Sex and One Blatant Lie

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Sex and One Blatant Lie

A survey reports that Dutch couples are generally satisfied with their sex lives. But one finding in particular makes me doubt the survey's reliability:
[The survey] further discovered that having young children has little or no impact on as couple's sex life.

Among the parents-of-young-kids set that I hung out with in New York, it was common knowledge that the best form of birth control was having toddlers underfoot. I sometimes wonder how any of us managed to have a second child.

Actually, having looked at the data (pdf/Dutch), I think the news story's summary isn't quite accurate. The graph shows that people with kids have sex less frequently than those without. Though the difference isn't huge, it's there, and I think that if you controlled for the fact that some of the "no kids" couples are old people whose kids are gone and who have less sex than younger childless couples, the difference would become more significant.

I also liked this one. Two of the top three reported problems are "my partner doesn't want to have sex as often as I do" and "my partner wants to have sex more often than I do." Among men, 65% reported that their partners weren't in the mood as often as they were--but only 46% of women said that their partners wanted sex more often than they did. Similarly, 24% of women said their partners didn't want sex as often as they did, but only 13% of men said they didn't want sex as often as their partners. Given that more than 90% of respondents reported being heterosexual, it's rather difficult to reconcile these numbers.

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