Boys want it but girls get it
(01.07.2009)A new survey among students at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) on sexual relationships and desires shows that traditional gender differences persist in terms of number of sexual partners -- even in liberated and freewheeling Norway.
The study, which will be published on the net-based research magazine called Interpersona.org, shows that boys pretty much always want to have sex, but that girls hold back.
"I believe these results illustrate how gender and sex are less connected to culture and roles, but are more the result of biology and evolution", Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair, associate professor at NTNU's Department of Psychology said to the Trondheim newspaper Adressavisen, and as reported in the Oslo-based Aftenposten.
Kennair has conducted an anonymous survey of nearly 1,100 individuals among heterosexual NTNU students - half of whom were women and half men.
How many partners?
The questions included attitudes towards sex as well as wishes and fantasies. Whereas females (on average) can see themselves having about five new partners during the next five years, males envisioned having 14. Female students thought they might have six to seven sexual partners throughout their lifetimes while the males predicted they would have 25.
Kennair pointed out that both females and males limited the total number of partners they would have.
"The males don't express a desire to have unlimited partners. But the difference is interesting. The males systematically will have more variation, from both a short and long term perspective. In free Norway, however, females -- anonymously -- can have as many partners as they want. But they don't express that interest", he says.
Biology in the driver's seat
Kennair says these choices reflect biology, and the fact that males can impregnate a new female every day, in theory at least, while females cannot become pregnant more than once every two years. Females have to be careful because pregnancy is so biologically costly.
"Females can have as much sex as they want. It's their desire that controls the frequency. But males have less sex than they want", he said.