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What’s your number? No, I’m not talking about your age. I’m talking about the number of sexual partners you’ve had.
Some research finds while both men and women lie about their sexual history, the way in which they lie may be very telling by gender identity.
Published in the May edition of the journal Sex Roles, the study involved 293 heterosexual college students who were surveyed on their sexual history and other nonsexual activities relating to gender roles.
When male students were asked to complete an anonymous survey on sexual history, they reported having sex at a younger age and with more partners than their female counterparts.
Yet when conducting the same survey using a fake polygraph machine, it was the female participants who became more likely to report the higher number of partners.
“When using fake polygraph machines,
females reported a higher number of partners.”
“It was the exact opposite,” said Terri Fisher, lead researcher and professor of psychology at Ohio State University. “Women [under polygraph] are reporting significantly more partners than the men.”
The study found both sexes were less likely to fabricate answers related to other gender-specific activities, like changing the oil in a car or washing laundry.
Fishers believes this is because men and women are less hesitant to admit to behavior that is normally associated with the opposite sex as long as it is not sexual in nature. Yet when related to sex, both genders tend to answer along stereotypical expectations.
“It is possible that people are more motivated to hide sexual behavior that is not in keeping with gender norms,” Fisher said.