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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Monday, June 04, 2012

The Mathematics of Infidelity

A BBC article asks the question, are men really more unfaithful then women?

Usually, I would have had no interest in reading this article, because I have no interest in that question or in its answer, since from a very early age I became convinced that all you ever hear about sex from anybody at all, expert or otherwise, is just lies, lies, and still more lies. But the blurb introducing this article had a line that struck a chord. It read: But how reliable are the figures and, if it takes two to tango, is it even mathematically possible?

Those words resonated because they reminded me of several, somewhat heated discussions that I had many years ago -- like nearly 55 -- with a couple of now deceased close friends, on just this subject. They presented themselves as being much more active and experienced sexually than I was, though that wasn't hard to do. At that particular moment in time a flower growing in a garden could've easily made the same boast. And they tried to crush what I thought was the surefire logic of my counter-argument, against their insistence that while most men were unfaithful, all but a small minority of women stayed at home and did no kind of running around with men who weren't their husbands. To them that platitude and that stereotype was complete and set in stone.

Certain that I had simple arithmetic on my side, I just as insistently demanded to know how that could be, since sex as I pictured it is essentially a one-to-one business, unless all these unfaithful husbands were sporting around with the same and much smaller number of women willing to do their will, which didn't seem likely, and these two guys didn't seem to want to think that it was likely, as they apparently didn't want to be taken as talking about street walkers and preferred to be seen as having seduced formerly virtuous women by the boatload.

My adversaries had no good answer for that argument. I doubt if they even understood it, or maybe they just thought that dealing with it would just be a big waste of their mental abilities, which also by their own testimony was just as considerable as their sexual ones.

Unfortunately, after having made the math of unfaithful couplings such a big part of her opening shot, the author promptly forgot all about that and went into a lot of other stuff. She abandoned what had promised to be the most interesting part of her take on things and instead quickly sank out of sight into quicksands of complete subjectivity, such as the question of what constitutes unfaithfulness.


Blogger The Thought Criminal said...

I happened on your blog while looking for something to do with NTodd.

This might be what you need for your argument.


Though it's my experience that even demonstrating it with math won't get those blinded with bogus surveys to see the light.

2:47 PM  

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