Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Proof of stereoypes" or "I think I'm starting to lose faith in statistics"

I came across a post at Salon today.

The post is about a study recently published in the British Medical Journal on fat men and women and their sex lives. It would seem that according to the 10,000 men and women that fat women were about 30% less likely than "normal sized" women to have had sex in the last year whereas fat men seemed to have still had sex in about the same numbers as "normal sized" men.

Like I'm sure a lot of people have and are the writer of that post, Christine Mathias, seems to have gone straight to the conclusion that women are more accepting of fat men that men are of fat women (a very heteronormative presumption to say the least) but I'm not sure its that cut and dry. Sure there are folks that want to point to this as some sort of "In your face! Men ARE shallow!" but think about this for a bit.

When it comes to sex there are a few forces at work.

First off there are the forces of what The System presses on men and women when it comes to who we are attracted to. Men are impressed upon to be attracted to a specific type of woman. This specific woman must be the "right" shape, size, age, skin color, etc... (which is half of a pair of mixed signals that haunt male sexuality). I highly doubt that one can say that this does not influence men's tastes in women.

Second when it comes to sex we as me are expected to have as much sex as possible for that is supposedly a sign of one's manhood. I'll tell you from experience that this can and does temp guys to lie upward about how much sex they have. Yes I know it sounds terrible but I actually used to lie about having sex. Mind you it wasn't the over bragging that most teen guys do but let's just say that when someone made an assumption about my sex life I was in no big rush to correct them. But now that I've grown up a bit I realize there is not point in it. I don't advertise it but if someone asks I have no problem telling them. I've even worked up the nerve to actually correct assumptions. But enough about me. Believe me when I say that while its bad enough for "normal" guys to feel the need to verify their manhood being a fat has a bit of a twist to it. Getting ostracized by the "normal" guys and girls can pressure one into wanting to prove they are a "normal" but like the other guys. In short I honestly wonder if some of those fat guys (hell the "normal sized" guys too) lied upward about how much sex they've had.

Just wondering.