After adjusting for these prostitution-related factors, the ratios for the sex discrepancy in the reported number of sexual partners hover slightly above and below 1 see Table 1 , indicating that prostitution can account for essentially all of the disparity. For the month recall period, one bisexual prostitute woman not included in our analyses reported more than partners. If she had an above-average number of partners for a prostitute and primarily male partners, her report might eliminate most or all of the discrepancy.
Likewise, the discrepancy for the 5-year recall period could also possibly be eliminated with similar assumptions about the two bisexual prostitute women who reported more than partners. No nonprostitute woman reported more than partners for either recall period in the national surveys.
In any event, prostitution would still explain the disparity. There are several reasons why prostitutes, especially those with typical numbers of partners, are unlikely to be represented in household surveys in the United States. Second, prostitute women's work schedule usually beginning in the late afternoon and often stretching into the early morning 22 conflicts with the GSS interviewers' schedule weekdays after 3: Furthermore, prostitute women in the United States tend to be quite mobile 15 , 23 and have high mortality Prostitution's role in explaining the discrepancy is not readily apparent because heterosexual men underreport contact with prostitutes.
This result is not likely due to undersampling of clients, as clients do not seem to be underrepresented in household surveys. Responses to repeated questioning about involvement in prostitution indicate men's reluctance to acknowledge contact with prostitutes. In two different parts of the Colorado Springs interview, heterosexual men were asked about contact with prostitutes in the last 5 years, with the second question referring to prostitutes in Colorado Springs only.
Eleven of the clients acknowledged prostitute partners only in response to the second question, and 2 additional men who did not report contact with prostitutes were known to be clients from prostitutes' naming them specifically as clients in another part of the interview. In the NHSLS, 7 of the 13 heterosexual men who admitted to contact with prostitutes in the last year acknowledged this only in response to the second question on the topic the two questions were presented in separate SAQs.
Methodological experiments involving audio computer-assisted self-interviewing ACASI , which is thought to promote accurate reporting, also point to men's underreporting contact with prostitutes. These observations suggest that the primary source of underreporting contact with prostitutes may be men who do not acknowledge being clients but still report a large number of partners that likely includes many prostitutes.
Indeed, clients in the Colorado Springs study and the NHSLS who admitted contact with prostitutes only after being asked twice reported as many partners on average as did clients who admitted contact with prostitutes when first asked.
Prostitution allows men to accrue new partners at a higher rate than nonprostitute women, which causes the unadjusted ratios to increase with longer recall periods. In prior research, the discrepancy could not be eliminated by removing those respondents who reported involvement in prostitution or by reducing men's number of partners by an estimate of admitted clients' number of prostitute partners 2 , 13 , 29 , These previous results are consistent with ours and can be explained by heterosexual men underreporting their contact with prostitutes.
Einon 18 addressed and dismissed the prostitution explanation for the discrepancy in the British household survey 5. However, her analysis of the lifetime number of reported partners is undermined by the use of point and annual, rather than lifetime, prevalences of prostitutes, and thus does not adjust for the cumulative number of partners that all prostitutes from multiple cohorts had over respondents' lifetimes.
Furthermore, available empirical information indicates that prostitution also can account for the discrepancies in the British 5 and Ivorian 29 surveys for recall periods between 1 and 5 years see supplementary material. Other types of sampling bias cannot account for the sex discrepancy in reported number of partners. In , the number of men from the United States who traveled overseas is balanced almost perfectly by the number of men from overseas countries who traveled to the United States Foreign men visiting the United States also tend to be younger than men from the United States traveling overseas.
These facts imply that the number of sexual partnerships commercial and otherwise men from the United States have in other countries is likely canceled out by the number of partnerships foreign men have in the United States.
Moreover, the excess partners reported by adult men cannot be accounted for by partnerships with adolescent females. In a probability sample of year-olds in Detroit, the sex discrepancy ratio in reported number of lifetime sexual partners is 1. This ratio would need to be substantially less than 1 for adolescent females to account for a significant share of adult men's excess partners.
In sum, prostitutes are underrepresented in national household sex surveys, and their undersampling can account for the sex discrepancy in reported numbers of sexual partners. These results suggest that respondents' reports of the number of their sex partners, although possibly limited in other ways, may not be significantly affected by sex-linked reporting bias. Kimball Romney, Michael Wiederman, and four anonymous reviewers provided helpful comments.
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Skip to main content. Prostitution and the sex discrepancy in reported number of sexual partners Devon D. Brewer , John J. Potterat , Sharon B. Garrett , Stephen Q.
Muth , John M. Montano , and William W. PNAS October 24, Abstract One of the most reliable and perplexing findings from surveys of sexual behavior is that men report substantially more sexual partners than women do.
Measuring the Discrepancy Data. View inline View popup. Table 1 Unadjusted and prostitution-adjusted ratios of the number of sexual partners reported by heterosexual men to the number reported by heterosexual women. Adjusting the Discrepancy for Prostitution To assess how much of the discrepancy prostitution can explain, we estimated the prevalence of prostitute women and their number of partners and then compared these estimates with observations in the GSS and NHSLS.
Prostitutes' Number of Partners. Men's Underreporting of Contact with Prostitutes Prostitution's role in explaining the discrepancy is not readily apparent because heterosexual men underreport contact with prostitutes. Article and publication date are at www. Jonsdottir J I Nord Sexol Lagrange H Population Sexual Practices in the United States Univ. Morris M Nature London Smith T W Soc Biol Einon D Ethol Sociobiol Weiner A Social Work Cohen B Deviant Street Networks: James J Urban Anthropol 4: Thornton A J Fam Issues Thank you for your interest in spreading the word on PNAS.
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Prostitution and the sex discrepancy in reported number of sexual partners. Roberts , Danuta Kasprzyk , Daniel E. Montano , William W. Tweet Widget Facebook Like Mendeley. More Articles of This Classification Flynn effect and its reversal are both environmentally caused. With so many young women vying for the opposite sex's attention — men can work harder in their younger years before choosing to look for love. For the first time ever population records show gender imbalance is a global problem with the huge countries — like India and China — dominated by men.
It is therefore vital places like Dongguan, Noiva do Cordeiro and Victoria are celebrated and become holiday hotspots for men across the world. Certain cities and towns are flush with females and need more men And while a census quickly quashed that fable — certain cities and towns flushed with females are now springing up across the globe.
Where men are in hot demand and women will do anything to attract a male partner. But last month the city hit the headlines again for its raunchy behaviour. Pictures emerged of men walking hand—in—hand with two or even three girls.
Factory bosses in Dongguan prefer to employ women over men because the fairer sex Blokes are left with plenty of time on their hands to find a partner. Dongguan is like no other city in China — a country which has a huge gender imbalance. By it is thought there could be almost 24million men unable to find a partner. Another man — Li Bin — said he had three girlfriends who worked in factories.
He lives with one, is in a relationship with another and treats the third as a lover. Li Bin said he had three girlfriends who all worked in factories But lads if you're already thinking about booking your next holiday to Dongguan, wait until you hear about the town of Noiva do Cordeiro. We all dream of falling in love and getting married.
Sons are bizarrely sent away from the town when the reach In Noiva do Cordeiro women are married with families — but their husbands are made t When he died in , the women decided to never allow the town to be run by men again.
The world learnt of Noiva do Cordeiro when its women appealed for men to come to the Victoria in Australia is one of six states which has a clear gender imbalance...