I never hooked up with any. It was just that I always claimed more. If the actual number was one in a month, I claimed two. If the number was two in three months, I claimed four. My guys did it too. I think we knew we were all lying to each other, but we got some humor in trying to out tall-tale each other. Claiming another partner was like bragging about getting an "A" on a test for us. And we were eggheads. We were getting "A's" on tests. Probably part of the reason we felt compelled to lie so much about the hookups.
You know what? I think I just changed my own mind. Scratch my skepticism of the article. I think the studies cited in the Times are right. The guys probably are lying...just not for the statistical and scientific reasons given in the Times article.