Men these days may not
Men these days may not necessarily be the more promiscuous ones, after all — they merely may be more willing to be honest with researchers about their sexual adventures, according to a novel experiment that attempted to fool the sexes into telling the truth. The Washington Post reports on a survey where participants felt obligated to tell the truth. The students were divided randomly into three groups. Those in the first group were left alone in a room to fill out the survey after being assured that their answers would be held in the strictest confidence. Those in the second group were told that the research assistant who sat outside the open door of the testing room might read their completed questionnaire immediately after the respondents handed it in. Each member of the third group — and your Unconventional Wiz just loves this — was hooked up to a polygraph machine. Electrodes were attached to their hands, forearms and necks. Then they were told that this particular polygraph was so sensitive that it could detect the slightest deception — even in written responses. Now that’s sensitive! Three questions asked whether individuals had ever viewed hard-core pornography, soft-core porn or masturbated. The first thing these researchers saw when they analyzed the overall results was that the men’s reports didn’t differ much, regardless of whether they were hooked up to the polygraph or not. On a three-point scale (a 3.0 would mean the respondent had engaged in all three behaviors at least once), the guys averaged slightly more than 2. The story was different for women. Those in the second group — the ones who were told that researchers might immediately review their responses — reported on average having engaged in fewer than one (0.89) of the three targeted behaviors. Those hooked up to the faux polygraph averaged the most (2.04). I’m not going to take this new knowledge to its logical conclussion and ask those women close to me what they think of it but…. Reminds me of a survey I read lately where in answer to ‘where and when did you lose your virginity’ the lady respondent mentioned a time and place and then went on to add..and I have spent all my energies since ensuring it was never found again!