People today and their failure to adhere to oppressive gender norms! Men have long hair! Women are driving fast cars and wearing trousers that show off their ankles and knees! It's just not right, but luckily there's still one area where everyone seems to know their place: sex. Men continue to exaggerate how often they have it and women continue to lie and say that they do it less than they actually do.
A study on gender expectations that recently came out of Ohio University found that, when surveyed, men, on average, added one fake partner to their sexual history while women tended to subtract one. When hooked up to fake polygraph, the subjects (who didn't know the polygraph was fake) were much more forthcoming.
"It was the exact opposite," said Professor of Psychology and the study's lead author Terri Fisher. "Women are reporting significantly more partners than the men."
It's depressing that women or men still feel embarrassed about their sexual history, though it's not all that surprising. Interestingly, however, the study's subjects — who were all heterosexual, mostly white, and around the age of 18 — didn't react so typically when it came to eschewing gender roles outside of the act of sex. When polled about other supposedly gendered behaviors like changing car tires, being into baby animals, dressing in ways that are seen as either masculine or feminine, cooking or writing poetry, men and women had little to no problem admitting to activities primarily associated with the opposite sex.
In other words, culture is progressing in ways pertaining to gender, but that progress has yet to spread to all of the areas we'd like it to.
“Sexuality seemed to be the one area where people felt some concern if they didn’t meet the stereotypes of a typical man or a typical woman,” Fisher said.
Considering that the subjects were only 18-years-old, this pressure to lie about sexual conduct might be something they eventually age out of. That said, there are plenty of fully fledged adults who still lie about their number of sexual partners. Sad though that people should lie to seem normal, when, in fact, the hidden truth of their sluttiness (or — fellas — lack there of) is actually much closer to normal than any of us are willing to admit.
Who Lies More About Sex, Men or Women? [LA Times]
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