British men are gay. Or naughty during their holidays. Or have non-human sexual partners. Or women are cheaters.

This is at least what the Daily Mail seems to want us to believe. Here, they say the following:

The biggest difference between  men and women lies in the number of sexual partners – with men having ten in  their lifetime, compared to an average of seven for women.

To put it into context, they mean that before meeting ‘the one’ men on average have 10 sexual partners and women 7. That sounds about right, doesn’t it? Yes?

I am afraid that this little quote reveals more about the Brits than one might think.

To see why, let’s back up a bit. Let’s think of a group of 200 people – 100 men and 100 women. Let’s take one of these men, and assume that he has a sexual partner before meeting ‘the one’. Moreover, we assume this sexual partner is a woman. But hey! This means that an extra sexual partner for a man means an extra sexual partner for a woman! It does not matter whether this man has 2, 7 or 25 additional, different sexual partners before meeting ‘the one’, the average remains exactly the same for men and women.

So, then, how do we explain the difference between 7 and 10 sexual partners?! I can think of 4 reasons, and only 4 reasons. Take your pick!

  1. There are a LOT of VERY active gay British men. If men had other men as sexual partners, this would increase their number of sexual partners before meeting the one, but not the average for women.
  2. British men are very naughty during their holidays. If British men have more sexual partners during their holidays (‘before meeting the one’) than their women counterparts do, this would mean that their average would be higher as well.
  3. Women are cheaters! Because, if women would have additional sexual partners after meeting the one, this would increase the number for men but not for women.
  4. Too digusting to think about, but somehow men have sexual partners that are neither men nor women. I am not even going to elaborate on that.

Of course, things are probably not as exciting as alluded to above. Presumably one or even all of the following must apply, which explains the difference between 7 sexual partners for women and 10 for men before meeting ‘the one’:

  • The surveyed groups of men and women have not been selected ‘randomly’; that is, the groups might have had different characteristics that correlate with the number of sexual partners. In different words: the surveyed groups are not representative of the true British population
  • Men boasted in the surveys (or women played their numbers down)
  • Men and women have different ideas about ‘meeting the one’ (i.e. men don’t easily think to ‘have met the one’)

Any thoughts?

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